If this piece doesn’t cause you to stop and ponder, nothing will 
Activate Youth Camp is Plugged in again, this is the third season in a row. Although I was not part of the first two seasons, I was only privileged to have known about Activate Youth Camp through a mentor, a friend who has been so inspiring and dear to my heart. The theme for this season ‘The Awakening’ does not only apply to the campers but also to me as a mentor in particular. This is so because some silent questions I have been seeking answers to have been answered somewhat during the course of lectures and sessions meant for the campers. I call the mentees campers as if am not a part of them also. Funny you would say am I too not in camp?
For these teenagers this period will be a defining moment in their lives. They will look back years from now and say “AYC 2015 marked a new turn in my life”. This camp has offered the opportunity to these teenager’s who have in one way or another been hindered, deprived by the society and some by their families from expressing themselves. They have been given the freedom to think, act, make decisions for themselves, although this will be done with proper tailoring by facilitators and mentors. More so, these seven days have been so fulfilling and inspiring; given that it was like I relived the childhood I really missed. I was quickened to the enormity of the task that has to be done in making better the lives of children who have somewhat been deprived by society. 
AYC is a forum where every child is allowed to air their views without a stint of condensation and are set on the right paths to becoming whom God has destined them to become. Thus Awakening the Sleeping  Giant in
Every Child… I for one as a mentor, sessions meant for the mentees has also enlivened me. This has allowed me to have a rethink about my own life. 
The Journey of Guided learning session with Mr. Timon Oviawe, spurred my having a rethink about my life and where i would love to be in the nearest future. It’s important to state at this point that, this is my first Activate Youth Camp, and if given the opportunity, I will do it again to help build a better world and great leaders of today.
I know I have been activated! My apologies to my mentees for sharing in their experiences.

Robert Auta
Mentor, AYC’15


Whatever you think of, whatever you imagine, you can achieve – Nancy Isime

Day 5 started with the usual morning drills for all the campers and mentors at about 5:45a.m. This is to help everyone stretch their body and prepare them for the activities of the day.
The six teams on camp had a meeting after their breakfast. During the meeting, the mentors in each team commended the children for their performance at the Dance Night the previous day, and for giving their best in the contests so far. They further encouraged them not to relent in giving nothing but their best in subsequent endeavour. Afterwards, the children were informed of the tasks ahead of them for the day. The tasks were ‘action at home presentation and drama night presentation’. This made it imperative for all the teams to rehearse and prepare themselves.
The general session was facilitated by Timon Oviawe, an I.T Expert. He took the campers through the topic: ‘Be the best you can be’. Before commencement on the topic, he asked them to write their dream aspiration at the top of their note, and what might impede them from getting there. He shared inspirational stories and then urged the campers to write a letter to themselves in their future, congratulating themselves for what they have become in ten years time. It was inspiring to hear what the children wrote when being called out to read their letters. He advised them to value their potentials and build a solid foundation for the future using the 4Ds: Determination; Dedication; Discipline; Diligence.
The DAY 5 skills session were indeed educative for participants in all the classes, as the children and mentors continued from where they stopped the previous day. The breakdowns of the activities are highlighted as follows: 
T-shirt Production Class: The participants in this class designed t-shirts by themselves, using ink and mesh
Bead-Making Class: The participants in this class made bracelets with crystal beads, and were also taught the processes involved in making earrings.
Tailoring Class: The participants in this class continued from where they stopped in the previous sessions on simple skirt making. They were able to make skirt for themselves, using brown papers.
Shoe Making Class: The participants in this class added stealth designs to the shoes made in the previous days.
Batik and Adire Class: The participants in this class did something enticing by exploring their acquired skills to make designs for mentors and facilitators.
Dance Class: The participants in the dance class were introduced to Salsa dance in groups. It was so captivating.
Photography Class: The participants in this class were in the hall to view pictures of camp activities taken previously, and their performances were evaluated by the facilitator.
Arts and Crafts Class: The participants in this class completed the previous day’s work and did the finishing using spray.
All very enriching for the participants.
The DAY 5 ‘Journey of Guided Learning’ was facilitated by Mrs. Okunnu, a seasoned Lawyer, who challenged the Campers on the importance of discipline and decorum. She explained the idiom “the shortest way is not always the quickest way home” using her life experiences. In rounding up her session she charged everyone to be all they can be without losing focus. She ended it with Lighthouse Family’s hit track; ‘I Wish’. The audience were thrilled! 
We live in a world that is challenged with numerous problems. Thus, the urgent need to start proffering workable solutions to these problems. With the crop of young adults opportune to be at AYC ’15, the zeal to tackle these problems head-on has been triggered in the campers. The teams moved on to present their call to action on global issues affecting their immediate community. Teams Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald did presentations on ‘Cultism’; Team Jasper presented on ‘Same Sex Marriage’; Team Opal dealt with the issue of ‘Child Neglect’; and Team Amber discussed about ‘Corruption’. This session was indeed thought-provoking for the audience, as mentors also learnt something new.
The sporting activities were a bit different from the previous ones, as campers and mentors played together as teams. The activities included outdoor games (football, basketball) and indoor games (scrabble, tennis, chess etc.). Indeed, it was a delight!
After stretching muscles, campers and mentors converged in the main camp hall for the final sessions of the day. The session was facilitated by Mrs. Abiola Segun-Williams, an Entertainment Expert. She shed light on issues pertaining to entertainment and drama, especially in Nigeria. She shared stories about her successes, challenges, academics and relationship with God. At the end, she admonished the campers on the essence of building a successful career, and how best to go about it. 

