Our first two days at camp have been interesting, but fun for our students. Today, our third day in Huizhou, our students are beginning to settle into the camp schedule. OVO School, is a small but warm international school here is southern China. OVO has a diverse population, with students from China, Korea, Mexico, Spain, and France. We arrived in Huizhou on Friday afternoon, and our students had lunch with the OVO students, and then participated in the camp’s Opening Ceremony, where our very own Chris Nickles and Jack Kahler spoke on behalf of the American students, thanking OVO for the opportunity to visit and teach while sharing a bit about their experiences thus far in China. Afterwards, all of the students participating in the camp were broken into four teams: Yellow, Red, Green, and Purple.
These groups were to be their “families” for the week of camp. With the time that remained, the students in each color group took advantage of the opportunity to learn a bit about their new peers. A relaxed day of badminton, touring the campus, and Jenga ensued.
Sarah Nickles and Mackenzie Kuhn were tasked with the difficult responsibility of teaching the first lesson of the camp. They broke their session into two parts: explaining the geography and regions of the Unites States, and more specifically, teaching the geography of Virginia. They used empty maps of the Unites States and Virginia to allow students to color in the different ecosystems as a way to practice what they learned. After their lesson, Sarah and Mackenzie taught the international students different American games, like the famous “Duck, Duck, Goose” and (a kindergarten favorite) “Heads-up, Seven-up”, both of which were well received.
After teaching, our students resumed the role of “student” once again, where they were instructed in Mandarin Chinese. Their first lesson was about the four different vowel tones that each vowel has in the Chinese language. From there, student began to learn basic conversational Chinese such as how to introduce themselves, how to say where they are from, and how to count from 1 to 10. After their lessons, there was a Chinese activity where students could further practice their new linguistic skills with native Chinese speakers. The remainder of the afternoon was host to more badminton, basketball competitions, and leisure time where students were able to relax from the camp activities of the day.
Overall, it was a successful beginning to the weeklong camp experience. Today, Chris Nickles and Jack Kahler are teaching American history, and have already had a host of activities to illustrate the American past to this international population. Our students are doing a great job working with students from varying backgrounds, with varying language skills, and with differing levels of interest. Their knowledge is impressive, and they are working hard to explain the differences that make our country unique. More on camp tomorrow.
Morning Tai Chi: Variety Makes Perfect….how true.