We spent a week following our campers through their experience at That’s Mandarin Chinese Summer Camp and we learned a few things we didn’t think we would… Like how we wished we were younger again so we could join the camp.
The first day of camp began with an orientation to camp. We could feel the excitement in the air and perhaps some uncertainty. The first day of school could be such a nerve-wracking experience. To ease the students into their camp life, they were introduced to one another and to their teachers. In addition, rules were laid down and schedules were explained. Field trips and cultural activities were to take place every alternate day.
In the first week, the campers tried their hands at making Chinese opera masks. Each color on a mask represented a certain emotion and characteristic and it was up to the student to create a theatrical character of interest to them. Could it be a villain or a hero?
On the second day of camp, we went to the Natural History Museum, which is one of the best things to do in Shanghai. We spent hours in the museum, exploring bits and pieces of evolution.
The third day was a cultural activity day: making a Chinese knot. Chinese knots are traditional decorations that are used as symbols of prosperity and good luck. Making these knots by hand requires some dexterity and patience, but this posed no problem to our campers.
Every week, there is at least one sports event. On Thursday, we went to play ping-pong, China’s national sport! Did you know that China was always at least one of the Olympic gold medalists (in different categories) for the past years? What summer camp would it be if we didn’t show our campers how ping-pong is played, the Chinese way?
On Friday, we learned Chinese calligraphy, drawing Chinese characters with a brush and ink like we were ancient scholars. It was fun!
Those are just examples of our first week at camp. Our programs are filled with a multitude of enriching activities that showcased the traditional and modern cultures of China. The longer you stay at camp, the more you will experience and try.
Stay tuned for what’s to come next.