Now, when most people think about summer camp, they think about crazy games, water fights, and shenanigans out the wazoo. Well, this camp I was at for the last two weeks wasn’t completely like that…it was an English summer camp, so there were five hours of English class a day. Yup, five. Outside of class the kids did indeed have crazy adventures with their counselors, but I didn’t really see much of that free spiritedness because I was one of those English teachers that taught those five hours of English class a day.
As an English teacher, my life at camp consisted basically of these four things: sleeping, eating, teaching, and preparing to teach. It was an unrelenting cycle with scarcely a let up for anything else. It wasn’t all bad though. There were, in fact, a number of great things that happened during those two weeks…
~ The first night, the entire camp hustled together into the auditorium to watch the Eurocup soccer final, in which Spain was playing Italy, and in case you never knew before, the Spanish are VERY into their soccer…VERY. In fact, some parents were calling the week before camp to make sure their kids were going to be able to watch the game. So, even though I understand very little of how the game works, it was fun to be in there with all the screaming kids and the counselors riling them up with chants and noisemakers and such. And of course, everyone was super excited when Spain won!
~ About an hour a week, I got to go with the kids to their Chinese class, which was more like a small workshop to introduce them to the exotic world of Asian culture and language. It was interesting, and the kids loved it – I can’t tell you how many times I got asked every day after the first Chinese experience when we were going to Chinese next.
~ During one of the many activity brainstorming sessions we teachers held, I learned about this amazing game called Guns, Bombs, and Angles. The kids LOVED it. It was the perfect way to trick them into speaking English and reviewing the material we had covered in class.
~ The second week, my level used Going on a Bear Hunt as a sort of launching point to teach prepositions, “can” and “can’t,” and habitat vocabulary, and one day I decided to steal a fellow teacher’s idea and do a sort of chant with the kids to act out the story as a class. For the first bit, not everyone was really that into it, but in the end, when the bear is chasing the children, everyone was running around the room in ecstatic abandon. A little chaotic, but fun!
~ Our last evening at camp, we teachers participated in the students’ talent show – we danced to “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. It was a simple dance, but so much fun! And the kids were excited to see us out there performing : )
~ At the end of her last Daily Diary entry, one of my littlest students wrote “I love you, Laura.” By that point I was so tired and it was so sweet that I basically started crying. That will probably be one of my favorite memories of my time at camp this summer. For sure.