Qkids 2018 Summer Camp High5 - Marine Camp - Day Four

"I knew I loved teaching the kids online but it was nothing compared to when I got to really know them in person. We really formed a special connection over that week and I'll always remember it as such a wonderful experience."
- Teacher Suzanne
A preview of the highlight of the day, the indoor campfire bonding experience!

Memories, Campfires, and Marine Activities

Throughout the week we have seen our students and teachers grow in ways nobody had imagined. Our students performed a talent show and mastered English concepts in teams, while our teachers experienced a unique culture exchange. Things were different in camp, but yet it still felt like a vacation to our participants.

Despite all the fun, sometimes even the best of a vacation can leave those in it feeling homesick. That was our objective today. At the end, we scheduled an evening campfire experience that involved students sharing thoughts, feelings, and opening letters of love from their families.

Morning-time English & Objective Mastery

We began the day by stretching and acting like animals, because deep down we can all be a little wild inside.
Hop like a bunny! Or is it a frog? Kidding, we did both!
Squat, stretch, and smile!
After we all had our fair share of exercise and early morning kick-starting, it was time to begin the final set of English lessons. On the first day, we learned concepts like sinking and floating by having students rise and fall in acting. For the second day, we made giant circles to describe words like round, flat, big, or small. Today our topics featured momentum and how to move ships using force. 

Remember our aluminum boats? Well, throughout the week we had everyone collect water bottles. With a little bit of artistic ability and some glue, we created tiny water bottle boats! We also unloaded a collection of balloons to let students have fun experimenting with pushing objects using only their breath.
Objects move in various different ways. What word is this? Dance !
Cynthia's team covering the basics of building boats with plenty of materials to go around
Rachelle's team and the first round of creations 
Suzanne leading her teams to success in the movement competition.

This team of three girls were very proud of the boat they made. Look at the colors on the sail!

Are those pirate flags? And a rudder? Impressive designs!
The students are more talented than I am!

Kayaking and Swimming

After we designed our ships and designs, we had our students head out to the bay once more to experience the difference between a sailboat and a kayak. Our teachers didn't join this expedition as they were setting up the campfire party back indoors. But that's okay, we have some incredible pictures anyways!
A safety demonstration goes a long way
The students not currently in kayaks were busy doing water exercises, including water acrobatics!
In teams of two the students tackled the kayaks and rowed into the water
Whereas those without kayaks waited their turn and formed circles while trying different tricks and games
Lily's guiding the kayak forward!
Michael was having a good time, even if his face here says otherwise!
King was ready to cause mischief with his ball
While our students enjoyed their kayaking experience, our teachers were redesigning the interior of the classrooms to begin preparing for the next event. Until now, most of the games were focused on making the students forget about their homes; however, tonight's featured event was to remind students of the home and families they left behind.

The Campfire Party

In our previous camp, when the students opened their letters from their families, they cried and were homesick. We wanted to give the students a fun experience before we dove into that, so the teachers and the camp instructors created a story and a play.

You may notice some funny face paintings as well. Everyone was inspired to get a bit silly before the campfire party, and so we ended up with some incredible face paintings!

Sometimes, a silly face is the best way to express yourself.

Other times, a cool face can do the trick!

The kids were excited to have their faces painted

Older kids opted for more pattern whereas younger kids wanted more shapes and designs!
After face painting, the play and the story began. The kids loved this play, and although we can only show so much in picture, the play started with 'I make a pudding' -- The kids were saying this quote the rest of the week!

He ate the pudding! It didn't go well for him.

This is an ambulance, not a lion. You have to use your imagination!
After our pudding shenanigans, the teachers recited and acted out a story about old Chinese folklore involving fire. Nina narrated while Rachelle, Cynthia, and William participated.

Rumor has it William wasn't supposed to be part of this skit. They played it off well, though!
Transitioning to the center of the room, the students began eyeing our indoor 'campfire'. Anticipation building, we thought it was a good time to bring out the letters from the parents. 

This is one of the most critical moments of the camp experience. This is the moment that the students realized just how much their family members appreciate and missed them, and for many of our students that feeling was reciprocated. 

Students received their letters one by one, then returned to their groups 
 We started to see the effects rapidly, and even Camp Facilitator Ray became involved. We wanted to make sure the students understood they weren't alone, and the teachers walked in among them offering words, hugs, and a listening ear.

Camp Facilitator Ray delivering one of the letters to a student
Teacher Nina played a big part in making our students feel welcome, offering a helpful hand

Sometimes we try our best to hold our emotions in, even if everyone else knows we're feeling down
Students were enthralled with their letters, every one of them a little reminder of home
Ray and Cynthia making sure students were okay
As students were feeling sad, we lowered the lights in the room and made a circle around the 'campfire'. We held hands and sung songs as well as held glowing orbs that signified wishes. Every light you see atop the makeshift tree represents a student's wishes and dreams, and together it makes the campfire experience complete.

In sadness comes happiness, as we all came together one more time to feel like a family
And even when the world is at its darkest, the lights of your hopes and dreams will shine brightly, like a beacon through uncertainty.

Thank you so much for reading our fourth day of camp! We hope you're enjoying yourself. We have two more experiences remaining. Tomorrow we cover the showcase, an event that highlighted everything the students have learned throughout the week, and the day after tomorrow features the half-day graduation ceremony. Stay tuned; we hope to see you again!

The Qkids Family



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