Today we got the 140 kids in the district from 4 different public schools for our summer program. In the jeep to the site, I asked them if they knew what a summer camp was and they all shook their head, no. It made me sad, thinking how so many kids their age from privileged families get to enjoy dance or soccer or basketball camp each year and they don’t even know what summer camp is.
I told them we would sing and dance and do drama and art. They all looked excited but shy. Some of the kids in the list didn’t show up because, according to their classmates, they had to stay home and take care of their baby siblings while their parents are at work. They’re in Grade 1. Seriously.
Then the Australian volunteers arrived and I saw them get even more shy because of the English-speaking and the language barrier. So I asked them, ‘You guys know Captain America?’ Then I pointed at this big, tall, blond muscly volunteer from Australia and their eyes literally lit up.
'[But why is he wearing a t-shirt? Where is his uniform?],' one of the little girls asked me in Tagalog.
'[Where is your uniform? It's summer. He doesn't wear his uniform like you],' I instantly replied.
To make a long story short, it was an incredibly fun, fruitful day for them. And they all promised to return tomorrow.
And they still think that dude is Captain America.