Children and wards of staff at the Psychiatric Hospital had the time of their lives this vacation at the institutions summer camp.
While the camp culminates tomorrow, today the campers took the opportunity to show their parents and guardians just what they have been up to all summer.
Registered nurse and craft teacher, Andrea Williams explained that the camp, which is directed by Sharon Sargeant, started six years ago as a way to keep the children gainfully occupied while their parents were at work.
“The camp was first conceptualised in 2007 because of the absenteeism among staff members due to the fact that they did not have persons to attend to the children during the summer vacations. When we first started we had about 75 and right now this year the camp has 154 campers, varying from ages four to 15 and with 17 counsellors,” she said, adding that her assistant this year was Shakera Belgrave.
Williams said although the children were interested in plastic canvas work, she sought to broaden their experience by introducing new craft, an initiative she said was highly successful.
The children got involved in creating dolls, tie-dye, polo craft among others tasks, all of which was on display today.
What it has also done, the nurse said, was to really bring to the fore the creativity in the children.
“This year I introduced them to the kettle dollies and … I worked with the 10 to 12 and we also did some polo craft. The dollies roughly took a day or two to complete.
“A couple of the campers here I would say they have a knack for it. Three or four of them, once they understood the concept of constructing the doll and the checkered pattern for laying the petal work, they were able to sit by themselves and complete the doll in a day.
“I was even telling one of the parents that I don’t just do craft, I do things that they can sit home in their spare time and if you have guests and anything and they admire the doll, if they supply them with the materials, they can basically make a doll and sell. One can sell between $45 and $50 depending on the style and the time and effort and the style the customer wants,” she said.
After a long summer, today was spent enjoying a water world with a difference, and the screams of the young campers and the water balloon “fights” were indeed reminiscent of summer vacations of old. (LB)