World Youth Alliance Summer Camp 2011

By : Lovely L. Nazareno

I would always believe that there is a price to pay to be a good student in the school of life, there is always a decision to make that sometimes is not easy, there is always a path that you have to either walk or run. That is life.

My journey to WYA Summer Camp has not been that easy, there are a lot (hugely a lot) of things that I would say almost “hindered” me to attend. I had problems with my health a week before the camp and only a day before it when I finally got the clearance from the Doctor that I am ok to join. I was happy that I can be with WYA. However, “hindrances” are not yet over, while we were at the venue, having our orientation, somebody from NYC called me, asking for my presence in their office the next day because I qualified for an interview in an international youth exchange program called Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program or SSEAYP that I applied a month ago. That call made me so uneasy and confused on what I should do next. Should I travel back – with health risks, grab the SSEAYAP, miss 2 or 3 topics of Track A or stay, study, enjoy the rain by the beach and miss the opportunity to be one of the Philippines Youth Ambassadors. I had a long debate in my mind, but I settled with a conclusion that God won’t bring me to Pangasinan with WYA if He does not intend it to be.

I am so happy that I made the right decision to stay at WYA Camp. The five-day training was full of intellectual and meaningful discussions coupled fun and laughter with other campers. I will always be proud of how this training camp was able to influence me on how I view other people – I was able to dive deep to the understanding of human dignity, of freedom, of solidarity. These elements should be respected and protected by the state and should be the basis of its governing laws. I cannot contain all the insights I have learned, I can feel inside that I have to echo it.

My favorite parts of the camp were the discussion about Culture and Art, the bonfire and the picture taking. I was able to grasp the philosophical side of Art, which helped me improve the messages that I am trying to convey through the artworks that I make. The bonfire was the moment where our other side was revealed – teasing, laughing, story-telling, stuff that we don’t usually do inside the “thinking hut” (the name we call our nipa hut classroom). Picture taking is where our decorous and wackiest side burst out in to the sunlight. I never imagine our facilitators posing like super stars and the participants postured like modern philosophers.

I never regret that I chose to stay and learn with WYA. Every single thing that happened during those training days is invaluable. More than the delicious food of Aling Liza, I will never forget the great people I came to know because of this camp. Salute to the facilitators who are able to make heavy topics seem so easy to understand. I encourage every young Filipino to participate in this kind of training camp. If you are looking for a meaningful way to spend your summer, join the World Youth Alliance Summer Training Camp next year, experience learning by the beach with your Track A.

For me, the two words that I can describe the camp are, it’s “LIFE CHANGING.”