Twelve days of English Summer Camp

Day-by-Day Review: July 1–July 12, 2013  

by Kate Bennion


Day 1: All hands on deck! 

On a steep hill in sunny Nazareth, though school is out for the summer and heat is pushing 90 degrees F (30 degrees C), more than 100 children age 6 through 13 gathered for the fifteenth annual English Summer Camp.

Day one of the two-week camp was colorful and at times hectic as children in eight grades studied another language... through action. With topics ranging from counting to cupcakes to Canada, English learning was all hands on deck as counselors led activities and lessons, junior counselors translated and directed students and children talked, sang, wrote, drew, cooked, ate and played, to name just a few.

More photos, videos and stories to come. Follow forPEACE on Facebook or Twitter for more updates or use the hashtag #nazcamp.


Day 2: Getting the Groove

On the second day of the Nazareth English Summer Camp, 120 campers attended a selection of more than 10 classes taught by volunteer counselors. With first-day kinks worked out, campers and teachers alike were ready to get right down to the business of learning English.

Mariam writes her name on the board in Tourism class, taught by Ms. Kochav. The trickiest part of today's class was learning the proper enunciation of "Annunciation."

Mariam writes her name on the board in Tourism class, taught by Ms. Kochav. The trickiest part of today's class was learning the proper enunciation of "Annunciation."

Grade 2 is poised and ready to run across the court in Sports as Spencer leads a variation on the game of tag. It's not often you have volunteers to be "it," but in this case every hand went up.

Grade 2 is poised and ready to run across the court in Sports as Spencer leads a variation on the game of tag. It's not often you have volunteers to be "it," but in this case every hand went up.

William leads Grade 6 in a series of hand blocks in Tae Kwon Do. Can you learn English while practicing a Korean form of martial arts in an Arabic-speaking city in Israel? Definitely.

William leads Grade 6 in a series of hand blocks in Tae Kwon Do. Can you learn English while practicing a Korean form of martial arts in an Arabic-speaking city in Israel? Definitely.

Missy reigns supreme as Arts and Crafts master while Grade 7 students adorn colorful drawings with an unlikely decoration: buttons.

Missy reigns supreme as Arts and Crafts master while Grade 7 students adorn colorful drawings with an unlikely decoration: buttons.

 

Day 2, Part 2: Churches, Mosques and Shawarma

On Tuesday, after camp was done and the campers went home, counselors, co-directors and junior counselors went on a guided tour of Nazareth. They visited such sites as the Greek Orthodox church, the White Mosque, the Old City Market and the Church of Annunciation, hearing stories, taking photographs, and sampling the supposedly best shawarma and falafel in the city along the way.

The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, built over the spring where the Virgin Mary fetched water and the angel Gabriel is said to have appeared to her.

The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, built over the spring where the Virgin Mary fetched water and the angel Gabriel is said to have appeared to her.

The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, built over the spring where the Virgin Mary fetched water and the angel Gabriel is said to have appeared to her.

Camp co-director Margret and intern Kate take a seat in the Old City Market.

Camp co-director Margret and intern Kate take a seat in the Old City Market.

Counselors and JCs take refuge in the shade of the Old City to listen to some history about the Ottomans.

Counselors and JCs take refuge in the shade of the Old City to listen to some history about the Ottomans.

The tour guide pauses to explain symbology in the local architecture.

The tour guide pauses to explain symbology in the local architecture.

With the help of some borrowed scarves, the group entered the White Mosque to see the Muslim place of worship.

With the help of some borrowed scarves, the group entered the White Mosque to see the Muslim place of worship.

The Basilica of the Annunciation. Built over the grotto where the Virgin Mary lived, this is the largest Church in the Middle East.

The Basilica of the Annunciation. Built over the grotto where the Virgin Mary lived, this is the largest Church in the Middle East.


Day 3: "We believe in you"

Today, in Missy’s language arts class, eighth-graders perfected the art of haiku: a Japanese poetry style that follows a 5-7-5 syllabic pattern. In addition to the poem, students also created artwork to accompany their haiku. The results were pure poetry.

Layla wrote:  “Who You Are” Never say never Dreaming is believing, so Be true to yourself.

Layla wrote: 
“Who You Are”
Never say never
Dreaming is believing, so
Be true to yourself.

