After Junior High School, I got bored with the word ‘vacation’ and so, seated in the bus from Takoradi to Accra, after my first encounter as a fresher in Arch-Bishop Porter Girls’ Senior High School, I was planning on how best I can make this ‘vacation’ different and more exciting for me.
Home seemed quiet as usual but got a surprise welcome hugs and love from my parents and older siblings. Afterall, their last baby survived her first SHS drama.
Mummy welcomed me with an extra touch, my favourite food on a bright afternoon. Yaaaay! I really did miss mum’s cooking and she got my favourite, ’g)b3’ (beans stew & fried plantain) with sliced pear.
Fast track through the week, it was the fourth day at home and I had not come up with anything exciting for myself apart from the usual musings with my other two musketeers, Yvette my childhood friend and Kelvin my cousin. Kelvin was our ‘go to’ person for all the gist in town, the neighbourhood and even in other schools. With rapt attention, listening to him and Yvette on the conference call amidst laughter and all, I didn’t hear Efo (my dad) knocking and entering the room.
“Yayra”, he called with a grin on his face and that grin I knew so well; its either good news I will like or one which will need a little convincing power. I had to excuse myself from the conference call and pay attention to him.
He began to speak as he sat slowly on the side of the bed, ’yayii (pet name from DAD), ‘what do you think about spending a week of your vacation outside home?’. Will it be at Grandma’s end? I asked. ‘No! its will be at a Leadership Farm Camp’, he said. A farm camp? What kind of farm? Is it a cassava or pineapple or pepper? ‘what will be doing at a farm?’
He had to burst into laughter, I guess I knew why? I am not so good with any weeding tools and also allergic to certain plants though not allergic to the produce I get from the farm (ha-ha!). He knew how difficult, it was for me to make new friends, especially in an environment where almost everyone seems new.
‘On a more serious note, I will encourage you to go for this leadership camp for young people, I will not give you any more information, I want you to go experience this camp for yourself’, He said.
That was the one statement I remember or let me say I stamped on my heart as I prepared days later to the famous leadership farm camp. Was I having any expectations? well I don’t think at that moment I had in mind the word ‘expectations’ but I did put down some notes;
• I will experience something different and unique.
• The impact of the camp will affect my academics and relationship with people.
• It will be a lasting experience for me
Indeed, the camp was outside home in a very serene environment. We were welcomed by smiling happy faces. Registration and bed assignments were fun. I was given my name tag and voila! Ushered to my room by one greatness guide (that was the name tag she had one). I later got to know the meaning and essence of a greatness guide
Auntie Diana, was one of the greatness guide I bonded with during my camp and she was the one who ushered me into my room with other campers. We had a wonderful orientation and I seem to be getting the same energies bubbling up even with the few sessions on the arrival day.
Subsequent days were intriguing, with fun activities that enable one to draw life lessons and learning. Amazing right? It made me wonder how the art of playing a game like Ludo as a family was just for the fun. We never thought of drawing life lessons from them although the game always came with various outburst of emotions.
I believe that is LeadAfrique International for you, always giving you the extra to boost your personal development. I began to realise how I was changing towards other campers; I was very reluctant to interact with other campers. Especially the younger ones but following the sessions and advice from Auntie Diana, I understood the need to be more open and friendly. The results were absolutely amazing.
A particular lesson I took home was the need for me to speak out and be heard with all confidence wherever I find myself.
You can imagine my quest for the other camps the following years. This time I had to remind Dad to make sure I am well registered for the Leadership farm summer camp. To return more confident, with a 10-year plan and focused mindset to do exceptionally well in all my endeavours, I will surely not miss any camp unless, due to situations beyond my control.
Years passed, and I am still a proud camper of the most transformational camp in Ghana. The LeadAfrique camps are never the same. Each camp I attended had a different energy and feel to it. The games, activities, learning sessions, trips, etcetera were unique in its own way, every other time.
I was given the role of a greatness guide on my third camp. Yes! I appreciate my growth. I remember telling Yvette and Kelvin, I will be a greatness guide when I am done with university, but Christmas came early for me. Passion and consistency definitely pay off.
What or who is a greatness guide, you might be asking. In LeadAfrique each individual must define a greatness guide in his or her own words as it makes it easier to own it and put into practice.
To me, Yayra Godiva Ladzekpo, being a Greatness Guide is not just a fancy title, but someone who guides, inspires, motivates and encourages young people to live out their best life. I pledge to speak words of faith and victory to young people and to let them know how much they are loved, cherished and ready to give them the listening ear.
I am proud of where I am in terms of my leadership skills and behavioural growth. Through the camp sessions over the years, I have built an attitude of positivity and of value, knowing that, I can be and do the best. It affords me the opportunity to be conferred as the Main Chapel prefect in my days at Arch Bishop Porter Girls’ Secondary School.
Now, in the University of Ghana, pursuing Sociology and Kiswahili. LeadAfrique is celebrating its 5th anniversary and for this year’s camp, yours truly has been selected again as a greatness guide for this year’s 5th Camp, the Self- Reliance Edition.
I am here today, to inspire and to build greatness in young people because of the consistent participation in Leadership Farm Summer Camps.
From a shy person to a bold, confident, bubbly and respected individual, I encourage all parents and guardians to sign their wards up for Leadership Farm Summer Camp every other year.
Leadership Farm Summer Camp 2019
4 concurrent camps designed for campers; Grenade(5-7years), Turbo(8-10years), Dynamo (11-13years), and Dynamite (14-19years).
The theme for the 5th camp is SELF-RELIANCE
Venue: Christian High International School
Call or WhatsApp: 0574368092