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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Project Management Kids Camp 2014: Developing youth to become empowered, successful citizens of tomorrow

The following is a great initiative that I learned about at a recent PMI Leadership Institute Meeting in Dubai. I met and talked with several board members from the PMI Poland Chapter, and was greatly impressed with the passion and energy they have put into promoting Project Management Life Skills for children over the past 10 years. They are now expanding and adding a new camp in another region of Poland this year.

I think you will find this inspiring - and I hope you can help in some way!

- Gary

Project Management Kids Camp 2014: Developing youth to become empowered, successful citizens of tomorrow


Summer Camp is something that many children and families look forward to every year. Experiencing the great outdoors, camping in tents or cabins, swimming in a lake, roasting marshmallows over an open fire, and participating in a wide range of activities with dozens of other children are some of the things that these lucky children have to look forward to every year.

But what about the children who cannot afford to go to camp, especially those who do not have a family?

Every year since 2004, the PMI Poland Chapter (Gdansk Branch) has run an English Camp for orphaned children ages 9 to 14 (http://english-camp.pl/?lang=en). The Summer English Camp started in 2004, and Winter English Camp was added in 2009. At the camp, these under-privileged children enjoy many of the things that other children do at a typical camp, but they also get to do much, much more.

The camps run by the PMI Poland Chapter are fun, but they also provide lasting value to the children who attend these events. When most children head home after a typical summer camp is finished, they take with them fond memories and new friendships. The children who attend the PMI Poland Project Management Kids Camps will leave with fond memories and new friendships, but they also take with them a range of life skills that will set them up for success for years to come.


The Project Management Kids Camp is designed to teach essential life skills to children, using project management concepts as a solid foundation. Each year, between 20 and 30 orphans will get the opportunity to go to camp, with the numbers dependent on financial contributions from sponsors. The camp is not-for-profit, and is organized and run entirely by approximately 40 volunteers who donate their time and passion each year to ensure that these children have a fun time at camp, while also developing new skills. Not all of the volunteers are from Poland; there are a number of volunteers who come from other countries and even from overseas to donate their time and skills to the camp.

Following 10 years of success in running the summer camp program in GdaƄsk, the PMI Poland Chapter is now expanding the summer camp program. The Warsaw Branch will be running their first Project Management Kids Camp in Serock, which is being held from July 20 to August 3, 2014. They are looking for volunteers to help run the camp, and sponsors to help support the orphaned children to attend the camp in Serock.

The main theme of the camp in Serock this year is Make a Movie, as the children will work together through the 14 days of camp to create a film of their own design from the early concept stage through to the finished production.

Volunteers and sponsors are welcome to support either camp in Poland, but we are looking to make sure the first Project Mangement Kids Camp in Serock is a resounding success - and in order to achieve that goal, we need you!

About the camp

Project management skills are not something that is limited to a select few experts; the basic skills involved in working on and managing projects can benefit many aspects of everyone's work and personal life. Developing these skills at a young age not only enables these empowered learners to be more successful in school today, it also sets them up to become successful in any career they choose when they graduate and enter the workforce.


During the Project Management Kids Camp at Serock, the children will engage in a wide range of fun activities as they work together in project teams to produce their own movie. These will include:
- Learning project management concepts
- Learning and practising English
- Sports
- Dance
- Music
- Cooking
- Photography
- Robotics
- Workshops in graphics, arts and handicrafts

The children will gain self-confidence and practical experience as they develop scenarios, create soundtracks, design and select scenery, take photos, record video, create posters, invitations and marketing tools to promote their movie. But above all, the greatest benefits will come from developing collaboration skills by working as a team to achieve a common goal - and to enjoy the shared sense of accomplishment as they showcase their movie at the premiere.

Through participating in these activities, these children will learn essential project management and life skills such as team building, communication, critical and creative thinking, planning, management, budgeting and scheduling. As the children learn and practice these skills, both during and after the camp, there is no telling how far they can go!

How can I help?

The PMI Poland Chapter is need of both volunteers and sponsors.

Volunteers: If you are able to volunteer your time and skills to the camp, please contact Agnieszka or Piotr for more information about how you can contribute. They are looking for a wide range of skills in order to deliver a successful camp, and you do not need to be a project manager in order to volunteer.

Sponsors: The cost to send a child to camp is approximately 2000 PLN per child ($660 USD/ 390 GBP / 480 Euro). Any amount you are able to donate to support an orphaned child going to camp is welcome, but if you are able to fully sponsor one or more children, that will help ensure their place at the camp. 

There are also many benefits of being a sponsor, in addition to the key satisfaction of having helped to make an orphan's life better by providing them an opportunity to gain valuable life skills - an opportunity they would not have without your support. Thanks to partnerships with other PMI Chapters, the PMI Poland Chapter can offer sponsors such opportunities as participation in PMI conferences and seminars in Warsaw and London, or publications of their articles in magazines and newspapers in Poland and the UK.

Photos: English camp in Gdansk | Used with permission of the PMI Poland Chapter - pmi.org.pl

For more information on volunteering for the camp or the benefits of becoming a sponsor, please contact the PMI Poland Chapter:


PMI Poland Chapter Project Sponsor - Agnieszka Krogulec  (agnieszka.krogulec@pmi.org.pl)

Project Management Kids Camp Fundraising Lead - Piotr Wieleba (pwieleba@gmail.com)

 
The next step belongs to you - are you prepared to help make a positive difference in an orphan's life?