English Camp

It was my first time as a coordinator of an English Camp.

It was a success. I met some challenges while leading my 20 university undergraduates to prepare for this camp which caters to the English learning needs of 49 Form One and Form Two school students.

During the camp, I observed one student who was standing aside at a corner while observing closely the camp which was carried out through English games. He looked at his schoolmates playing without a blink. I thought he was punished to stand aside by my camp facilitator. However, upon asking, he is actually a student from a preparatory class for students who are struggling to enter Form One. He seemed to be very interested in the camp and want to be part of the camp. Maybe his class was not chosen to be the participants. I have emotions stirring in me. Maybe he would surely register for the camp if given a chance. I think he and his classmates need the camp badly.

After that, one camp facilitator for the game named “The Tortoise and The Hare” whereby the participants needed to answer the questions on some cards for every step they will take to reach the winning point. Some participants insisted to guess the answers a few times till they obtained the right answer although they got it wrong a few times. In fact, there were many questions and they could just give up and try the next questions. The game was designed by my university students in a way that if they obtained more than a certain number of wrong answers, they will be asked to start from the beginning. This has trained their not-giving-up spirit. I have been amazed by my students’ game idea. I feel very moved seeing the positive changes they have made on the school students.

During the reflection, most of the participants wrote that they enjoyed the camp very much. It was not only fun but useful for their English learning. I guess they feel bored about the English classes in school which are there for the teachers to cover the whole syllabus of the year in order to prepare them for exams. Some of them suggest a three-day camp instead of a one-day camp like what we had. Haha….

When leaving the school in our university bus, one participant looked at us smilingly, saying goodbye. My colleague joked if he wanted to join us to go back to our university in Kampar which is almost one hour drive away. The innocent kid nodded his head and boarded our bus. We felt hilarious. Deep down, I feel moved. I am really glad that the school students did enjoy our camp and learn English in a fun way.

I hope we have lighted up their fire of passion for learning English and let’s pray that the fire we have created in them will continue to burn brighter and brighter.

I feel lucky to be the chairperson of Student Development Committee of UTAR, Kampar. Our committee is responsible for leading our English Language and English Education students to organize English Camps in primary and secondary school as our university’s effort in serving the community. Let the fire of chairperson keep burning in me.