Hidaya wrote:  "Don’t Judge Us"  We have a feeling Don’t judge us ‘cause we’re different Everyone has a heart!

Hidaya wrote: 
"Don’t Judge Us" 
We have a feeling
Don’t judge us ‘cause we’re different
Everyone has a heart!

Yara, a k-pop fan, wrote: "I [heart] K-Pop"  I love Lee Min Hoo;  I love Shinees and U Kiss;  I love Korea.

Yara, a k-pop fan, wrote:
"I [heart] K-Pop" 
I love Lee Min Hoo; 
I love Shinees and U Kiss; 
I love Korea.

Shada wrote:  "Never Say Never"  Don’t give up, be brave,  We always here to help you, We believe in you.

Shada wrote: 
"Never Say Never" 
Don’t give up, be brave, 
We always here to help you,
We believe in you.


Day 4: Clamour Sound Craft

After four days of work, today’s camp culminated in a performance of songs written, composed and sung by students.

Ashton Mills of Clamour Sound Craft and Reem Hamed from Beta Musica School worked this week with Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5 to create songs themed around the environment.

How do you get twenty rowdy campers to create one cohesive, original song? Mills explained the process as a continuum: he brings a first line, a few chords, a few words to the first class and then asks the children for the rest, piece by piece. Sometimes he makes a suggestion, sometimes an individual student comes up with the next part, sometimes it comes as they sing.

“I can honestly say that every kid here contributed something,” said Mills.

In a class evaluation session, students spoke to Mills and Hamed in English and Arabic to express their feelings about the experience.

"[Song] is a more exciting, fun way to think about the environment," said one student. "There is a difference between teaching and doing."

Hamed, a flutist and music student at Tel Aviv University, said it wasn't an easy week, but the children seemed to enjoy it, especially the last two days.

"I truly believe music can change people, because the children were changed," said Hamed.
 

Day 4, Part 2: Discussion on Nazareth led by Dr. Bashara

Counselors and their host families, co-directors, and junior counselors gathered at the school Thursday evening for a discussion on Nazareth led by Dr. Bashara.

Although Dr. Bashara has a medical background, his interest and knowledge on Nazarene history was evident from both the breadth and depth of topics covered: history from thousands of years ago, the establishment of Israel, cultural factors and Nazareth today.

Bashara took a factual approach to the subject, eschewing storytelling and emotional rhetoric for a more scientific philosophy.

Both visitors and Nazarenes enjoyed the discussion, some staying later to ask further questions and learn more about the location of this year’s English Summer Camp.


Day 5: Pool Time!

On Friday, campers, JCs, counselors and co-directors filled three buses to visit a community pool for a day of swimming, playing and relaxing.


Day 6: Best So Far

Saturday is the Sabbath in Israel, so we’ll take a rest and bring you the best so far: top ten things from the first week of English Summer Camp 2013 (in no particular order).

  1. The amazing, irreplaceable, indefatigable JCs!
  2. The capes Missy made for students, junior counselors, counselors and co-directors.
  3. An amazing view from the camp location.
  4. Touring Nazareth.
  5. The excellent Chinese yo-yos brought as prizes for excellence in class.
  6. Students who come back and visit teachers between classes to help or just hang out.
  7. Singing performances from Clamour Sound Craft music.
  8. Beautiful life missions from Steve and Margret's session with Grade 7.
  9. Spending time with and relating to host families. “I feel like I’m just in America, sitting with my friends,” said Mary, camp counselor.
  10. "This is the first time I like math!" - one of Ashlee's students

Day 7: Akko

On Sunday, junior counselors, camp directors, counselors and host families piled into a bus for a day trip to Akko.


Day 8: Meet our campers!

Here are some of the faces we get to see around camp each day... 

Mohee is 11 years old. His favorite subject in school is Art and his favorite sport is basketball. At camp, he has been in grade 5. His favorite class has been Music. He hasn't decided what he wants to be when he grows up yet.

Mohee is 11 years old. His favorite subject in school is Art and his favorite sport is basketball. At camp, he has been in grade 5. His favorite class has been Music. He hasn't decided what he wants to be when he grows up yet.

Layla and Hidaya are both in the Grade 8 class and aged 13. They both like Arabic and English at school and their favorite band is One Direction. Layla's favorite class at camp has been Math and she says she is so excited for the next year! They have dreams to be a doctor/singer and a public speaker.

