8th grader plans, runs summer day camp
Bored on summer break, Yosef Gavro, 13, decides to set up his own day camp at room set aside in local Ethiopian Heritage Center. While his father was hospitalized, Yosef gave lectures he prepared from Wikipedia, led guided tours throughout city, created challenging activities. ‘The children were fascinated,' says museum manager
At the start of summer vacation, Gavro, who is going into 8th grade, approached Shlomi Gadmo, manager of the Ethopian Heritage Center in Kiryat Yam, and asked that he set aside a room in which he could offer activities as part of a free summer camp for the city's children.
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“There stood before me a very young boy,” Gadmo said. “Because of this, I was interested in whether he thought he could manage a camp like this and control the children. Yosef told me that he could do it and added that he had materials prepared and he could prepare additional activities during the period of the camp.”
And indeed Yosef delivered on his promise. Children from the elementary school showed up and eagerly participated in the activities which he planned.
“Every day Yosef would come with a prepared program,” said Gadmo. “It was amazing to see how the children were fascinated by the things he told them. He got them involved in an amazing way, gave lectures, ran a day of challenging activities in the center’s yard, gave guided tours throughout the city and along the shore. The kids followed him everywhere.”
Gadmo ran the camp for one month, without pay or budget, and collected contributions from the community.
“I decided to do the camp because at the start of vacation I didn’t really have much to do. So I went to Shlomi and asked that he give me a room to use for a children’s camp,” the young camp director said.
“Every day I did different activities, I had educational materials from school and from things I got off of Wikipedia. I taught the children all sorts of things – about the police, math, English and about Magen David Adom. I made sure there were also sports, like soccer and basketball.”
There was one thing in which Gavro felt disappointment – that he did not succeed in arranging a tour for the camp at the Haifa Intel offices. “I really wanted to take the kids to tour the place, it could have really helped them.”
After four weeks of camp, the children held an end-of-camp party. Mayor Shmuel Siso, who followed the camp closely, described it with admiration, as a unique model which could be learned from and adopted.
“The initiative of Yosef shows that money is not the first issue in success of this sort; Rather it is the iniative and the desire. Once you have them – everything is possible., A boy like this is a reason for pride, I am proud that our educational sustem is turning out youth who take initiative like this,” Siso said. He also suggested to Gavro that he open another camp session.
Gavro ran the camp even as his father lay in the hospital for a third month, after suffering a stroke.
“My son has a big heart,” said his proud mother Yafa, as she sat by her husband’s bed. “The initiative for this camp was all his, he arranged everything. He spoke to parents of campers who had misbehaved, and spoke to those of a boy who had spoken disrespectfully and was sent home, both from his personal telephone. I am very proud of him.”
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