It’s time to wrap up the camp posts. I have to keep checking the calendar to convince myself that it has only been one week (tomorrow) since the end of the camp. What a week it has been. I’m so confused by what day it is and what is going on. So, the final weekend of the camp, I left late Friday afternoon and came back mid-day on Sunday so I could sneak in a quick visit to a friend in a nearby town. We had planned to climb Ista, but the conditions were not in our favor. I think that worked out for the best though, because I was feeling super-guilty about missing even just the one day of the camp. I would have completely missed Day 7 if we had climbed the mountain.

Day 6’s theme was Goals. The second psychologist came back and the girls made collages with their short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Speaking with the other organizers and looking at the collages after the fact, there were a few trends. The most interesting and bothersome trend was that the girls had a lot of things in the medium-term goals area, coming before their long-term career goals. This provided a good opportunity to discuss how maybe the career and thus income should come before the goals of auto and home ownership. The girls also developed a plan and elected officers for the Mariposas club they have to start once back home. The club is a requirement for all participants, and one they key sustainability elements of the program. The girls stay involved, and they can bring in others that didn’t get to attend the camp this year. The 2 main camp organizers will be the club mentors.

Day 7 including outings to the botanical garden and various sites of interest around Cholula, and then a celebratory barbecue. I didn’t get back in time to go on the outings, but that worked out perfectly for me to help set-up the barbecue. Burgers were cooked. Cheese slices and pickle slices were policed. Burgers were eaten, and then the evening activities began. We did a number of egg-carry races were the girls had to balance an egg in a spoon being held in their mouth. The egg races were slightly more popular than the three-legged race, but neither compared to the limbo and the mummy-wrap. Also mixed in were superlative awards where every girl won a certificate and a prize for being the best at something, as voted by the other girls. Wonderful cupcakes were eaten, and the organizer graciously made extra so that we could eat one or two additional cupcakes where the girls weren’t looking. The mummy wrap was highly successful with even some of the occasionally less-engaged girls thoroughly active and laughing. At that point all we had left for prizes were toothbrushes and toothpaste, but you can’t underestimate the value of good dental hygiene. We didn’t even finish that late, so we all got to get a full night’s sleep before the graduation ceremony on the final day.

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One of the short-, medium-, and long-term goals collages.

A session on the starting and running of a club once the girls are back home. This club is a requirement for all camp participants. It keeps the ideas moving forward and provides a way for more girls in the communities to get involved.

Electing the new club officers

The evening festivities about to begin

The "Si se puede" or "Yes I can" piñata was both a celebration and a way to combat all those times we hear or say "no I can't do that". Each girl had to write something she usually says "no" to and stick it on the piñata. And they they got to beat it down.

The party after the talent show. All the singing and dancing was great. I got to see videos afterwards, including the original song they wrote for and about us. Total guilt trip for not being there to hear it live.

The vehicles line up for the Day 7 outings - first to the botanical garden and then a tour around Cholula.

Matching hats in the botanical garden

Now's where I come in! Just in time for the celebratory barbecue evening on Day 7.

The master chef at work.

The subject: burgers.

Everything ready to go.

Healthy appetizers to begin.

The votes being tallied for the superlative prizes.

The superlative awards - everyone is the best at something.

Awards and prizes being handed out.

What could it be?

It's one of these... things...!

Everyone had to open their prize and show the rest of the group.

The activity portion of the evening begins. First up, egg-in-spoon races. Uh, no, of course we didn't leave some undetermined amount of fallen, cracked egg messes in the parking lot.

Second activity: limbo!

hehe. I got to take pictures instead of demonstrating my flexibility, unlike the poor organizer show here.

The last round was tough. Any way that you can make it under works for us.

Final activity of the evening: the mummy wrap.

Still a ways to go on her.

Very nice technique

What's going on?

Judging time. All teams did excellent work.

Even bigger smiles upon unwrapping.

The best prizes ever! Everyone likes good dental hygiene.

I’m not sure what comes next for me exactly, but I am having interesting thoughts about going back for next year’s camp. I would love to stay involved and do this again. We shall see.