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Begin with Small Groups

– There are several types of camps—huge camps, with thousands of children, or small, local, summer or winter camps. Which is better? Which is more suitable for the integral principle?

– It depends on the level of the kids’ preparation. I don’t think we should go for anything big in the beginning. We need small groups where everyone understands the goal we want to achieve.

Besides the educators, it is necessary to prepare the staff that will service the place. These people have to go through excellent training so they behave correctly with one another and understand what the setting and spirit in this camp has to be like. It is a place where a child becomes immersed in a completely different setting for perhaps several months, and even before that, prior to the trip, he is taught to be connected to others by creating the right virtual community, whose members support and help one another.

This does not require big children’s camps. We have to progress with small groups, small communities that will become fully ready to assemble into a large community, while not losing the right orientation toward everyone. But we have to start with small groups.

– Should children who come to this kind of camp be prepared ahead or can they go through a “crash preparation” on the premises? Or, can the camp itself be a preparation for further activity?

– It depends on how long the camp will be. If you accept a child for two or three months, then you can accept anyone. For example, suppose there are 50 children. These 50 children are divided into five groups that sometimes work like five groups and sometimes merge together. But many parameters must be taken into account: Are the children similar in age, social origin, and mentality? If they match according to their external, domestic parameters, then in two or three months you will be able to turn any child into something new. In this case, you can accept any child.

However, it’s preferable to have a backbone. Besides the educators, it’s good to have children who are already prepared. It’s like yeast that will provide a completely different formation, a product of the right fermentation, which will eventually have the necessary consistency.

It’s necessary to have two teachers for every 10 children, and it’s necessary to have at least one “senior” group among these 50 children, meaning children who are already prepared. Then there will be no problem accepting any children there. The “seniors” will quickly set all the others in order.

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