The first 2018 JUST DILIJAN IT! summer programmes for children aged 9 – 16 is now over.
Participants in these programmes this year are invited to select from one of five areas: Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Nature & Technology, Leadership and Healthy Lifestyle & Sports. Together with the educators, the kids work on projects in their chosen area, and then present them to the public at the final event of the session.
The participants in the Performing Arts group shone on the stage, presenting a mix of a silent movie, a painting session and a theatrical performance. Theatre expert Greta Susceviciute worked literally day and night on the production: the day was spent with the kids while at night she was making the theatre space ready for the public – the lights in the Black Box concert hall didn’t go out until three or four o’clock in the morning.
Another project was a genuine immersive performance based on “Romeo and Juliet”. It took place across the entire UWC Dilijan campus – despite the pouring rain and thunder which took everyone unawares, the performance received an ovation from all the parents in attendance.
The experts in the Visual Arts group were impressed by how the children prepared for the final project: even those who didn’t try so hard during the session turned into workaholics. As a result, the kids created unique handmade comics, based on characters and stories which they themselves came up with from their own experience. An exhibition of all their work was put on and presented to the guests on the final day of the session.
The Nature & Technology group is famous for presenting spectacular and vivid experiments, that at times prove breathtaking.
This year proved no exception. The participants carried out multiple studies of the ecology of the camp, such as chemical and bacteriological analyses of the water, air and soil, but also found an interesting way to present their work in the form of the Armenian symbol of eternity – the arevakhach. It is noteworthy that the sign itself was made of fabrics that the kids coloured with dyes extracted from plants growing around the camp. Everyone was also very impressed with the presentation of the study of some poisons of... grasshoppers!
The kids who chose the Leadership group staged a business conference in the school’s Atrium. Over two sessions, more than 30 business plans for commercial and social initiatives aimed at the development of the sports, entertainment and educational infrastructure of the city of Dilijan were created. The nature of the projects varied: from the construction or improvement of schools in Dilijan to new businesses.
Worthy of a special mention is the social project about separated garbage collection conducted during the second session. All the collected plastic went straight to the Re-Apaga factory opened by UWC Dilijan alumni. Representatives from Dilijan Town Hall even came to the project presentation.
There were also ideas on improving the JUST DILIJAN IT! camp: one of the teams made recommendations to improve the food in the dining room, and the menu of the second session was altered in accordance with the project.
The kids in the Leadership group made documentary films on various topics. One of the highlights of the project was the tall tales of life at JDI! During the filming, the kids learned the art of storytelling, constructing a frame, and also had the wonderful opportunity to talk seriously about frivolous fictional things.
A short film about autism was also released, raising a very pressing and important question in our society, a problem requiring attention from both adults and children.
The participants of the Healthy Lifestyle & Sports group talked about how to build a daily routine, why we need regular physical activity, and even held a final physical training competition, of course, with the involvement of the parents.
In addition, there was a lively football game against a team from Dilijan. It was joined by participants from small to large, some in the role of players, others as fans.
And also, this past month there was an abundance of laughter, dancing, soulful conversations around the campfire, jumping into the pool, all in a circle of new friends who now will probably keep in touch for life.
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