Schoolchildren learnt the value of a positive attitude when they took part in the first overseas Mirrors SuperCamp.
A group of 22 young Bermudians joined campers from across the world at the weeklong camp, run by Quantum Learning Network at the prestigious Stanford University in California.
The youngsters were given personal development classes, but organisers said the life lessons picked up as part of an international group in an overseas environment were just as important.
Anaya Minors, 15, from the Berkeley Institute, said: “Not only was it super-academic, but it had a mixture of what kids wanted to do. It was a really good balance of having fun and getting serious.”
Pupils were denied access to their mobile phones for the duration of the weeklong camp.
Anaya said: “I think that was a good thing because we really got to bond and connect with each other.
“Overall, it was a really good experience and I would definitely encourage other people to go.”
She added: “My biggest learning experience was learning how to not be closed-minded and how to have a positive attitude towards every new opportunity that comes your way.”
Iesha Tucker-Minors, Anaya’s mother, said: “Now she’ll be more prepped for when she does go away for university, like what to expect for a dorm environment, meeting new people and how to conduct herself.”
Mirrors covered the $3,000 cost per person for the trip for all the pupils so parents only had to stump up a $300 registration fee.
Ms Tucker-Minors said: “When I realised how much the trip cost and that was awarded to her by Mirrors, that was icing on the cake.”
Nicola Paugh, the Mirrors recruitment manager, said the trip was included as part of the eight-month annual SuperCamp to give pupils “the added benefit of international exposure”.
They joined pupils from countries including the United States, the Bahamas, Canada, Japan and Singapore.
Anaya said: “They didn’t want us to be closed-minded to the programme, so they had us in rooms with people not from Bermuda.
“It was a bonding experience to have a new roommate from a different part of the world.”
Parents of participants also attended a parent workshop, which was designed to give them a deeper understanding of the concepts learnt by their children, so they could reinforce the learning at home.
Kimberley Jackson, the programme co-ordinator at Mirrors, said the SuperCamp was “a very rewarding experience”.
She added that Quantum Learning Network had a strong curriculum and the overseas camp gave young Bermudians “the opportunity to shine on the international stage”.
Ms Jackson said: “Students grew noticeably in their confidence and social interactions, and gained academic tools for the future.”