The night was agog once again with the drama performance of all the teams. They acted stories on diverse topics that directly affect them. Everyone was delighted to welcome Nancy Isime, a Presenter of Project Fame West Africa. She was thrilled with the children’s Stage performances and did not hesitate to promise them her support in acting, should there be any opportunity anytime soon.. Before leaving the stage, Nancy shared a bit of her story to encourage the campers on the likely challenges they might face on the road to success. The night was brought to an end with group photographs and autograph signing by Nancy for virtually all the campers. It was really a night to remember. 

Another Camper chimes in …

I don’t even want to go back home!
Activate Youth Camp, hmmm, where do I start from. This is my first year here and to be honest, I didn’t want to come. I felt like I had better things to do, but from Monday, 27th – Friday, 31st July, 2015. It has been a whole lot fun. Right now, I don’t even want to go back home, for sure I am coming next year. When I came to AYC, I was very, in fact, extremely shy, but this programme has helped to boost my confidence now.

I can comfortably stand up to volunteer for any impactful activity taking place around me. AYC has also helped me to control my attitude and character to people, how to relate (etiquette), and how to never give up on my dreams.
For sure AYC has activated me to be who I want to be and how I can achieve it. Thanks to Mrs. Kikelomo Omooba for starting up the initiative.
Adekunle Anita

AYC15 Camper

Congratulatory Letter to Self …2025

You cannot beat the dreams and aspirations of #AYC15 Campers when prompted to write a letter to self,  to be delivered in the year 2025. Here goes Victor…
Dear Victor,
I hope all is well with you and your family. I heard that you are now the Chief Accounting Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, well it is a great pleasure.
I am very excited and happy that I have achieved this great success and my ambition which I have been longing for about a decade now.
Yes, one day Obi will surely become a man and now it has come to fulfilment in my life. I give thanks to God most especially for making this day possible and for making me to accomplish my ambition as the Chief Accountant of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Thanks to God Almighty.
Yours sincerely,


I Found My Path in Life

Wow! #ActivateYouthCamp!! should I call it a blessing? or my manna from heaven! It has been four good days. I have heard words and I have met with distinguished people that I believe are God-sent. I thought #ActivateYouthCamp is one of those camps you go to and come back feeling dry, but no, this one is unique, one of a kind. 
I still have so much to learn and I am happy about the amazing people I am meeting. This camp has really started working in me. I am positive that God brought me here to ‘find my path’. I found my path here, right in this camp. Now I realise that God is for everybody and if you leave God, He will leave you.
I know that life is not that easy but if you have God you have the strength you need. ‘It is in me’. I will not give up on my dreams. I have my own path to create. I have it in me!
Christiana Ibiwoye

