June 28, 2015

English Camp!

Treasure Hunt in Sighisoara with my team of campers. We tied for 1st place by the way :) 
This past week, I helped with English Camp at Veritas. I have a lot of thoughts (all good ones) about the week, but more on that in a separate post. For now, I'll give you some general information about English Camp. This camp is for high school students in the area who already speak some English. The obvious purpose of the camp is to encourage the campers to speak and improve their English, but it's so much more than that.

The campers are encouraged to ponder two questions: "Who am I? and Where am I going?" throughout the week. How do we do that? We talk about our personal characteristics, friendship, honesty, values, goals, future plans (jobs/careers), etc. The topics are introduced to the group as a whole, but we always split into small groups and/or pairs to dive a little deeper. The campers are encouraged to work through these topics to help develop their own values and goals. It's actually quite moving. Oh and we also have fun. Duh. I mean, I consider those discussions to be fun, but we also have various activities for the campers in the evenings.

Who loves small group discussions?! These two boys!
The camp is broken up into two parts. During the morning/early afternoon, we introduce those topics and have discussions. The campers are also required to keep a diary of the week to visually capture what we do each day. Prizes are awarded for best diaries at the end of the week! There is a break in the afternoon, and the campers return in the evenings for various activities. On Monday, the campers CREATE! They are able to make various crafts: paint mugs, make jewelry, paint wooden objects, make cards, etc. On Tuesday, they participate in a Treasure Hunt around town. I must mention (again) that my team tied for 1st place. Go Yellow Team! Then, on Wednesday, they are able to finish any crafts they started from Monday, but they also learn some Scottish dancing! I forgot to mention that the director of camp is a lady from Scotland named Morag. She comes to Romania once a year for at least three months, and I have found her to be one of the most enjoyable people. She is EXTREMELY organized, and if you know me at all, then you understand why I love her. She also happens to be extremely kind, and just a lovely person overall. Two of her close friends, Anne and Allen, also come from Scotland to help for the week. Anyways, back to the evening activities...On Thursday, we watch a film called "A Place for Annie", which goes into some of the topics we discussed throughout the week. During the film, the leaders work on prize-giving and plan for Friday.

Morag and the mug painting crew.
On Friday morning/early afternoon, the campers work on creating a CV (resume) for an interview. They are able to choose from three potential positions as an au pair/nanny, restaurant server, and tour guide, and spend the day preparing for an "interview". I had the privilege of interviewing the campers interested in being an au pair. It was kind of fun. In case you were wondering, I live with my husband and our three children (ages 2, 6 and 8) in London. None of these positions actually exist, but it's to get them thinking about how to present themselves in an interview and to prepare for the future.

In the evening, the campers are encouraged to invite their parents, relatives, and/or friends to come and see what they've been doing all week. We display all of their crafty creations from the week, as well as worksheets, games, and other activities. The guests are invited to sit and watch a slideshow of photos from the week while Morag shares with them. Then, the campers are presented with their diplomas, as well as prizes, and we close the night by showing off the campers' Scottish dancing skills. All of this makes for a lovely end to English Camp.

Scottish dancing at English Camp in Romania. Always so much culture :) 
And the fun doesn't end there...tomorrow begins the second week of English Camp! I can't tell you how excited I am. We do it all over again, but with different campers. And sadly, Morag will not be directing camp this week, as she will be traveling back home. Instead, Adela and Svetlana (two of my coworkers from Veritas...who I greatly enjoy) will be in charge, along with myself. I will be the only native speaker this week...the pressure is on! I think I can handle it though since I've been speaking English for 27 years now. Oh and a fun fact, some of the campers thought I was their age...NOPE! Try adding 10+ years!

As I mentioned in the second sentence of this post, I have a lot of thoughts related to English Camp, but also just in general. Nice and vague, right? To be a little more specific, I have a lot of thoughts about young people, and the idea of investing in them. However, we all know I'm very wordy and this post is already long enough. I'll save those thoughts for another post so to be continued...

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