Well, I did my first English Camp last week. It was a lot of fun and I hope to do another one soon. It was at a resort in Nahkon Nayok which is about 2 hours outside the city. When I heard ‘resort’ I originally thought it would be somewhere along the gulf coast but it was actually north-east of here and situated in the hills.
Day one started early. We (9 teachers and 2 staff) spent the night in a hotel far from the resort and we had to be there for opening ceremonies at 8:30. We had a great group of people from all over the world. English, Canadian, South African, Philippino, and American. Pretty groovy. We opened up with some songs and simple introductions. I had been told what to expect but I was still nervous. I Can Read caps their classes at 8 students so I’m never really dealing with a large crowd. This camp had something like 260 kids. Eventually we broke down into 9 teams with me as the head of Team 2 (later re-named Super 2). There were all kinds of silly games and challenges for the kids to do. I suppose this was rather obvious going in but I failed to realize that I would be more of a camp counselor and not really a teacher, which was fine with me. We did do a little teaching on the subject of the wonders of the world. We circled around to each of the teams and did a little presentation. I taught on the Coliseum. After lunch there was a period for the kids to go of and play games. A couple of the teachers and I were in charge of the soccer match which was a lot of fun. The field had a nice view of the mountains rising up and a light rain fell which cooled us off a little. After that (we won obv) there was time for a shower, dinner, and a few end of the day activities before some much needed sleep.
Day two started with breakfast and a few ceremonies. There are always a lot of ceremonies. We played a couple more games, watched a slide show of the day before (?) and wrapped it up with a concluding ceremony. There they announced the winner of our camp-long battle for team supremacy. Sadly, Super 2 didn’t win although we dominated the team cheer competition and placed a strong third in the ‘Build your own Wonder’ contest. We had lunch and were in a van heading back to Bangkok by 1:30. These English camps all vary in length and can be up to 5 days long, probably more. I would like to try my hand at a longer one someday. I made some new friends and now I feel plugged in to a whole new community of English camp ex-pats. My friend (who originally set me up on this) had a birthday party the other night and I ended up running into some of the people I had just met a couple days earlier. Very cool. All in all it was a very enjoyable trip, and I’m glad I did it.