English Summer Camp in Villafranca
A very common culture among most American university students, during their long summer breaks, is to work in summer camps, teaching languages or other skills. Although, I study in an American university in Spain, teaching in a summer camp was an opportunity that I received through my university. Every year, Saint Louis University, Madrid, organises an English teaching camp for Spanish speaking children, between the ages of 12 to 17. This camp also offers English speaking children the opportunity to learn Spanish. Even though it is an English camp, it has a Spanish name- Operacion Ingles!
This year was the 10th anniversary of the camp and it had the highest number of campers. The camp takes place in a boarding school, Colegio San Jose in Villafranca, Spain. This school gives out the vibe of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, from the Harry Potter series. The school being in the middle of nowhere and having ghost stories going around, it was indeed a scary place at night. However, with 114 campers and 17 camp monitors, the place was always buzzing with people.
The participants at the English Summer Camp--Operacion Ingles.
Operacion Ingles, 2012, was a fun packed busy camp. The students were kept occupied from morning till night, with English classes, sports, and cultural activities. And in the weekends, the whole camp went to an external venue in order to enjoy the weekend fully! During the three weeks of the camp, we had two weekends during which, we took trips to Cañamero and Isla de Zújar. These weekend trips were the highlights for the students and the monitors, as well.
During the camp, one of the biggest events was the Olympics- where the students were divided into groups by colour and there was one monitor leading each group. In the Olympics, the groups competed against each other in the bizarre competitions such as, poem race, badminton-basket, water balloon throwing, balancing on a rope, word maze and much more! And I am proud to announce that, my team, yellow, was victorious in the Olympics! It was truly an honour to be a part of that team.
The camp took out a good three weeks of my summer of 2012. After my return, I just slept in for a week. It was a truly tiring experience. However, I cannot explain in words, how rewarding this experience has been for me. I was able to get a closer experience of the Spanish culture and language and enhance my teaching skills. And this is an experience that I would love to repeat again next year!