Wow, I have so much I could write about. It's been a crazy week. It all started last Saturday when I went for camp training, which was actually just getting to know the San Francisco staff who came out to help with our camp. We played a bunch of games and I met my two helpers (after finding out I'd be the leader of a small group during the camp), Jonathan and Marli. Jon is a 16 year old from SFO who is ethnically Chinese, but actually doesn't speak a lot of Chinese. Marli is from Myanmar but has lived in Taiwan for about 7 years (actually she lived in Yilan and went to my church, but I somehow never met her!!!!) and speaks Chinese and a number of other languages, but not a lot of English. So at times, I felt like I was translating for both of them!! Kind of ironic, since I'm the only one who doesn't look Chinese!! I was a little worried at first, but between the three of us it worked out ok.
Monday was more training and last minute prep, and Tuesday, we welcomed 110 students into our camp with ages ranging from about 10 to 18. Our group had 10 students, all of whom were 13-14. It was a busy week, but fun. Every morning I was up at 6:30ish, since we had to leave here around 7:30am to get to the church. I spent the whole day at the camp, usually getting home after 6:30pm, grabbing some supper, finishing up things in the office for the next day, and then crashing before 10, well except on Wednesday when LOST was on until 11.
The theme of our camp was Making a Difference, which kind of goes with a great song by Sunshine singers (on of whom is my awesome roommate Libeck). Throughout the week we did games, activties, and skits which taught English and of course challenged the students to make a difference in their own homes, schools etc. Each day the students worked on two large projects: creating a dance/interpretation for one of the songs we used, and creating a project that would somehow make a difference. The first day my students were low on ideas, and didn't seem to excited about doing either. I had 5 girls and 5 boys. 4 of the girls were really into dancing and started their own routine, but the 5th was REALLY shy and didn't want to do it. So I kind of juggled all these students and assigned them each a section of the song. In the end, I think it turned out great, with the boys doing a human pyramid as their finale!
I really got to love those kids over such a short time. I really enjoyed the camp (except for the being exhausted part lol). I was so proud of my group and really ALL the groups when they presented on Friday. I do like camps because they're so high energy, and they have an ability to bring out the best (though sometimes the worst) in students because it's such an intense activity. They really do push themselves more than they would in a weekly class.
Speaking of a weekly class, I started teaching the first of three weeks in a "Bible Basics" class at our weekly English Bible study. I've taught the Bible before, so I wasn't too worried about that aspect, but I was teaching the newcomers class, and since it's summer vacation, we've been getting a LOT of newcomers. Last week there were around 100! Well we'd also encouraged our students from camp to stay and attend, so I was envisioning a class of 200! Fortunately there were "only" 70, which was still quite a few. And despite having minimal time to prepare for it (and botching my magic trick....), I felt like it went really well. Now I wonder how many of those 70 will come back next week!!
There's so much more I could write, and I will post pictures as soon as I can get them from SOMEONE. But for now I should go get ready for next week's KIDS camp...should be interesting!