June 4, 2014
June 4th
Student-Athlete Development: Dominican Republic Blog

The first day of camp has finally arrived! The day began very similar to yesterday with workouts in the morning on the beach following breakfast and some down time. At around 10am, Welington, the Logistical Coordinator of the Ecological Foundation we are staying in, took us on a tour around the campus of the facility. We first came across a bee keeping area where colonies make honey for Dominicans to eat. We also came across a ton of animals like donkeys, pigs, roosters, and even an angry mule that snot rocketed all over Morgan Conklin and Jordan Fish. After a very hot tour, we went to lunch where we had tomato and cucumber salads with chicken, fish, rice and cheesy mashed potatoes. It was delicious!

After lunch and relaxed in the common room then made our way to the camp field, which is right across the street from the Foundation. Before the campers arrived, we set up the field. Morgan, Will, Blair, Kelsey and myself were the leaders for the day creating different stations for the kids to visit for a total of 15 minutes. At around 2:30pm, the kids had finally arrived by bus from the city of Veron. We ran over to greet them as all these smiling faces were making their way off the bus. It was amazing to see how excited they were to see us and have the opportunity to be at camp.

Julio, Victor and Miguel Angel, members of DPV, started off with icebreaker games that loosened everyone up. The DPV guys are great with the kids and create such a playful environment. They inspire us to be like them and interact with the kids in a way that’s fun. After icebreakers, Will led a warm-up that was translated by Cindy, a Peace Corps volunteer who just began her two years of serving in Veron. About an hour into the camp, we split up into five groups where the leaders led the kids in different skill sessions like dribbling, shooting and passing. Sharks and minnows, or “tiburones y pez,” was a hit. Instead of scrimmaging at the end, the kids wanted to play sharks and minnows over and over again.

The biggest challenge of the day was communicating with the kids. Because most of them only speak Spanish, we either had to act out what we wanted them to do or try to communicate any words we already knew from high school. Cindy along with Amy, a graduate student on the trip with us, were a great help with translating.

Overall, today paved the way for the rest of the week and gave us experience in running the camp. Everyone is looking forward to spending more time with the kids and helping out as much as possible.

The day ended with a relaxing swim in the ocean, couldn’t have been better!

Jordan Coburn

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