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Life Skills Camp: The Great Wall and More

Today, the teens attending our Life Skills Camp for orphaned teens traveled to the Mutianyu portion of the Great Wall.

The weather forecast was calling for rain, but fortunately it held off while they were there.

Everyone enjoyed exploring and hiking this section of The Great Wall.

After taking toboggans back down and having a sack lunch on the bus, our campers were ready to participate in some lessons back at the hotel.

In the first lesson, everyone was paired off and a string tied to each of their wrists. The strings crossed between the pair, and the goal was to untie the strings without taking them off their wrists.

The campers had fun trying to untangle the strings, but no one was able to find the solution. The leader Mr. Guo explained that he was right there to offer help to them if needed, but no one asked. He then explained how important it is to find the right person to help you when faced with difficulties in life, and that it is okay to ask for help.

After the string game, Mr. Guo talked to the teens about how each person is unique in their appearance, personality, and things they enjoy and that that is what makes them special. Each teen was given a piece of paper and asked to write down information about themselves.

The papers were then hung together on the wall so each camper could see and celebrate how they were uniquely themselves.

Many children growing up in orphanage care rarely hear how uniquely special they are and that they are important to the world. In speaking with campers who attended our Life Skills program in the past, they consistently tell us that hearing this message was one of their favorite parts of the week.

The final topic for the day was how to get out of bad situations. Mr. Guo suggested steps to take when faced with a bad situation such as firmly refusing, giving an alternative suggestion, or leaving the situation. The teens were then broken into groups and role-played scenarios such as a classmate asking for help cheating or a friend wanting help taking something from the grocery store. Many of the teens are not comfortable presenting to the larger group, but everyone was able to perform their scene with the support of their peers.

And finally, the day ended with everyone’s favorite activity – dinner!

This day of visiting China’s most iconic cultural site and building self-esteem and confidence was a success, and it’s heartwarming to see the teens opening up and relaxing as they get to know the mentors, leaders, and each other better.

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