Before explaining my experience supporting Circolo Velico Ardizio in cooperation with Vicolocorto, I must first explain what they do. Circolo Velico Ardizio organises summer camps on the beach for children aged between 4 and 12 years, where children carry out school activities such as learning English, operating boats, kayak and sailboats using life-saving protection in a controlled environment where the instructor teaches them.
Circolo Velico Ardizio is a little further away from the city centre because it is in a quieter area of the beach, where there are not so many tourists. The first days it was a bit difficult for me to travel from home to the summer camp because I was not used to use the bicycle, but then you realize that it is not far.
As a volunteer and collaborator with the summer camps, I was in charge of being with the children at the tables at the time they were doing their homework. Later we would go to the sand area with the children to play with them, but first they had to put on sunscreen and a hat. We had to watch over them, make sure that they did not enter the water and that they remained within the safe perimeter. The people who work there are very nice: you can learn Italian with them, also the older children teach you Italian and at the same time you can teach them your language.
After playing for a while we had to go back with the children to the work area to have breakfast. After breakfast the children had to put on sunscreen again and we went back to the sea, but this time, if the weather allowed it and it was safe for the children, we got into the water. We always had to be in direct contact with the children, forming a barrier that they could not overcome for safety reasons.
In turn, the children rode a kayak or sailboat, always under the supervision of the instructor and wearing a life jacket.
I must say that it has been a very enriching experience in which I have been able to learn a bit of the Italian language and culture, and in which I have gained an Italian friend along the way with whom I am still in contact. I would repeat this experience: an experience that I recommend to all potential volunteers, because it reflects the meaning of volunteering.