Most of you probably know that I’ve been writing and organizing English camps here in China for a bit over a year. This latest one is Number 3! They are exciting, exhilirating, and exhausting.
This latest camp was called Mr. Mai’s Cowboy Roundup! Besides some fun cowboy songs we had special songs that reflected the English pronunciation of long and short vowels. Our Mystery at the Double M Ranch was also rife with long and short vowel words each day. That was a challenge for Mr. Mai, who was our story teller. He had to remember to get in as many of the chosen words and not ad lib so much. Besides that, each days’ story had a tone such as friendship, wisdom, and mercy/forgiveness. Keep in mind that this is an English camp, NOT a VBS and we need to be sensitive to the rules around here. But subtlety is not lost on kids.
Anyways, Day 1 had us assessing 35 kids so that we could put them in the right level. This camp I wrote 3 levels instead of 2 because I realized at the last camp that some of the kids were not challenged enough.
The vowel for the day was long and short A and the story theme reflected Friendship. Each child recieved a cowboy hat, vest (handmade by Ann) and a bandana in the color of their ranch. We had the Blazing A Ranch, the Beaded E Ranch, the Flying I Ranch, the Roped O Ranch, and the United U Ranch!
The code for the day’s mystery clue had the new kids baffled. They have never had to solve anything like this before so the veteran kids helped the newbs along and by Day 2 they were on track and learning new skills! Whew.
We keep the kids all day long from 9:30 – 4:30pm. It’s a long day for everyone, especially the newest 6 year olds. They go home glassy eyed but come back the next morning with enough energy for two kids!
So Monday emphasized the vowel A, so let me introduce you to the Blazing A Ranch!
There were crafts, snacks, lunch, music and a movie as well, but that’s enough for the first blog entry. I wouldn’t want to overwhelm you! Wink.