My First Camp Experience as a Facilitator – Beatrice

Beatrice leading a dance session
Beatrice leading a dance session

I was rounding up for the day at the office after spending my day staring at a computer screen and flexing my fingers on the keyboard, as I do every day when I got the news that I was requested to be an Uwani Hub Facilitator for the 2021 summer camp.

Of course, I was surprised, but I was happy nonetheless. If there is one thing I love doing, it is teaching young ones, especially when it comes to the intricacies and basics of writing and storytelling. Imagine my utmost surprise when I learned that it would not be writing, nor is its storytelling, neither is it bagmaking (my other guilty pleasure/skill).

It was a dance slash workout. The horror!!!

Now, anyone who knows me can say one thing about me, and it’s that I wouldn’t say I liked dancing, and I could not break a step to save my life. What was I to do now? The dilemma came. I could not refuse the person that asked me, and I could not dance.

Running a film production program in University, working in a social communication department, running a designing T-shirt business, and freelance writing all at the same time thankfully took my mind off my little dilemma as I immersed myself in my bouquet of activities.

Before I could say, Jack, though, a week had passed, and it was already the second week of camp. I had to show up, put on my big girl pants, and be the best fake dance instructor in the Ijebu axis. We got to camp on Sunday evening, exactly a week after camp had started. That night, after rummaging through the coffers of YouTube and watching every available tutorial of basic dancing, I was ready to give up. Then I saw the light.

A friend referred me to a YouTube video. It was called ‘Learning the ChaCha dance. How did I just hear about this dance routine? It was easy, straightforward, and even a terrible dancer like me looked like a pro. I spent that night jumping and hopping in the room.

Monday morning bright and clear, I faced the kids with my newly learned routine, and surprise, surprise, it was a hit. The children were fast learners. Of course, we had a few stragglers, but I knew they would catch up.

That night, I decided that one routine every day would be depressing. Off to YouTube, I went. I learned the Jerusalema dance steps, hopped and huffed all night long, and by morning, I was a pro. I was pretty proud of myself.

Tuesday morning, and it was another hit. We started alternating the routines per day, and each day came with improvement. When I noticed the lack of enthusiasm, I told them that the first ones to get to the workout ground before me would get a present each day. They probably did not think I meant it until I gave candies and wafers to the first two that got there before me the next day.

Guess what? Like clockwork, six showed up before me the next day. I also upped the challenge and told them the best six would get presents. It was good interacting with the children and seeing their respective personalities come out on the dance floor.

I had fun at the summer camp, and I would love to say it made me an excellent dancer, but this is real life, not Disney world. It did motivate me to register for an online fitness class, though. And I have been consistent for the past five days. Maybe I would actually look fit enough when I’m walking the floor at my upcoming pageantry.

You can watch the compilation of our routines here.

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