Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 31, 2017 (SKNIS): Individuals willing to give a portion of their time to aid the positive development of young people, by participating in a challenging yet fun and rewarding experience, are encouraged to sign up for the Department of Youth Empowerment’s 34th Annual Summer Residential Camp.

Vernon Connor, Special Advisor to the Minister of Youth, and Pierre Liburd, Acting Director in the department, issued the call to service on Wednesday (May 31) on Winn FM’s The Breakfast Show. Mr. Liburd said that the camp will run from July 16 to 31 this year under the theme “Empowering Our Youth to Soar for Much More.” It will feature the usual enjoyable activities such as speed sports, pool/waterday, movie night, talent show, field trips and camp banquet mixed in with sessions that instruct campers on leadership, baking, drumming, pageantry, dancing, video filming, Spanish and more.

Two hundred and 18 persons between the ages of 8 and 16 years attended the 2016 camp and the numbers are expected to be about the same this year. The youth officials are hoping to get applications from about 50 additional individuals volunteering for tasks such as dorm leaders, camp nurse, and counselors.

“We need persons that we can rely on …,” Mr. Liburd stated. “It’s a 24/7 experience and for those persons who are genuinely interested in contributing to the positive growth and development of our young people [we say] come out and play your part. We welcome your service.”

The prospect of dealing with about 10 to 15 children per dorm for 15 days may seem unappealing to some, but Mr. Connor noted that the life changing impact that is made by sincere camp leaders does not go unnoticed.

“The tears that flow on the final day of camp is the statement of these young people as to the impact of camp on their lives for those two weeks and many of them do not even want to leave to go back home,” he noted, referring to his observations from the past two years. “The bond that they share with their leaders and each other … and these young people, they never forget their youth leaders for the rest of their lives, especially if that youth leader made a change in them over those two weeks.”

Prior to the start of camp, all volunteers, even those that are returning, receive free training to prepare them for the task. Persons willing to volunteer are encouraged to visit the Department of Youth Empowerment on Church Street or telephone 467-1393.