A transformative experience awaited 180 young individuals from Saipan as they gathered for 4-H Marianas’s Camp Maga’lahi. Spanning from June 12 to June 24, the collaboration between the Northern Marianas College's Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Services Family, Community, and Youth Development program (NMC-CREES FCYD) and 4-H Marianas aimed to immerse participants in indigenous culture, marine environments, and healthy eating practices.
During the initial session tailored for five to seven-year-olds, approximately 60 campers embarked on visits to the Northern Mariana Islands Museum of History and Culture, American Memorial Park, and the Kagman Community Center.
The second session, which had 120 campers aged eight to twelve years old, participated in visits to the Managaha, American Memorial Park, and interacted with various agencies such as the Commonwealth Ports Authority – Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting, Star Marianas Air, Northern Marianas Technical Institute, Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, Division of Coastal Resources Management, NMC-CREES’ Nutrition and Health Program, and the Northern Marianas Sports Association.
Impressed by the program, one parent shared the positive impact it had on their child, noting increased confidence and willingness to participate in different activities. The parent expressed, "He is now willing to join different things... He’s more willing to participate in the camp again because he knows he’s going to make friends and he’s going to have a good time."
Campers and camp counselors alike benefited from the camp's wide range of activities, which fostered the development of leadership skills and self-confidence. By engaging in team-building exercises and learning about healthier lifestyles, environmental awareness, and facets of CNMI history and culture, participants gained valuable knowledge and experiences.
"4-H Camp Maga’lahi has been a rewarding experience for both the campers and our team,” NMC-CREES FCYD Extension Aide Beda Mundo said. “It has been heartwarming to see the participants engage with their culture, explore the natural environment, and develop new friendships. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to their personal growth and look forward to future camps. A big thank you to all of our partners for making this year’s summer camp experience a memorable one.”
“Congratulations to 4-H Marianas and the NMC-CREES Family, Community, & Youth Development Program team on another summer of providing excellent Positive Youth Development opportunities for youth ages 5 and older!” CREES Interim Dean Patricia Coleman said.
For more information about 4-H Marianas programs, please visit the NMC-CREES website at crees.marianas.edu or on Facebook and Instagram @4HMarianas.
A camper listens attentively as Ashley Sikayun from Northern Marianas College's Cooperative Research, Extension, and Education Services presents on the importance of proper nutrition and food groups.
One of the Junior campers from 4-H Marianas' Camp Maga'lahi practices her woodworking skills with an instructor from the Northern Marianas Technical Institute.