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Christian English Day Camp 2011

I am so glad it's Friday and I can have some quiet time to reflect on the past week. It was a fun week - there was a Christian English day camp in our church. The younger kids came in the mornings and the older ones came in the afternoons. My daughter Delia was one of the campers in the morning shift and I was glad to serve as a helper. I love helping other people :)
First let me share some pics. You will see one and the same little girl in the pictures. That's my daughter ;)

Playing a game to help the kids get acquainted with the American team
The youngest group (4-6 year olds) with their favourite American young lady.

Playing soccer

More soccer :)

Watching a cartoon
First of all, I'd like to share the benefits of the camp:
1) The kids heard God's word;
2) They heard native English speakers and tried to understand them or at least get used to the rhythm of their speech and the pronunciation.
On Wednesday my daughter shared one thing with me. She said, "You know, mom, that's ok that the Americans don't speak our language. I can already understand the most important things they say." I asked her, "So what are those important things?" She answered, "They are 'yes', 'no' and 'ok'". :) It sounded very funny and at the same time very true because I saw how those little kids communicated with the American team. They understood some words, but they got the meaning of most things that grown-ups said by their gestures, facial expressions etc. And if they wanted Americans to do something with them or for them they just took somebody by the hand and showed what they wanted. What a simple and effective strategy :)

What I missed in camp was ... English teaching (it was supposed to be an English Language camp, so I kind of expected some structured approach which makes things a lot more effective and easy for students). The group that came obviously didn't do a study of teaching methods and didn't choose a method they wanted to use, so English teaching was mainly a spontaneous process (with a couple good exceptions). Which means that the positive effect of the camp on the language abilities of most children will probably be lost very fast.

But in spite of this fact, I can still say that I loved the camp! It was a great chance to change my usual routine and to serve. The team was wonderful. It was clear that they love children and love the Lord. And they shared not only their love, but also His love with the little ones.

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