#AYC15 Mentor


Day 4 was enthusiastic! We all woke up to the field for our drilling exercises. The day’s activities started with reminisce of yesterday’s event and sharing our inspirations. Going for team meetings, the task was to continue brainstorming for global problems and proffering local solutions then to rehearse songs for the night’s music competition.
The general session for Day 4 was “Pictures Galore”. We had group pictures where we formed ACTIV8 and various shapes in our teams. We took group and personal pictures of our friends and the photographers were at their best for the whole duration. 
Skills learning continued in earnest with campers learning skills in various Arts and Crafts, Make-up, Photography and Knitting and their creativity began manifesting since they needed time to take shape. Arts and craft made bags from looms and small jars from old newspapers. Knitting made berets and bags perfectly while photography class were in the field taking portrait pictures as assignments.

Mr. Adebola Odu-Onikosi in facilitating the journey of guided learning challenged campers to be at their best and strive for excellence. Using life examples of his growing-up and learning years in Mushin on his personal journey to excellence.

On Action Home, the children preferred solutions to global problems having local implications. It is always a delight when children within a short space of time can provide smart and innovative solutions to global issues.
The night session was the best of all as we had renowned gospel act Gaise Baba perform his hit song “ Awa O Tush O” getting everyone on their feet dancing to the glory of God. Gaise went ahead to challenge campers to maintain their virginity till they are married and to take the “Chastity Vow”. The night ended with singing competitions where all the teams put up a great performance

It is always anticipated that the next day would be the best of all!


One of our amazing mentors shares some of her early experiences.. Be enthralled

I registered for the 2014 AYC camp but couldn’t make it because I couldn’t be excused for a week from work. However, that didn’t stop me from registering for AYC 2015. I am glad that I could take time off work to be here. My experience hasn’t been a bed of roses, but it has been laced with different sets of beauty. I had thought I was coming here to be a mentor and be of help to the campers, which I am doing to the best of my abilities. More importantly though, I have also been mentored as a mentor. We got here a day before the campers and had facilitators educate us on diverse topics that will enhance our role as mentors. I particularly enjoyed Mr Taiwo Akinwumi’s session and though his session was funny, it was enlightening. I understood that even trivial things might not be so trivial when it comes to raising the right kinds of teenagers and children. Even songs, words and ‘white lies’ shape them in one way or the other. They do as we do, not as we say. So we must not only speak right around them, we must do right. We must be right.

I paid with my time to be here, but I can say I have gotten a whole lot more. What is time without knowledge? As I earlier said, it hasn’t been a bed of roses. There have been times during the 3 days I’ve been here where I’ve been upset about a thing or two; but we’re humans and we err. What motivates me though is that we all are here for a great cause. We might not see eye to eye on certain issues, but we must keep our eyes on the goal; which is to raise a better generation. And that is exactly what we’re doing.
I’d definitely love to be a part of AYC 2016. Not just because I’d like to be a mentor, but because I know I’d also be mentored and will leave the 7 days camp a better person.I haven’t left AYC2015 yet, but I can tell that there’s also been a paradigm shift. 
Mobolaji Olorisade.


