Two weeks ago, nine students between the ages of 11 and 16 boarded flights for a country they had never been to in hopes of learning from people they had never met. Since then, students of the Joyous Chinese Cultural Center’s Summer English Immersion Camp have worked to improve their English language skills and understanding of American culture.
“I can’t imagine doing what you all have done at your age,” Camp Counselor Kyle Botts told the students during the closing program in CCAI Family‘s main building. “I just want to say I’m so proud of you all. Communicating was very difficult when camp first started and this morning we were talking in full sentences!”
During the course of the two-week camp, students alternated between educational sessions on American culture topics like etiquette and holiday traditions and field trips.
“I loved the Museum of Nature & Science,” said Tin Tin, the oldest of the group. “They had a robot there. I had never seen technology like that before.”
Between the field trips and American food experiences, there seemed to be one other major component the campers were particularly thankful for: their host families.
“My host Mom always made me to feel at home,” said Tin Tin. “She even made mung bean soup, a traditional Chinese recipe for me. She liked it and will keep making it now, she says.”
Tin Tin also recounted the fun time he had with his family at the zoo and how they taught him how to dive on a swimming outing.
Before the camp concluded, I listened in during the class session on Halloween. When asked what the students would choose to dress up as, Tin Tin exclaimed, “Harry Potter!” and the class erupted with laughter.
The memories and friendships gained on this trip are sure to last the campers a lifetime.
To learn more about courses offered at JCCC, visit joyouscenter.org.