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The City added some spice to this year’s Camp Cape Town event, which gives more than 100 teenagers the opportunity to experience the outdoors. The group of 120 young people, aged 15 and 16, were drawn from across the city to test their culinary skills at this year’s Camp Cape Town master chef competition. 

The fifth annual Camp Cape Town kicked off on Monday 11 December at Zandvlei Resort, where 120 excited teens participated in a variety of outdoor activities during the week-long camp.

One of the highlights was the much anticipated master chef competition where participants showed off their cooking skills in a potjiekos competition.

The annual camp aims to develop leadership skills through participation in a range of team-building activities.

‘A goal of the camp is to develops life skills with a focus on learning through participation instead of lectures. These teenagers have been identified as role-models in their communities and we want to equip them to activate positive recreation programmes for other youth in their areas. The camp gives young people from various areas and backgrounds the opportunity to come together for a fun-filled week and I have no doubt that many friendships have been forged,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

The camp is aimed at youth who participate in the City’s recreation hub programmes on a regular basis.

Activities at Camp Cape Town included surfing lessons facilitated by Isiqalo Waves for Change, kayaking and raft building, speed reading and an amazing race hosted by the Muizenberg Library, an environmental education programme and beach walk, evening activities and workshops, and the cooking competition.

For the master chef competition, participants were each given a basket of raw ingredients and had to work together as a team to prepare and cook the most creative and tasty potjiekos.

Alderman Smith was one of the judges and criteria included presentation, creativity, team-work and flavour. The winning team was the Hawks who prepared a delicious spicy lamb and vegetable pot.

‘Our young people are skilled in many different ways and at the camp they have the opportunity to discover new, and possibly hidden, talents. Cooking is definitely one of these abilities and I have been surprised and tastefully delighted with the results of their hard work,’ said Alderman Smith.

He also commended the officials and camp facilitators.

Each year, 36 camp participants who show exemplary leadership skills are identified to take part in a three-year leadership programme which includes recreation camps, workshops and volunteer sessions at the department’s after-school and holiday programmes. These young people are then appointed as camp team leaders for the following camp.

‘The camp is a springboard into leadership for these young people, in line with the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan goal to level the playing field. Giving our youth the chance to gain new skills forms part of that,’ said Alderman Smith.

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