ATMA SEVA hosted our first English camp in the Lawa village! It was a two day event for sixty four of the children. Over two days it was nine hours of English activities and games.
Our approach was to turn the camp into a competition by dividing up the sixty four students into six teams. We then planned six separate stations that each team would rotate between while earning points. Each station was a different English activity.
Friday morning came and we started with an opening ceremony of introducing all the volunteers and the basic set up for how the camp was going to run. We then played an opening ice breaker game called ‘traffic light’. This game has five commands and each one requires the kids to form a different shape with different amounts of kids. For example, if we yelled ‘traffic jam’, three students had to get together and one would stand, then the next would kneel, and the third would sit, forming a traffic light. Any students without a partner had to sit out. They really enjoyed this game as they had to run around and try to find groups and not be eliminated.
After this game, we had each student choose a slip of paper from a bucket which had one of six different pizza toppings. Once all the kids had a different topping, we had them find other students with the same topping. This is how we formed our six groups. Then each team had to make a team poster with 1) team name, 2) all team members names written in English, 3) an ASEAN country of their choice with a picture of the flag, and 4) a team picture. Each team then presented their posters and had to introduce themselves in front of their peers.
Next was when we started to rotate teams between our six stations. Each station was about thirty to forty five minutes long. Our six stations were;
1) Body English -> kids had to use their bodies to spell out various vocabulary words.
2) Balloon buster -> Children had to pop balloons without using their hands to get slips of paper inside and then arrange the words to uncover a riddle.
3) Baby if you love me, won’t you please smile? -> The kids had to try and make other students laugh by asking ‘Baby if love me, won’t you please smile?’.
4) A scavenger hunt -> The children had to go out around the school and village and either list, bring back, or take photos of various items.
5) Word grab song -> We had two simple English songs with twenty six vocab words from each song. We played the song and kids had to ‘grab’ vocab words off the wall when they heard it in the song.
6) Steal the bacon -> We broke the kids into two teams and they had to race to the middle depending on the number called and pick up certain objects and race back to earn points.
We had a giant scoreboard and after each station we would record how many points each team earned. Saturday morning after all the stations had been completed by all teams, we had a final relay race similar to ‘steal the bacon’ and it was the last chance for teams to earn points. Some of the races the teams had to do were; spin around the bat, run with a balloon between their legs, three legged race, jump on one foot, etc. It was funny though because of our translation the children were interpreting things very literally. For example, each race was supposed to be a different action (jump on one foot, skip, run, etc) but for some reason the children started to combine actions from the previous race! When we did the run with the balloon between your legs that went great, and the next race was run backwards. Half of the kids put the balloon between their legs and ran backwards like that! There is always room for improvement and next camp we need to think of our translations and how kids will interpret our instructions.
After this was over we awarded prizes to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams. Prizes consisted of school supplies and fun snacks. We also gave a pencil, pencil sharpener, and candy to every kid. The school then passed out certificates to all the children for their participation and they even gave all of the volunteers one too!
Aside from the English camp, ATMA SEVA in collaboration with Wat Doi Saket, Stu and the Kids (http://stuandthekids.org/), and Wat Pra non ba get tee donated school supplies, gym equipment, and clothes for the school and village. Part of this donation is also going to surrounding villages in need.
Huge thanks to Ryszard Wierzbicki who is a professional photographer for coming with us and helping with all the media. Check out Ryszards website to view all of his work -> http://instanttravelling.ning.com/. Also thanks to Michael, Stu, Katherine, Natch, Phra Ake, and all the teachers for all of your help!
ATMA SEVA is looking forward to continuing our relationship with this village and excited to bring more volunteers and help to the best of our ability.