Urban Renewal kids immersed in Bahamian Culture at Summer Camp

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undreds of kids throughout New Providence communities took part in the 2022 Urban Renewal Revitalized Summer Camp, which concluded on Friday, July 29 with a cultural extravaganza at the Edmud Monxey Park, Blur Hill Rd.

During the camp, kids learned swimming, baseball and basketball; dance; arts and crafts; and music. In all of the camps, Minister of State for Social Services and Urban Development Lisa Rahming says there is a specific effort to instill Bahamian pride in camp participants.

“I am so excited – seeing the kids having fun and participating in things Bahamian, like Junkanoo craft and music, straw and shell craft, limbo dancing and cultural dance,” Minister Rahming said.

Apostle Henry Higgins, Stacy Lee and Tanya Sastry are among Urban Renewal Summer Camp instructors who passed on their skills and knowledge of Junkanoo music – from drumming to belling, and creating Junkanoo costumes by drawing, cut outs, pasting with crepe paper, beading and gemming, and more. From the first week of camp, kids had already made headpieces, shakers, masks and more.

At Urban Renewal Marathon Summer Camp, headed by Myrtle Andrews, youngsters learned the important Bahamian tradition of straw crafts, and they had several straw craft items on display.. Straw and shell craft instructor Del Ludy wants to make sure kids not only appreciate Bahamian culture through art and craft, but also gain skills they could use to make money for themselves in the future. Kids in Nassau Village learned straw craft and crocheting from Gelete Foote.

Dance instructors Harmony Cartwright and Mery Poliard injected Bahamian culture into dance routines for kids in Marathon.

Dancers at Urban Renewal Fox Hill already made their first performance at the Fox Hill Flag Raising Ceremony, ahead of Emancipation Day and Fox Hill Day celebrations.

Fire and limbo dancer Leroy Butler has been passing on his skills to the next generation. Steven Curtis and Anton Knowles are teaching interested kids the sport of baseball.

Character development is also paramount for Urban Renewal Revitalized Summer Camps. Dr. Eric Fox has been spending time giving the youth conflict resolution skills. At urban Renewal Nassau Village, kids learned how to fly drones. Kids are also using the educational colouring and activity book “Say No Then Go”, by the National Child Protection Council, while being offered mentoring and motivation from summer camp instructors and volunteers. Communities involved included Marathon, Freetown, Fox Hill, Englerston, Pinewood, Nassau Village, Centerville, and Bain & Grants Town