Ten Things of Thankful: Summer Camp Edition

10553603_904662536216968_1254067680936128336_nIn my Building Rome post this week, I mentioned that my week was busy with teaching at an English Summer Camp held at our university. It was the first time our the university had held such an event. It was an intense, but fun four days. On Monday morning, we met 30 young people–ages 10-16–who stayed with us for four days and three nights.

From the time I was first asked about doing this way back in February, I’ve been thinking about the different lessons I could do. But it took the pressure of getting those materials actually ready for production that really got me moving. And even after we started, I made some adjustments. There’s something especially interesting about doing something for the first time. So many aspects of the situation can’t be predicted. Still, I have much to be thankful for during this last week.

  1. I am thankful for 30 enthusiastic young people from many places around Taiwan to join in our activities, even as we were figuring out the details and making adjustments as we went.
  2. I am thankful for my fellow teachers, Megan and Judy, who were a joy to work with. We also continued bouncing ideas off each other during lunch and other encounters in the hallways.
  3. 10557378_897939373553681_3076575304406176014_nI am thankful for the teaching and residential assistants. They are the ones who stayed with the kids in the dorms. Each of the three teachers spent an evening with the group, but these students from our Department of Applied English were totally awesome and they did so much to make our lives easier. It was especially good for me, since I’m the teacher with the least time in Taiwan (of the three) and the weakest spoken Chinese.  Because of the efforts of the TAs, I was able to communicate with all the campers, regardless of their English ability.
  4. I am thankful for the support staff who helped with the organization, the preparation, the printing, the errands, the shopping for baking supplies, the paperwork, and just anything that needed to be done. And everyone was so cheerful the whole time.
  5. I am thankful for the air conditioning in our classrooms. Which will make more sense after you read #6.
  6. I am thankful that I got an email after Day 2 of Summer Camp that our landlord bought a new air conditioner for our apartment. We thought it would be installed by now, but still, it will happen within the next couple of days for sure. I’m pretty sure it will show up on next week’s list. Living in a place where the standard daytime temperature is 85-90 every day with high humidity. Yeah, even if it’s only in the bedroom, having a place where I can chill is a good thing.  🙂
  7. I am thankful for my husband, Dave, who went way beyond the call of duty in terms of making sure I had the materials I needed, the iced coffee I wanted needed, and lunches that he went and gathered each day from the cafeteria down the hill. When I miscalculated how long some activities might take, he saved the day by searching for extra videos and materials I could use that were related to my topics. He helped keep the sun tea project going between classes, took photos, and carried my materials back and forth. Thanks, Honey!  ❤
  8. I am thankful that the camp was a huge success. The students seemed to have a good time. The siblings, parents, and grandparents who came for the talent show and closing activities were quite taken with things, if the number of times we were photographed is any indication. 
  9. I am thankful that it was only four days. As much fun as it was, it was very demanding, and I needed some downtime to get my mental faculties back up and running.
  10. I am thankful for the memories and for the new friendships that were made with teachers, campers, and TAs.10303749_10204143685053114_4391656008739241687_n


Thank you to Lizzi at Considerings  for coordinating Ten Things of Thankful. Check it out and join in if you’d like.