Read About the WYA Asia Pacific Summer Camp 09 through a Staffer’s Eyes

Read About the WYA Asia Pacific Summer Camp 09 through a Staffer’s Eyes

WYAAP held its 3rd annual Summer Camp on May 11-15, 2009 on Boracay Island in Aklan, Philippines. There were eleven (11) participants from all over the Philippines who successfully finished their training. This year, WYAAP had two (2) high school students, one of which became the youngest to accomplish the Track A Training at age 14.

The Summer Camp began with plenary discussions and a welcome dinner by the beach. Participants also engaged in group dynamics that enabled them to better understand the articles of the training manual.

Aside from the regular plenary and focused group discussions, the Summer Camp team decided to introduce a new gimmick for the participants. The staff would randomly group facilitators and participants for each meal, allowing everyone to mingle and get to know each other more.

But, ultimately, the WYAAP Summer Camp 2009 was an amazing experience for two reasons. First, you get to see the difference Track A Training makes in a person. Second, you get to see how policy and culture are complementary in practice.

All eleven participants came to the Summer Camp with varied expectations and personalities. However, they left with a solid understanding of dignity, ready to share it with the world.

This is the kind of transformation that truly inspires me. The Summer Camp was a 5-day event that changed the lives of each one of the participants. Being a staff member, I had the chance to see all of them develop into someone more fully alive. I always enjoy being in the background of a program such as the WYAAP Summer Camp because seeing people illuminate with joy and a conviction to share their newfound learning gives me much hope.
I see hope in a person’s transformation because it helps me appreciate the capacity of people to be creative. We can be creative in architecture, technology, agriculture, medicine, and many other ways including ourselves. We can be creative in the way we think, which helps us relate with others better. It helps us become more responsible for others we’ve known for a long time and, more importantly, others we’ve just met. Our creativity opens doors that enable us to become better people, responsible for one another and the environment that surrounds us.
Realizing this in Boracay, the best beach I’ve been to so far, facilitated my understanding of policy and culture. This is the second reason why the Summer Camp was an amazing experience. I realized how a simple, yet dense, discussion of articles can affect the way we live our lives. It seems as if there is a grand divide between laws and what people truly want. However, when we take the time to look deeper into our policies, we are able to realize the value it has on making an impact in our lives.

It was my first time to fly alone on an airplane. The solitude was nice because it gave me time to reflect on the insights that I gathered. It’s nice how we can all take the time to pause and think about what has happened. This is the kind of solitude that can prepare us for our responsibilities ahead.

-Joshua Tan
Project Team Member, WYAAP Summer Camp 09

Pictures of the camp are available at