Qkids 2018 Summer Camp High5 - Marine Camp - Day One

“Hours of nervous preparation for minutes of first contact; I wouldn’t change a single part of it.” - Teacher William

Introduction and Icebreaking

In the days leading to the camp, the anticipation felt by our Marine Camp Teachers was nearly palpable. Five of our brightest teachers, under the sunny skies of Xiamen, examined and noted the potential of the campsite. For both camps, we featured five teachers, with a total of eight teachers (two teachers teaching both Marine and Nature camps). We selected teachers Suzanne, Cynthia, Rachelle, William, and Antonina for the Marine Camp. In addition to our teachers, the Marine Camp features aid from the Meisha Campus Co., which handled the dormitory situation of the students as well as supplementing games and assisted in translations.
Our teachers for the camp!




Nestled near the coastline of Xiamen, we placed an emphasis on aquatic activities. For some of the students, this was the first time out of the city and in the water. With a lifeguard on duty and a water safety presentation, students and teachers prepared for the upcoming water activities.

The schedule included something for every hour of the day, with a nap time after lunch for the students. Every morning began with a fun exercise or engaging physical activity, which then moved into English lessons and then the highlight activities of the day before & after dinner. Officially, the camp began on the 1st and ended on the 6th; however, many of our kids say they miss the camp and still interact with each other, keeping the experience fresh and living!

The Schedule for Marine Camp

For our Marine Camp, each teacher assembled a team of five students. There were two groups of higher level students and three groups of lower level students. The personalities of the teams were diverse and some featured leaders while others featured innovators. We even had a few students that made a return visit from our first winter camp! With the groups established and teachers ready, it was time to meet the students. 

Opening Ceremony

The original plan was to have the teachers line up and high-five students as they came into the room; however, as some of the students arrived early, we had a fun mixture of students lining up to greet teachers as they rolled in, and then a switch when the other half of the class arrived.

Once all the students had arrived from various parts of China, we had our teachers introduce themselves. Within a few minutes we had our teachers talking on stage about their interests, hobbies, and why they love to teach English. We also had students laughing at how teachers enjoyed sharing their favorite foods or games. After the introduction, teachers executed a dance with Meisha staff that included several different popular dancing themes and styles. 

We also had students, teachers, and staff, select from a hat for our 'Secret Angel' activity. This means that, for the rest of the week, one person has your attention! They don't have to be part of your group, but you want to do nice things for them. Some students gave out bananas to their teacher angels, whereas others crafted notes or even made art. For example, teacher Nina's Secret Angel gave her a hug every single day.

Icebreakers

With the teacher introductions and dance included, ice-breaking and building rapport was the focus of the first day. In order to accomplish this, we had students break into teams and teachers join their teams. We had groups with all types of different names, such as 'We Are Number One!' and 'We Are The Seven Girls'. This activity began with lots of slogans, shouting, and pose striking.


We had a few games ready, including five prominent examples: 

Cheer Song

This was a fun cheer led by teacher Suzanne which involved every student announcing their name and interacting with each other. We heard simple names like Tom & Jerry, and unique names like King and black. Although some were shy, we had a few students anxious to say their names loud and clear, like Victory!

One-Foot Soccer!

Picture this -- One foot, teachers as strikers or goalkeepers, and two rival teams in a small space, sitting closely. Smiles quickly went to competition as feet collided and socks were everywhere! One-Foot Soccer featured close contact between students and teachers as they worked together to shoot a ball into the goal using only one foot each. Oh, did we mention that everyone is sitting and can't move?

Soccer team one featuring William & Nina
Soccer team two featuring Rachelle

Alien

A physical tag based game, alien involved slow movements and walking to secure a ball. This was all within a time limit based on the ringing of a bell. Once the bell was rung, anyone touching the ball holder could steal the ball and take a step towards their team. There was an element of silliness as students tried to remember who was on their team! In the end, teams didn't matter, it was more of a goal to try and win with anyone you could.

Freeze Dance

A classic, freeze dance is exactly as you would imagine. When the music plays, your body moves! When the music stops, you have to freeze! It was a fun event that allowed students to enjoy their wackier sides and really let loose. We had William (yes, two Williams!) on  the floor with his dance.



Octopus

Octopus was an incredibly innovative game that featured a single student (the octopus) being selected to tag the other students (fish). On being tagged, the fish converted into seaweed which would try to grab other fish. With teachers and students lined up, we would race past to see if we could make it the other side. Fear wasn't allowed, as even the tiniest among us had to take down the horde of fish!

Wrapping Up The First Day

At the end of the day, after dinner, lunch, and basic icebreakers, we wanted to hammer the team aspect. Camp Meisha staff had prepared a comical play about saving a princess, and the goal was that after the play the students would compete in teams to gain points. The games were not large scale, but rather team based games that involved working together to accomplish simple tasks.


Who will save the princess?

To give an idea, some of the games involved holding hands and trying to deliver a hula hoop along the line without breaking the circle or hand-holding. Another game had a leader of the group place mats along the perimeter of the stage and the students were required to jump across each mat. If any of the students broke the rules the entire task had to begin again, so it inspired a sense of teamwork. We had older students helping younger ones understand and perfect their craft. Sometimes, our teachers helped the students a bit too much, like William picking students up over the tightrope line, or Rachelle dominating the Hula-Hoop competition.





At the end of the day, there could be only one winner. The team of the girl students came victorious, and they went out to find the missing princess. Bringing back the princess under a shrouded gown, the camp staff had the students laughing when they replaced the previous princess with a larger prince! 



Our goals for the camp are simple -- We wanted to bring together two diverse cultures and have students from all over China experience something they've never experienced before. This holds true for the teachers as well, as many of our teachers experienced their first international trip to China. Yes, our physical goal of the camp was to teach English in regards to marine or aquatic activities; however, the camp acts as a gateway to have those who have never experienced cultures other than their own experience a life-changing, incredible opportunity. Stay tuned for the rest of our camp series!




The Qkids Family

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