“… I told you it was amazing” 
Read this brilliant piece from one of our Campers
I woke up at 3am this morning with an agonizing pain in my left leg and did not know what to do because I did not want to wake any mentor at such hour, so I got up and walked around my block. Occasionally, I would walk back to my room and try to sleep. I fell asleep but woke again at 5:30am after 30minutes of sleep which is not exactly the best way to start your day but still forged ahead with hope; hoping  today will be amazing.
I was not disappointed. The day started with energizing drills that woke me up and somehow cleared my head. After that, I went into my room where my wonderful roommates and I got ready for the day with a breakfast of bread and stew. After breakfast, we were all taken to the hall where the camp commandant Mr. D addressed and gave us our agenda for the day. The first on the agenda was team meetings.
I am in team RUBY and our slogan says “We always stand out”. I got to meet my wonderful team mates and mentors who are gems to me. After team meetings, the opening ceremony started. Our special guest was the governors’ wife Her Excellency Mrs. Bolanle Ambode whom we nicknamed our grandmother. Of course, if we have a grandmother, we have to have a mother and this title was given to Pastor Mrs. Kikelomo Omooba the convener of Activate Youth Camp.
After the opening ceremony, we went for our skills training. My  chosen skill is make-up and from the way my facilitator Feyzo spoke and the kind of equipments she carried, I knew she was a professional. I had so much fun learning during her class because she was not boring and did not sound tired or afraid of talking to us. Our next facilitator was in the general session. His name is Mr. Yomi Ogunfowora, he spoke to us on “The journey to guided learning” and gave us advice based on his life experiences.
Later today, I took courage to see the  Camp Doctor who gave me medicine. I do not know what it is but I know he is certified because Activate Youth Camp coordinators only bring professionals so I was not bothered. All I know is that the headache went away and I was able to enjoy the next activity in sports. Our coach took us through different basketball drills after which we actually played and my team won, so you can imagine how happy I was. I also loved the fact that the mentors were participating as well.
Finally we had entertainment night which was comedy and our special guest was Seyi Law. He started by making us laugh and giving us important advice on success with his personal experience. After this, my team mates competed against other teams in a comedy show and we laughed a lot. Team Emerald won but we were all happy for them because we have been taught team work.
One of our mentors Champ Miles bought us a cake and we all had a taste of it after which we went to bed.
So my day started out with a terrible ache in my leg and a headache but it ended with smiles and laughter and a cake. I told you it was amazing.
Pereye Raine, 15years

Team Ruby.


The fun learning on Day 3 began with the morning drilling exercise to activate campers for the activities of the day before moving to the hall for team meetings where team members had dance rehearsals from an in-house troupe and instructor chosen within themselves then proceeded to share knowledge on what was learnt from the  previous day skills sessions. 
The first general session was led by Mrs Ifunanya Onuh of the Etiquette Place on Teenage etiquette. Her first question; “Teenagers who are perceived as good looking and attractive perform better in class than those who are not. True or false?” stroked a conversation from the children to defend this stereotype. She summarised her etiquette session with the following key points;
  1. OUTER SELF:  dress sense, comportment, body language and manner of speaking.
  2. INNER SELF: Character, Confidence, feeling of self worth and values we assign to ourselves.
The following session was the ‘Skills learning’. 
Dance class perfected the seven steps choreography and learnt how to dance “Onyeoma”; Tailoring class learnt how to make skirts and the shoe making class did some practice from yesterday’s theory into shoes and also learnt the fact that a shoemaker’s hammer is lighter than a carpenters hammer. Make-up class transformed normal faces into beauties like models amongst themselves while the crème de la crème of today’s skills is the Adire and Batik class which started today and successfully complete designing beautiful wrappers.
On the Journey of Guided Learning, Mrs. Susan Oyemade taught the children on “You are the Architect of your Life”. She urged the children to imagine their future, find skills necessary to improve and put it to practice; immediately a child saw herself as a musician and came out to render a song with her sonorous voice. Upon ending her session, she gave them all an assessment to help identify where they are now, where they want to be and actions to help them reach their goals after which all the participants stood up to sing R-Kelly’s “I Believe I can fly”.
These inspired moods were transferred to the field for the adventure series and sports where everybody had so much fun. 
The final session was on dance with Mr. Segun Lawal who enlightened participants that every dance has a message, being unique breeds’ excellence and dance is important to life and to God.  Every team presented a dance performance and He judged the dance performance based on different parameters. Third place Team Emerald, Runners-up Team Opal and winners are Team Jasper!!! The Campers celebrated July birthday celebrants with a sonorous “Happy Birthday” song and sumptuous cake.


Welcome to Activate Youth Camp 2015 Day Two- Sit, Learn, Reflect, Run, Shout, Leap, Jump, Dance .. 

