The Thata Ithuba Camp this time was so different to previous camps not because it was a different site but because we got in depth with our relationships as mentors and mentees. Besides the fact that it was towards the end of the year, and everybody had either just finished exams or they’d closed from work everybody was excited for the camp.
We were greeted with amazing smiles from the day we arrived to the day we departed. The Architecture was top notch a wow, which made it so fun to explore the whole environment. Being in the outskirts of Cape Town, away from City gave it a livelier experience. Everything exceeded our expectations.
On Thursday morning right through to the afternoon we took part in a very informative discussion conducted by Free to Grow, an organization geared to ignite one’s purpose, passion and allow one to see their potential for growth. This discussion was very conversational which helped a lot at times if my colleagues were unsure of something, thoughts were challenged and ideas were challenged too. The focus of this discussion or rather session was on assertiveness. You might be wondering why the focus was specifically on that. Well it is about time that we learn as young adults to not be pushovers but to acquire skills that will help us settle things calmly rather than in an aggressive manner so that we don’t step on people’s toes. From this session we gathered so many tools to take into the year ahead with us, we’re more aware of how one can stand their ground and be their own person even if things aren’t supposedly done their way, and if in disagreement, to learn to communicate that in a well mannered way. We’re adults now and those are great skills to take into the real world of work with us so that we maintain healthy relationships with all people at all times regardless of the unordinary situations we find ourselves in. There are so many benefits to being assertive and not aggressive such as, exercising leadership, dealing effectively with criticism and resistance, taking control of your work and life, you learn to stand up for yourself and those that are unable to stand up for themselves and most importantly you express your opinions, expectations and concerns in a direct and honest manner which is a skill so many need to master in life, to get through it. We also got to discuss how conscious we need to be of the behaviors we exercise or exert unknowingly so that people can be comfortable around us and not get offended merely because of how we act. The umbrella term for that is called observable behavior which assertiveness and aggressiveness as well as passiveness is a part of. To conclude, the discussion was incredible, so many life lessons have been taken from it and we always hope to do so many of these so that we can grow to be emotionally intelligent human beings.
The main highlight was the Mentorship feedback segment which mainly focused on the Mentee House Visits, we got to learn more about the mentees background and know where they resided as well as when last the Mentors met with the mentees. This Camp was amazing and we definitely look forward to next year as we tackle yet another phase of the mentorship programme considering how tough a year Matric is, which will require a lot of emotional support. Having said that another important factor to understand is that being a mentor comes with a lot of responsibilities not only over the Mentee but as well as over your own pockets. As youngsters being financially mindful is very important. We need to learn to manage our pockets and know where our financial investments go. The budget session came in so hand and we learnt in depth on how to be a responsible young individual and how to pace your financial situation and account for any monetary problems we might come across in the near future. Financial stability is what every young individual seeks and it is best to know where and how far off you are from that stability. All in all, the camp was informative and a lot of skills we learnt from the sessions were ones to take in to the next year with us to help us reach our goals. Therefore we’d like to thank all the camp organisers for their endless efforts.
Happy festive season!
By Mac & Amava