Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 29, 2017 (SKNIS): Two hundred young people marched through the streets of Basseterre on Friday (July 28) to climax the 34th Annual Summer Residential Camp staged by the Department of Youth Empowerment.
The campers have spent the last two weeks at the Beach Allen Primary School engaged in a number of learning and fun activities including dance, art and craft, painting, and marching band, all of which were on display during the march.
The march was led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Youth Empowerment, Honourable Shawn Richards, who said the public display provided persons with a glimpse of some of the developmental activities that took place at the camp.
“It (the march) says to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis that indeed there has been a camp. Indeed, there is an investment in our young people; indeed young people are at the heart of the development agenda for the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis,” he stated, noting that the skills and disciplines learnt will be shared with others in their homes and communities, which multiplies the positive impact of the camp programmes.
At the end of the street march, the campers hurried to the various assigned tents at Independence Square, where they displayed and sold products created during the business development sessions.
Acting Director of the Department of Youth Empowerment, Pierre Liburd, stated that the business expo featured a variety of commodities ranging from, cakes, ice pops, Ital food, decorative trinkets, and more, which were conceptualized and made by the 8 to 16 year old campers with supervision from the respective dorm leaders.
One young man, Kendrick Francis, 14, spoke on behalf of Dorm 16, which had a business called
Deco Boys Snackette. They offered neatly wrapped snack plates with tuna or cheese sandwiches along with passion fruit and pineapple drinks. He said the business sessions were important as they gave each participant a head start in understanding product development, and buying and selling. Kendrick added that he will use that knowledge “when I get older so I can do my business.”
Camp Queen Allese Clarke, 14, from Dorm 3, shared a bit about their product of home décor and jewelry made from pine cones and cardboard. She said the idea was to create nature friendly items that were reusable. “The economy is growing and we need to get familiar with how it is growing,” she said, referring to the niche market and where gaps can be filled.
Deputy Prime Minister Richards said entrepreneurial development was also a priority for government and it is important to engage children at a young age on the basics of such.
“They would have learnt different skills whether it is in terms of making different products; … not too long ago a number of the campers approached me asking me to support their booth so they are learning about salesmanship, approaching persons; they are being competitive with other businesses,” he stated. “At the end of the day, if they choose to go into a particular area of business those skills would have been honed from a very young age.”
Such development is in keeping with the theme for the 34th annual camp which is “Empowering Our Youth to Soar.” The camp banquet will be held at Government House on Saturday (July 29) and closes on Sunday, July 30.