Manila Downtown YMCA : Virtual Summer Camp

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Last Updated (Monday, 31 May 2021 13:24)

As the hot air balloon soared through the sky and reached its final destination, this year’s 14th Youth Club Summer Camp (YCSC) has finally come to a close. From May 15 to 22, 2021, the Manila Downtown YMCA held its annual summer camp virtually with over 58 participants from various schools to develop leaders of today's youth.

After weeks of planning and test runs, the 14th YCSC was successfully conducted through different platforms such as Zoom, Facebook, and Discord; prioritizing safety amidst the global pandemic. Prior to the camp itself, participants were given different tasks and assigned to groups which became their respective teams all throughout the camp activities.

On May 15 the camp commenced with a worship led by the camp director, Ms. Vanessa Tangcueco, from where she asked the participants to discuss a passage related to servant leadership. Then an icebreaker was done preceding the start of the exciting sessions.

Traditionally, YCSC start with sessions relating to the self and others. For this year's camp, Ms. Vanessa Tangcueco, Ms. Hiyesmin Lao Ong-Tan, Mr. Hero Go, and Ms. Veronica Tangcueco were invited to give talks on the following topics respectively: the Johari’s Window, purposeful leadership, the role of the youth, and teamwork, trust, and communication. Throughout the sessions, several activities were done to allow participants to be engaged with the topic. The strategy appeared to be effective as multiple participants have also shared their insights regarding the lessons. The day ended with an online amazing race that challenged the participants to put the day’s learnings to use. During the night, participants were given the opportunity to mingle with each other through different online platforms.

The 2nd day of the camp was held on May 22. It opened with a recap from the first day by Ms. Vanessa Tangcueco. This was followed by an icebreaker and proceeded to the day’s sessions. The 2nd day focused on volunteerism and the YMCA community. Ms. Jamie Chua discussed the spirit of volunteerism, volunteerism in our community, and volunteerism in the context of YMCA. Then, Mr. Hero Go introduced the YMCA and APAY, and also shared his experience in the organization. During lunch, participants had the chance to bond with their fellow group mates while enjoying their meals. After lunch, the participants danced to the YMCA song to boost their mood and feel the Y spirit.

Before the last session, Dr. Honorio T. Tan, the President of the Manila Downtown YMCA, greeted the participants through a video recording. Then Ms. Danica Chua, the current President of the Manila Downtown YMCA Youth Club, discussed about the Manila Downtown YMCA Youth Club and its purpose. Before the camp ended, an awarding ceremony was held to acknowledge the teams who excelled and the participants who stood out with their insightful ideas. And to conclude the 14th Youth Club Summer Camp, participants wrote letters to each other, followed by a reflective discussion where participants reflected and shared their learnings and experiences on the past week. The 14th Youth Club Summer Camp may have ended, but it is definitely the start of the participants’ leadership journey.


Venus May G. Alinsod
Executive Director, Manila Downtown YMCA