Two weekends ago, myself and Kary Maconachie organized an overnight camp for 18 grade 4 learners from the township. We had all the materials that we use for the week long reading camps that we will have once a year, so, materials and structure were easily adaptable from the week long reading camp.
The intention of the reading camp was not to teach children to read over night. Rather, we wanted to give the students an opportunity to see how fun learning and reading can be. The first evening, we played games went for a night hike and ate good food including the roasting of marshmallows over a fire and a bedtime story. The following day we broke students up into 6 groups and did reading centers. Students were in groups of 2 and three and received 1 to 1 support. All was done in the playing of games. The students were well behaved. One student who was sick started crying because he did not want to go home. We let him sleep in the corner of the room.
The greatest joy we had was seeing kids laugh and play and enjoy learning. The students were overwhelmed with the amount of love and care they received. The reward was in the smiles on the kids faces, and the amazement at their excitement in choosing books to sit down and read to themselves or helpers. The camp was run by volunteers. No one was paid, and everyone left contented with a job well done.