Our Week of Spring Fun!
By Charlene “Esquecida” Dubin
Our first Spring camp was outstanding! We started our days with free drawing, giving the children an opportunity to socialize and review activities for the day with Professor Coco. Their adventures continued with focused-based classes on capoeira and maculele. Each day, class focused on different areas such as acrobatics, floor movements, round kids, among others. Throughout the week it was very exciting to see the older students really focusing and showing their moves to the younger campers, such as Delilah, whom by the third day was showing off her newly acquired skills doing big cartwheels, which she couldn’t do before. First-time Capoeira campers such as Aaron, also showed incredible skills development in just one week. They watched very closely and were not afraid jump right in. They were doing lots of fun movements before the week was over – it was very exciting to see!
After lunch, campers had capoeira-based arts and crafts. One of their creations included painting of the instruments used in capoeira – after creating a rough draft, they painted their favorite instrument separately and then connected each piece to make one full picture. They also created picture frames for their surprise capoeira photo shoot, where they used feathers,sticks, and other eco-friendly materials. The question was asked: why we were using sticks and feathers in our frame? The students remembered that the instruments are built from nature.=
Moving onto exciting outdoor activities, campers went to Van Cortlandt park where they learned a journey of items. Through a guided tour of the Van Cortlandt House Museum campers learned about slavery and discovered that enslaved people worked for the Van Cortlandt family. They immediately related this to the history of Capoeira remembering that enslaved people in Brazil played capoeira in secrecy to then try to escape their masters in search for their freedom. After visiting the museum, campers went on a nature hike exploring Van Cortlandt Park and saw an overview of the parade grounds, to learn that the green lawn we see today used to be farm land a long time ago. They loved coming down to play some soccer with their friends and laughed with Professor Coco when he joined in the fun.
Each day of camp concluded with a roda, where campers showed off their new movements, as well as their new songs.
The campers made this spring week such a success – now we are on to preparing for July’s summer camp!