By Hook or the Crook

I am looking forward to go working in Jamaica to give something back to this great country that gave so much to me. I have met many wonderful people who has the drive to give to something. it is with their help and support to is making this endeavor possible. By the’ hook or the crock’ is an inside joke shared with a great friend and colleague, coach Brian. We decided to run the camp last year even if we had only a few supplies. The time was long pass the due date for the supplies to get to Jamaica on time. Coaches who had committed to the project started pulling out and we were left in a lurch. I had such high hopes for this endeavor. I had never done anything like this before, and taking a friend with me was not such a great idea after all. What if things go bad? Where was the back up? there was no safety net in place if we fall flat on our faces. …by the Hook or the Crook seemed apt as we just didn’t know how things were going to turn out…The days before we left for Jamaica were so angst fill for me that it. We still did not know how things were going down. The fundraising was going slow and we started getting worried that we were going to disappoint some children who had penciled in to the camp already.
Whenever I spoke with my local contacts in Jamaica they assured me that the kids kept asking about the camp all the time. I know I did not want that to be on my conscience as I know how it felt to be promised something and that promise never got kept.
Coach Brian, Coach Chris, Coach Noah, and Phil O’Brien and a few others here in the US were always very supportive, and whether they realized or not they did helped me through that rough patch. I made several mistakes when I planned this camp but one of the biggest one was not telling the person closet to me everything. I mean everything. Here I was planning to be gone for over two weeks and not mentioned it to her, my plan. I clued everyone else was in on it but her…I don’t know how I let that piece of nugget got overlooked. So in spite of everything she helped me with the packing and setting up the agenda for the daily activities once we were there in Jamaica. I was so wrong about the way I did things but in the end everything came together.

The coaches that made it made it worked with the resources we had at our disposal. The first few days started out slowly. Some folks said that is attributable to the chick V disease that held some children back in school later than usual. The following days proved successful as we saw the numbers picked up incrementally. The four coaches myself included had our hands full until the end.

Special Thanks to
Coach Hani who doubled photographer and interviewer for the camp
Coach Aisha who made sure we on track
Coach Bryon who worked tirelessly
Coach Dani – last minute addition but proved valuable
Noah Sobe- The Village project
Tina Sernett – The Sports Shed
Jim Silcock- Hunt4Soccer Foundation

Patrick Dunkley-East Portal Club President
Hector Stevens- Club Enlightment
Ms. Virginia Turner- Jamaica National
Ms. Shawn Walker- Lasco

We have around twelve possible coaches that has committed to projectwwintercampjamaica.

Fellow travelers

As I mentioned in a an earlier post I spoke with and networked with Mr. Warren Bruel of Dream weavers international see links

These organizations will be playing huge roles this year by donating equipment and any support within their grasp.

Fellow traveler

There are many different kinds of people in this world…today I met with someone who is an agent of change and by his deeds, many people are being helped.  Gary Robinson is one such person.  He is a doer who has adopted Jamaica as his own and he and his organization make things happen in my country.  Read up on his mission and see the good he is doing.

Fellow travelers: people who makes an impact

This week was a great week on many levels with regard to getting the word out about the second annual soccer camp coming up in December.  I made the acquaintance of one of the most driven person to a cause i have come across in a long time.  Gary Robinson heads up an incredible organization in Jamaica that is doing wonderful works to make Jamaicans have access to much needed healthcare in rural Jamaica.  He runs the cornerstone Jamaica and as we love to say in Jamaican parlance “every lickle mek a muckle”.



The Second Annual Project Winter Camp Jamaica


The second annual Project Winter Camp Jamaica is a volunteer-led initiative where specially trained Chicago area soccer coaches will work in collaboration with the East Portmore Portals Football Club to provide a high-impact soccer learning for children and youth ages 8-15 in the region of East Portmore, Jamaica.

This venture will be led by Dean Lothian, a Master Soccer Coach with America Scores Chicago. He will be joined by volunteers, and will conduct a winter camp on December 14–17 in Portmore, and December 19–22 at Savalamar in the parish of Westmoreland.

This year’s goal is to provide 150 boys and girls with academic and life skills, alongside athletic training. The biggest push this year is to get more girls involved in the camp. There is an absence of girls playing soccer at a younger age, and we believe that the implementation of programs that encourage such efforts will prove worthwhile in the future.

The Need – Decades of experience and research working with inner-city youth in the United States has shown that athletic extracurricular activities, coupled with high quality mentoring and academic programming, can transform individuals and communities. Project Winter Camp Jamaica will bring that expertise to a large coastal city on the southern coast of Jamaica that has a severe need for community-based projects. By training and working with local coaches, Project Winter Camp Jamaica will also expand the capacity of the East Portmore Portals FC to support the local community, and engage youth in activities that allow them to build skills and advance their own lives.

The Strategy – Using methods and an evidence-backed curriculum developed by leading American urban sports enrichment organizations, Project Winter Camp Jamaica will run a four day camp, consisting of morning sessions, followed by afternoon sessions at two different field locations in East Portmore. The camp is easily accessible by foot to the targeted participants. Volunteer coaches will donate the cost of their own airfare and will travel to Jamaica to lead this four day winter camp for youth, and the parallel “Coach-The-Coaches” project that will build capacity and impart leadership and mentorship skills.

Your contribution – 100% of your donation goes towards program costs. As an initiative that relies on a committed pool of volunteers, Project Winter Camp Jamaica manages to have all of its administrative costs donated. Your donation will build on corporate and equipment donations already received from companies like Hunt4Soccer, The Village Project, and The Sports Shed. Your gift will also build upon in-kind contributions of services that have been secured from restaurants and other businesses in Jamaica. Your donation is tax deductible as Project Winter Camp Jamaica is being run under the auspices of The Village Project Inc., a US registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that will serve as the fiscal sponsor of the project. The Village Project Inc, has a successful track record of running overseas projects, in places like Poland, Serbia, and Mali. They are a small nonprofit dedicated to providing quality educational programs for children and youth that enhance their capabilities for civic, social, and economic participation.

Charitable contributions are needed to make Project Winter Soccer Camp Jamaica possible.

Thank You for your consideration.


For additional information, please contact : Dean Lothian 773-984-2166 or

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