The Day 2 activities started with a rigorous drill in the early hours of Monday, 27th July, 2015. The drill was very much needed as it availed the children and mentors the opportunity to stretch their limbs and shake off malady, before commencement of the day’s activities.
Lest we forget, all the campers were divided into six (6) teams on the first day of camp. The teams are Amber, Emerald, Jasper, Opal, Ruby, and Sapphire. All the teams broke out into groups and each of them initiated a slogan to identify with throughout the camp period. The chanting of the slogans was quite intriguing, as it facilitated team bonding.
The commencement of the 2015 edition of Activate Youth Camp was officially declared open by Her Excellency,  Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, First Lady of Lagos State at about 9:00am. The opening ceremony was packed with: Arrival of invited guests; Arrival of Her Excellency , Opening prayer; Introduction of key dignitaries; Welcome address by the Convener; Short documentary of previous AYC Camp experiences; Special Musical presentations; Goodwill Messages; Key note address; Vote of thanks; Group picture. Her Excellency in her key note address, admonished the children to remember that the essence of the AYC15 Camp is to bring out the hidden talents in them. She therefore implored them to feel free to pursue their respective passions, skills and vocations, be it cooking, weaving, baking, hat making, handcrafts, dressmaking, hairdressing or indeed any other. Her Excellency gave a resounding commendation to the convener, for deliberately focusing on public schools amongst other things. Before her departure from the camp, the children expressed their appreciation to Her Excellency, the Convener and her husband, including all mentors, and as well as themselves for being a part of AYC15
Next in the activities for the day was the ‘Skills Class’ segment. This is one of the most educative segments of Activate Youth Camp. The children and mentors have the hands-on opportunity to practically learn the skill of their choice, ranging from dancing, shoe/bag making, tailoring, photography, bead making, Ankara designing, art and craft, batik, to t-shirt production. The skills class, which is still at the introductory stage, is adjudged world-class, according to the participants. They have access to core professionals in every chosen skill class. This is indeed a rare privilege. 
The series ‘Journey of guided learning’ rolled into Day 2 of the 2015 edition of Activate Youth Camp, as Mr. Abayomi Ogunfowora, a Farmer,  and retired CEO of a Stockbroking Firm started by asking the children what each and every one of them aspire to be. He gave some of the children opportunity to answer his question. Interestingly, their responses were loaded with great aspirations. This geared the facilitator to share the story of his life. How he started identifying with mentors at a much younger age, to be a better person. He also talked about his journey through school from one level to another, and how he diversified into other areas of interest simultaneously. He said he never lost focus of where he was going. In discussing further, he made the children realise that, environmental factors are great determinants in one’s life. He opined that these factors can either make or mar one’s future, depending on how you want it. Meaning that one can decide how he/she wants his/her life to go against any environmental factor. These were the words of Mr. Abayomi. He made the children understand that everyone has their strengths, and implored them to use it to walk in the path of their dreams/aspirations. This is the reality you must face, he said. He satisfactorily answered the questions of the children. The session was ended with a powerful quote from him, “God is for everybody. If you leave Him, He will leave you”. Meaning everyone needs God to excel in their endeavours.
Without an iota of doubt, the sport/games session was indeed interesting. Beyond the imagination of many children, they had the opportunity to choose from variety of sports/games. The types of sport/game available in camp are: Volleyball; Handball; Athletics; Basketball; Aerobics; Football, Table tennis, Scrabble, Ayo olopon; Ludo; Chess.Many children used the opportunity to try out a new sport type that is different from the ones they are very familiar with. Apparently, there was never a dull moment for the children and mentors during these activities. Believe me, mentors too seized the opportunity to keep fit physically and/or mentally. It was indeed energising for all.
Now we can boldly declare: If you are not at the 2015 edition of Activate Youth Camp, you are nowhere! Indeed great things are happening here. The camp hall ambiance during the comedy night was amazing, as Seyi Law, a seasoned Nigerian Comedian, baptised the children and mentors with laughter in abundance. He was the Special Guest for the night, there was never a dull moment. Seyi Law did not only make the audience laugh, he also shared some life stories for them to learn. Pointing to the fact that he did not get to where he is today at once, it demands a process that has taken so much of commitment and hardwork, he said.The comedian told the children how vital education is for them if they truly want to attain their goals in life. Seyi opined that to attain success in life, the following must be considered: Talent; Action; Determination; Mentorship; Hardwork; Humility. All of these coupled with God, will help sustain the attained success. The children were represented from each team to showcase their creativity in comedy. Just like in every other aspect, they never disappointed the audience, including Seyi Law, as they came up with interesting and brilliant acts. When the Guest Speaker was to give his verdict on their performance, he couldn’t stop applauding them for jobs well done. He advised them on developing self confidence and as well declared all six (6) teams as winners. In Activate Youth Camp, everyone is a winner!