Layla and Hidaya are both in the Grade 8 class and aged 13. They both like Arabic and English at school and their favorite band is One Direction. Layla's favorite class at camp has been Math and she says she is so excited for the next year! They have dreams to be a doctor/singer and a public speaker.

Mohammad and Amina are classmates both at camp and at school. They are in the Grade 9 class. Amina's favorite class has been Music, and Mohammad's favorite has been Tourism. They both like the opportunity to interact with camp counselors from a variety of countries and backgrounds. Amina wants to be a singer and Mohammad wants to be a politician.

Mohammad and Amina are classmates both at camp and at school. They are in the Grade 9 class. Amina's favorite class has been Music, and Mohammad's favorite has been Tourism. They both like the opportunity to interact with camp counselors from a variety of countries and backgrounds. Amina wants to be a singer and Mohammad wants to be a politician.


Day 9: Meet our counselors!

Counselors and junior counselors from five countries are volunteering their time and preparation this year to teach at the Nazareth English Summer Camp. Here are just a few of the many wonderful people who are making camp happen this year (more to come later): 

This is Ashlee's first year at camp after marrying Steve Wrigley, camp co-director, in June. She is from Salt Lake City, Utah, and plans to become a nurse. A highlight of camp for her thus far is her host family in Reine Village, who she says has been incredibly warm and generous.

This is Missy's second year as a camp counselor, and this year she came even more prepared, sewing 120 capes to give to campers in addition to preparing lesson plans and activities. She flew to Israel from Maryland, where she is working on a Masters of Library Science degree.

William is 24 and a university student studying Criminology at Ottawa University, visiting his family in Israel for the summer. He is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and says has enjoyed getting to know people from Nazareth and the surrounding areas.

Jane (who is also William's mother) is retired from the Canadian armed forces and Canadian public services and is teaching a course on Canada for camp. She says that she's enjoyed her experience at camp, especially interacting with the kids, and is hoping to teach again next year.

Also from Salt Lake City, Mary's educational background is in music teaching, specifically chorale. She owned her own music school before retiring to raise five sons. Over the course of camp, she has taught almost every camper to sing "I Can Sing a Rainbow" and dance "Boot Scoot 'n Boogie."


Day 10: Owls and Computers

On Wednesday, campers enjoyed two classes from more professionals (in addition to the usual crowd). Motti Charter, ornithologist and researcher with Haifa University and University of Lausanne led a presentation on owls as agents of biological pest control. Dr. Charter is the lead scientist for GAIA (Global Awareness Investigation and Action), a forPEACE supported High School environmental research program.

Charter leads a discussion on why owls are neither good or bad luck, despite popular belief.

Students dissect owl pellets to find bones, fur and other undigestibles to determine what the owls are eating.

Students dissect owl pellets to find bones, fur and other undigestibles to determine what the owls are eating.

Across town in a computer lab, Eran Kolber, international computer software consultant, and his son Travis helped campers create their own newsletters using Microsoft Publisher.

Across town in a computer lab, Eran Kolber, international computer software consultant, and his son Travis helped campers create their own newsletters using Microsoft Publisher.

Fifth-graders bond with a stuffed falcon and owl that came along for camp today.

Fifth-graders bond with a stuffed falcon and owl that came along for camp today.

Students watch as Kolber demonstrates the features of Microsoft Publisher. Kolber explains the ins and outs of creating a newsletter.

Students watch as Kolber demonstrates the features of Microsoft Publisher. Kolber explains the ins and outs of creating a newsletter.

Shada, Amina and Mohammad present their final products: newsletters about camp.

Shada, Amina and Mohammad present their final products: newsletters about camp.


Day 11: Spelling Bee

On the last full day of classes, several upper-grade campers competed in a spelling bee.

Words included such tough offerings as "lawyer," "insect," "attic" and "freckles."

Though the competition was fierce, three winners eventually emerged. Congratulations to champion Rinal (first place), second-place Tamara, Shada, who took third, and all those who participated! (And special thanks to counselor Missy for her preparation and direction of the bee.)


Day 12: Another Pool Party!

Campers, families, volunteers and teachers gathered on Friday for a bittersweet camp wrap-up party at American International School in Even Yehuda. Between swimming, talking, taking pictures and exchanging email addresses and Facebook, the morning flew by, but not before these moments were captured: