G.O.A.L.S. Camp 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Front row: Caleb Swedberg, Madison Davie, Trinity Pavon, Nathan Caldwell, Drew Miller Middle row: Tyce Stochard, Forde Kohler, Audrey Jaco, Carson James, Jake Sauerbrunn, George Green Back row: Jacob Ott, Alex Fuehrer, Peighton Robinson, Franchesca Poindexter, Zavier Heinley, Leslie Corn, Ashley Tucker

G.O.A.L.S. Camp, Global Outlook and Local Soccer, successfully completed its second annual camp July 16-20. G.O.A.L.S. Camp is facilitated by CENET: Cultural Exchange Network and took place on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. Campers ranged from grades 2-8.

The mornings were focused on soccer training and featured local and international coaches. Matt Vollink, Matt Gordon, Kerrie Katz, Ashley Tucker and Leslie Corn represented the local coaching staff. International coaches from Ecuador, Panama, India, Mexico and Niger were also present. Each morning, a foreign coach conducted an "international water talk." This served as a dual opportunity for the international coaches to share about the soccer culture in their home countries while the kids cooled off and re-hydrated. Soccer training, goalie sessions, and international water talks were daily staples of the soccer schedule; however, one very popular daily break included popsicles donated by Good Humor in Sikeston.

After morning soccer, campers moved indoors for the second half of the day. Global education was the primary focus for afternoon sessions that were held in the Multipurpose Room in the North Recreation Center. Campers sampled international cuisines including: Italian calzones and sugar cookies; Mexican and Japanese candy; a medley of Korean treats; and New Zealand Fairy Bread. After receiving decorative chopsticks from Japan, campers created candy sushi. Another culinary highlight was pizza donated by The Brick Oven in Cape Girardeau; the owners Nizar and Arlette Hanania who moved to Cape Girardeau from Jordan also provided an educational session on Jordan.

Activities and hands-on learning dominated the afternoons as students experienced a trip around the world. Campers even received replicas of passports and international currencies, globes, a workbook, and a variety of take home gifts that commemorated the countries "visited" each day. After a brief talk from an international guest, the students would engage in an activity to help demonstrate an aspect of that specific culture. For example, an Australian led a cricket game, an Ecuadorian instructed salsa dancing, and an Indian taught students how to wrap a sari. Activities like these filled the afternoons as local campers engaged in creative activities aimed at international education and learning retention.

A series of crafts were also completed including the creation of Chinese lanterns, personalizing Australian boomerangs, folding Japanese origami, making scrapbook pages with Korean characters, and beading miniature versions of Niger's flag.

Other highlights of G.O.A.L.S. Camp included daily use of the gym courts to play games and sports, as well as access to the Aquatic Center--complete with a swimming area, climbing wall, zip line and rope swing.

As the finale, campers enjoyed a Friday field trip to St. Louis to experience the Missouri Botanical Garden's temporary exhibit, The Lantern Festival. This larger than life spectacle showcased incredible artistic feats created by a group of Chinese artists. The campers were split into teams and given a scavenger hunt which helped them navigate through the immense garden and view the various displays. After the scavenger hunt, a picnic lunch took place in Tower Grove Park near the central playground and wading pool. The final stop on the field trip was a surprise visit to Ted Drewes Frozen Custard--a welcome dessert for the campers and staff.

Various local sponsors contributed to the camp including EXIT Realty, Midwest Neurosurgeons, and The Brick Oven. The Bank of Missouri and Montgomery Bank both provided scholarships to the camp which were awarded to two students from Jefferson Elementary who were selected by the school staff. The scholarship winners were to be students who displayed positive attitudes and showcased passions for learning and exploring. Montgomery Bank sponsored Franchesca Poindexter and Bank of Missouri provided a scholarship for Peighton Robinson.

G.O.A.L.S. Camp offered students exposure to various cultures and interaction with representatives from 14 countries around the globe. CENET is proud to continue this effort which began in 2011, and they look forward to G.O.A.L.S. Camp 2013.

G.O.A.L.S. Camp is part of a program at CENET called Culture in the Community. This program is focused on community involvement and youth programs that focus on international education. In addition to G.O.A.L.S. Camp, Culture in the Community includes Culture in the Classroom--a program that takes place in various area schools. To learn more about CENET's community programs and to view a camp slide show, please visit www.culturalexchangenetwork.org/goals.aspx

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