Puget Sound Chapter Donation to Nigeria Youth Camp

Posted February 25, 2012

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Michelle Mickelson, wife of pastor Mark Mickelson, put out a request on Facebook in January 2012 for leather working tools leather pieces, leather thread(cord) and tools for the youth camp in Nigeria-- also any ideas besides weaving a belt out of the leather thread. Larry Hardison corresponded with her regarding leather working and their requirements i.e. types of tools, leather etc. She responded that a basic set of tools would be about $50.00. The chapter donated enough for six tool sets or $300.00 worth.

Michelle was going to buy the tools from Tandy Leathercraft out of Dallas, TX and said that they will send pictures of 2012 camp, including pictures of what LifeNets donation helped create.

Mark and Michelle Mickelson have done a great job with the youth in Nigeria. Below is more about the camp from Michelle.

NIGERIA TEEN CAMP

United started the Youth Summer Camp program in 2006. They had around 30 campers and about the same number in staff. Dare Akinbo (pastor) has used it as a time to train young adults in leadership skills.

Up until last year, camp has been in Afobaje out of Aiyetoro, North West of Lagos. In August 2011, we moved camp to Okunkobo Beach, along the Lagos coastline.

When we were at the Afobaje site, the teens had activities such as Compass Checks, Bible Studies, computer skills, volleyball, team challenge, crafts, etiquette and dance lessons. When we started attending, Mark even found rocks to climb (which is unusual in Nigeria) and introduced Rock Climbing. Even with a picture, their friends back home could hardly believe they did it.

Camp was moved for various reasons; one was to save on cost. It has turned out to be an awesome blessing. . . a tropical get away. Along the beach in this area, various large International Companies own beach front property, with facilities to be used on weekends to entertain employees and clients. The local villagers maintain the property. With the economy the way it is, during August there are few people. This enables us to rent out one of the beach facilities with adjoining property.

Camp includes Compass Checks, Bible Studies, Team Rope Bridge, Kickball, archery, swimming, team challenger, volleyball, a craft, etiquette and dance classes (from ballroom to Polynesian) and a themed banquet at the end of camp. Some of these activities would never have existed if it weren’t from generous donations from brethren in the United States. They don’t have access to the equipment needed. It is not uncommon for us to have 6-8 pieces of luggage filled with camp gear and equipment when flying to Africa. Our facilities are space; with getting water from the ocean to flush toilets and water from the well to wash up. The only power is from a generator and all meals are cooked out in the open. We sleep in tents . . . but with it comes the ocean breeze within yards and a place all to ourselves. At the end of camp, no one wants to go home.

In regards to the craft classes. In picking a craft, we have always tried to pick something that if the teen chose to excel at the craft, it would be a way that they could make some income. They have requested we do leather tooling for camp 2012. I put word out by Email and Facebook of our needs for equipment and the response has been overwhelming. I am in the process of learning the skill myself and finalizing our needs list to set up a leather craft kit to stay in Nigeria, and we hope to include the camps in Ghana and Cameroon in the activity as well. It will be a 2-3/year program, adding on to the skills each year.

Here are some pictures of the various activities that we have had at camp.

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