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