Thoughts on the First WFUNA Youth Camp and Best Delegate Collaboration

by Logan Park on November 13, 2013

This is a guest article written by Jenny Ko, a participant at the camp, and Richard Pyo, a trainer at the camp.

"A picture collage of Jenny Ko from the first WFUNA Youth Camp"

“A picture collage of Jenny Ko from the first WFUNA Youth Camp”

I cannot believe how much this camp improved my debating and MUN skills in merely two weeks. I can feel and hear the difference of my style of speech and my negotiation skills. When I first signed up for this camp, I was really afraid of debating and was always that one debater who made the most silly excuses not to debate, and that one delegate who did not contribute during any of the conferences I participated in. This camp helped me boost my confidence and not only that, I’ve learned how to become a good leader and a friendly delegate from the most inspirational and definitely emotional, MUN lectures led my Kevin and Ryan. Also, this camp was not simply about learning. I’ve made so many valuable friends and met influential teachers/coaches. The great thing was, each and every one had qualities, which I could learn from. The coaches and teachers helped everyone out a lot and gave amazing advices and constructive criticisms, which helped me improve a lot in many different aspects. Looking back at this camp, I feel that I’ve learned much more than just merely debate and MUN – I’ve learned how to become a leader, improve negotiation skills, become more social and most importantly, having respect for others. I had such an amazing time and I really hope my parents let me join the 2nd WFUNA Camp. Thank you so much to everyone who helped organise this camp. It was such an amazing experience and it was the first camp out of many others that I actually enjoyed.

– Jenny Ko


"A picture taken at the end of the camp, Richard Pyo on the far left"

“A picture taken at the end of the camp, Richard Pyo on the far left”

Hello, my name is Richard Pyo and I had the pleasure and extreme honor of being one of the many staffer’s at this years WFUNA: Korea camp at Kyunghee University. When I think about the experience I had, I’m at a search for words. However, if I were to sum up the week in one word, I’d have to choose the word –unforgettable. I’ll explain why.

To begin, WFUNA Camp did a great job in capturing almost every aspect of Model UN and some how managed to jam-pack a life long journey into a short week. Things I learned in Model UN over a course of 7 years of my life, I was now teaching, through the curriculum set out by Best Delegate, to the brightest young students in a short week. Mentioning the students, I can’t leave out the professionalism exonerated by the staffers. The fellow trainers came with a desire to teach and filled with their own knowledge on how the United Nations operates, came with a individuality that can’t be expressed in words. “To each, his own.” Each trainer had their own way of teaching, had their own style, and most importantly, had their own passion to begin, at least at a grass roots level, informing the students of Korea on current and trending world-wide issues. Was the week a success? I would have to say that it passed success and achieved perfection. Sure, there were logistical errors and communication errors but the students walked away from this camp with a new perspective on international relations, diplomacy, and motivation to do bigger and greater things that would drastically affect not only their future but the world’s future as well.

While this camp was a time to teach the students on the United Nations and diplomacy, I can happily say that I came out learning a modicum of life lessons as well. Three lessons I want to weigh in on are the following:

1) An informed citizenry is the hope for our future.

With communication and free technology now accessible to the world, it is imperative that each person be polished on current events in order to make rational, not rash, decisions. At WFUNA: Korea, students not only negotiated and debated on current events, they were constantly being fed news on North Korea and other lively events.

2) Diplomacy first, “War” maybe second.

The reason I quote the word “war” is because it was possibly the most used word by the Kindergarten class. I was amazed at how much younger generations were now informed about wars because they grew up in a time filled with wars. However, these kids didn’t use the word to declare “war” but to prevent “war”. If one thing was taught right at this camp, it was that diplomacy always must come first. War is not always the answer, and sometimes, merely talking with another person, state, government, terrorist organization, may solve your problems.

3) Confidence comes with Knowledge.

The question that I was asked the most by my students was “Teacher, how do I become more confident?” When answering this question, I realized that confidence first comes with acceptance of self. However, after this, confidence comes with knowledge. The more you know, the more you are able to confidently give a speech. The students learned this throughout the week and as they did their research on their given topics, they became even better speakers who’s confidence level’s shot through the roof.

WFUNA has taught me many personal lessons as well but the two aforementioned above were the lessons that I felt were most necessary in developing my teaching material for the day. Students came to the camp with a desire to learn and a passion to become better students and people. This camp will definitely serve as a foundation and stepping stone for these student’s futures and will surely be an unforgettable memory to them and to me as well. Without WFUNA, I would not have had the opportunity to teach a group of our next generation’s leaders and would not have been able to learn so much from them as well. Thank you WFUNA.

– Richard Pyo


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