A three-week long multi-cultural Children’s International Summer Village (CISV) camp for teenagers aged fifteen and sixteen from Portugal, Norway, Mexico, Indonesia, Finland, Canada, Italy, Spain and the Philippines was held last July at the picturesque Buena Vista Resort in Taal View Heights Country Ridge Homes in Tagaytay Ridge/Talisay, Batangas.
Aside from boasting a breathtaking view of the Taal Lake and Volcano and cool climate, the Buena Vista resort was chosen by the organizers as an ideal venue for the international delegates because of its world-class camp facilities including: a large activity and dining area, cottages and dorm room facilities, a large swimming pool, a full-sized basketball court and badminton court, a view deck, and even a bonfire area, among many other facilities. Moreover, the resort was only an hour and a half from Metro Manila.
CISV was developed by psychologist Doris Twitchell Allen as an ideal staring point to foster peace education among the youth. Dr. Allen and the CISV organization developed programs that offered young people opportunities to interact with their peers from other countries and to form intercultural friendships. Since its inception, CISV has expanded into eighty countries, and over a hundred and fifty thousand delegates has participated in more than four thousand international CISV activities over the years.
Every year, a CISV camp is organized around a specific topic that is discussed and addressed by the delegates along with their adult leaders. This year, the theme of the camp was “Crossroads”. According to CISV Camp Director Chinie Nepomuceno “Crossroads give us the chance to find out who we are, where we want to be and what kind of world we want to live in. Crossroads are life-changing moments that determine how happy we will be in the future and all the possible changes that we can make and contribute in the world”
Nepomuceno further added that global communities face many challenges that require tough decisions. Therefore, summer camps such as the ones organized by CISV facilitate better ways to solve problems and facilitate dialogue through fostering an appreciation and understanding across cultures. Each week, the camp dealt with different topics that dealt with the theme of crossroads, such as “Self and Others”, “Country and Culture” and “Global and Environmental Concerns”.
During the camp’s “open day”, where selected guests and members of the press were invited to watch various camp activities and cultural performances, many first timers to the camp were amazed by the level of maturity displayed by the delegates. “All of them have shown amazing maturity in tackling some pretty major issues.” Said CISV Staff Officer Celine Encarnacion. “We were initially worried that they might shun the Mexican delegates because of the AH1N1 scare but from the very beginning, it was never a concern for them. They’ve learned how to respect each others culture, with no questions asked. One good point also are the Indonesians who do not eat pork. No one from the other delegates even asked or complained why the Indonesians, in particular, were being served a different type of menu. They’re really a great bunch of kids who can be great leaders someday.”
Sixteen-year old Giulia put it best when asked what she thought of her new friends, “The most important thing that I have gained in joining this CISV camp are my new friends. I love them and they will indeed stay in my heart forever,” beamed the Italian Delegate Leader.
For more information on CISV Philippines, their head office can be found at Rm 320 Mile Long Building, Amorsolo corner Herrera St. Makati City, with telephone number (02) 815.3326. They can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buena Vista Nature Park, on the other hand, can be reached at (02) 812.1169, 894.5128, (0917) 828.5449 or email email@example.com