The University of Ottawa is known as an institution that has quality partnerships with exchange programs all over the world. The Gee-Gees LIT Summer Camp is adding to that notion, and for the past few years has been building connections with students who come over from the Spanish capital of Madrid to participate in the camp. The LIT camp is a four week program that teaches young people about responsibility and organization, while allowing the campers the experience to build their confidence and personal skills.
Maria de Mesa is a student who is returning from last year’s camp to help as a volunteer this year. She said she enjoyed meeting lots of new people at the camp and became much more confident after she had taken what she learned during the LIT program and applied it to her daily life. Anita Ruivero, an exchange co-ordinator with Fun Languages Institute, says that students who participate in the program are encouraged to become leaders and role models at a much younger age in Canada than they would back in Spain.
Many of the students who come from Madrid to participate in our LIT program say they enjoy the new experiences, such as learning new sports like fencing and hockey. However, perhaps the most important aspect of the camp that students take back with them is the inspiration to get more involved with their community when they return home. Many of the students take up volunteer opportunities to improve their community and build more professional relationships when they return back home to Spain. An example of this is Victor Ruiperez. Victor is an 18 year old from Madrid who participated in the LIT program last summer. He said he embraced interacting with new people at the camp and that he enjoyed his experience at uOttawa so much that he decided to come back to the nation’s capital this summer to shadow various businesses in the Ottawa downtown core.
The Gee-Gees LIT summer camp is one of the most in-demand camps that the school has to offer. With the help of partners such as Fun Languages Institute, young people from Madrid and other parts of Spain get the chance to understand a different paradigm of thinking when it comes to leadership and their own potential!