Clarendon Youth Need a Little Help for Their “Heads Up” This Summer

It is a difficult time for our young people. The long summer stretches ahead and it is especially hard for youth in the more economically challenged communities around the island to find activities that will offer them new, uplifting educational opportunities (and also fun and relaxation) . The Clarendon Youth Information Centre (CIYC) organized a great summer camp last year, and with very limited funds is seeking support for this year’s effort. Here is what they have planned – and as you can see it is a comprehensive and meaningful program that will enhance the lives of the young Clarendonians. Please see if there is any way you can support, especially if you live in the parish. For more information, contact: Chevelle Campbell, Youth Empowerment Officer, Clarendon Youth Information Centre, Tel: (876) 483-3033/394-7272. Email: Please see the list of the CIYC’s needs for the “Heads Up” camp at the end of this post. Please help if you can!

Here is the CYIC’s description of its 2015 program, with photographs from last year’s camp:

The Clarendon Youth Information Centre engages over 1500 young persons between the ages of 15-24 years who utilize our facilities and services for empowerment and participation. Of this population, 75% are unattached youths who are in need of more constructive avenues to express themselves.

Last year, the CYIC used sports as a means of building interpersonal dynamics and also to host self empowerment sessions during World Cup “fever.” Courtney Bell from LIME Foundation was present as they helped the CYIC decorate the place and provided prizes for the participants. PLEASE NOTE the Argentina flag in the background – that’s MY TEAM!

Located in Trenton Road, May Pen, we mostly serve youth from volatile communities nearby, who have demonstrated interest in improving their behaviour. With the Ministry of Youth and Culture’s mandate in mind, to meaningfully engage at- risk youth to prevent abuse and maladaptive behaviours, we are launching our “Heads Up” Summer Camp to empower this population.

The camp will be catering to 70 youth from 15-24 years. The camp will be using the UK Youth’s Model of dealing with at-risk youth and will be exploring topics such as Self Esteem, Anger management, Mental Health Awareness, Drugs and Alcohol and Stress Management at no cost to campers. The camp will run from June 29 to August 13, 2015 from Monday to Friday during the hours of 10am and 4pm.


The first week of the camp from June 29- July 3, 2015, will be focusing on Emotional Well Being and Mental Health Awareness. This is due to our findings that many youth we interact with struggle with depression and panic attacks. Mr. Mitchell, Miss Campbell, Mrs. Gordon and Miss Marajh are all trained counsellors and therapists and will be facilitating these sessions along with artists Raheem and Njari for art therapy sessions. To boost the team building initiative, at the end of week one, each group will be required to make a poster on a topic explored and points will be given accordingly. At the end of week one campers would be able to better manage their emotions, resolve negative emotions and preserve the learning from past experiences, reshape the thought process and will be motivated to tackle life Head On.

Directed by Sepai Donavan Laing, young people got a chance to explore anger management through contact sports such as Karate.
Directed by Sepai Donavan Laing, young people got a chance to explore anger management through contact sports such as Karate.


The second week of camp will run from July 6-10 and the topics of focus will be on Looking After Yourself and Supporting Friends. This week, deportment, grooming and hygiene will be explored with demonstrations from HEART Trust Trainees on how to dress, to styling the hair for varying occasions. Ettenio and Kumea’s Hair Perspective will be donating sample products for that week’s demonstrations. Negative and Positive Peer pressure will be explored as well as the extent of support that should be offered between friends and persons we are close to. The Clarendon Counselling Centre will also come to inform campers on what to do should they face certain situations. At the end of week 2 campers will be required to do a skit on Preparing for an interview and points will be allotted accordingly. They should be more motivated and have their “Heads In the game.”


This week July 13-17, Reaching Out, will be the topic explored. The Child Development Agency, the Clarendon Peace and Justice Centre, the Clarendon Restorative Justice Centre and other agencies dedicated to helping persons will be present, informing the campers on how to access their services. Senpai Donavon Laing will be demonstrating the importance of standing up for oneself and self-preservation through karate. Raheem and Njari will show ways how to reach out through art, Nathaniel Stewart will be teaching them how to express themselves through photography and Performing Artist and Social Change entertainer, Randy McLaren will teach them how to turn their pain into gain through songwriting. At the end of the week, each group will be required to write a song and create an artistic cover for the track and perform it for points.

A learning session at the 2014 summer camp.
A learning session at the 2014 summer camp.


On the week of July 20-24 2015, the topic of Anger and Stress Management will be explored. We will be showing them how to expel anger through physical activity such as wrestling, karate, badminton and other sports as well as curbing opposition defiant behaviour when given instructions from superiors. The Jamaica Defence Force and members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s GRAPE Programme will be doing talks with the campers and will be operating an obstacle course for our anger management group activities, to strengthen group dynamics and team building initiatives. The National Interschool Brigade will also be running drills and speak about the importance of obedience and compliance as a social mobility tool.


From July 27- 31, 2015, Drugs, Alcohol and Self Harm will be examined. The National Council on Drug Abuse and Teen will be assisting to facilitate these sessions. The impact of drug and alcohol use and abuse as well as practices such as cutting and disorders such as anorexia and bulimia will be made known to campers. They will also be exposed to different types of drugs and the risks associated with using these substances. At the end of week 5, each group will be required to do a skit on the effects of drug use.

A little stretching does you good...
A little stretching does you good…


August 10-13, 2015 will be the final week of the camp and Coping with Loss and Being Emotionally Intelligent will be the topics explored. Based on the topics leading up to this week, they will revise techniques to manage anger, stress and other emotions which may cause debilitation. Campers would be required to tell either through writing or speaking, what they learned from the camp and some goals that they have made to achieve in the next 3 years and the manner in which they plan to achieve it. The winning group will get a cake and other prizes.

Last year's camp included a "Dollar Savvy" session on managing money.
Last year’s camp included a “Dollar Savvy” session on managing money.


Ink and paper- The cost of ink to print resource manuals for volunteers will be needed and we hope to get this through sponsorship.

Resource materials such as paper, pencils, cartridge papers, makers, paint, flip chart, erasers, balloons, ball, glue, first aid kit, paintbrushes and other materials will be necessary and we hope to get these through sponsorship.

Karate and Wrestling equipment will be brought by the representatives to be used during these sessions. The Clarendon YIC owns the badminton materials which will be used in the camp.

Additional wood and rope for the erection of the rest of the obstacle course

Tyres and cones have been contributed for the setup of the obstacle course and the JDF will be contributing to construct the obstacle course.

The prizes and certificates of participation will also be needed and we are looking for sponsorships to cover these areas as well.

HEART Trust NTA and other organizations will bring their materials and hair grooming products for hair have already been sponsored by Ettenio and Kumea’s Hair Perspective.

Light refreshments are also needed for the campers and volunteers, but to date, only chicken has been covered through sponsorship.

An enjoyable discussion at last year's summer camp.
An enjoyable discussion at last year’s summer camp.




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