Deputy PM Richards addresses participants.

The Department of Youth Empowerment officially opened its 36th Annual Summer Residential Camp Monday.

The week-long event, under the theme: “Empowering Our Youth to Manifest Their Gifts,” promises the approximately 150 participants a fun-filled, educational programme.

Acting Director of Youth Empowerment, Pierre Liburd, welcomed campers and noted that volunteers have invested hundreds of hours to the planning and design phase of the programme, as well as the physical transformation of the Beach Allen Primary School to a comfortable and secure camp site to promote learning.

“The purpose of this camp, the reason why you are here, is to grow and develop as positive, well-rounded, straight-thinking, capable young people, who we would encourage and prepare to make the right decisions to ensure, as far as possible, your own success in life,” he told the 8 to 16-year-old boys and girls.

Airbrushing, baking and cooking, clothing and design, cosmetology, dancing (African and salsa), drumming (African and marching band), film making, music, painting, photography, bag making, hair braiding, fruit design, and pageantry are justr some of the disciplines to be offered

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Youth, Honourable Shawn Richards, told the participants that they will be exposed to values such as honesty, respect, responsibility, loyalty, discipline, teamwork, kindness, and reverence ,as well as to skills that will serve them for a lifetime. He also explained that the value of person-to-person contact should not be overlooked.

“You will be given the opportunity to take a break from technologies such as televisions, cell phones and the internet, thus allowing you to rediscover your creative powers and engage with real people, experiences and real emotions, while participating in real activities,” Deputy PM Richards stated. “In essence, you will be immersed in the actual world where you will get to appreciate what is real, genuine and non artificial

Other activities planned include a hike, a gospel night concert, sports day, a jingle and skit competition, field trips, a talent show and more. The 36th Annual Summer Residential Camp ends on Sunday.