This week at camp was very emotional! The counselors tried their best to keep up the camp structure, but it was a little tricky when a different counselor was leaving every day.
Like last week, the counselors used as much English as possible to direct activities. Directions were explained in English first, and then translated into Spanish for better clarification. There was also more pressure on the students to use English, like reinforcing the use of “please” and “thank you” and helping them communicate their desires (such as “I want water”) in English.
In song time, the students reviewed some of the older songs like The Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald, and enjoyed a CD one of the counselors brought that they could sing along to. The last few days a jump rope was brought in and the students were taught Cinderella:
Dressed in yellow
To kiss a fellow
Made a mistake
And kissed a snake!
How many doctors
Did it take?
The students had a lot of fun with the song, and were especially amused at it when translated into Spanish. After repeating the song many times, students challenged each other to see who could get the most doctors to help Cinderella. They loved this so much they also continued it during break time!
Another fun game we played was Mentira, which is just the name the counselors gave to the common card game in America, BS. This gave the students a good opportunity to review their numbers and colors, as well as learn the new shapes, words for King and Queen, and phrases such as “your turn”.
The final day of camp was a cause for celebration! Not only was it the last day, but it was also Ilayas’ birthday! (Ilayas is the son of Project Esperanza’s director, Caitlin.) The counselors (only two now!) decided to have a World Awareness Day, where first we showed the students a map of the world, and asked them to name different countries in each continent. We also asked them what kinds of animals lived where (ex: Australia- kangaroos, Africa- lions, Antarctica- penguins) and facts about the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
To celebrate America (where both counselors were from), the students made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drank hot cocoa! Some students were reluctant at first to combine, what was to them, such a strange combination but it turned out to be a hit, and many students had multiple sandwiches.
Finally, one of the counselors led the students in a series of yoga poses. The students really enjoyed these exercises, and there were many bouts of laughter as the kids tried their best to do the movements where many times they ended up toppling over on the floor.
Afterwards, we did a small presentation of certificates, awarding campers for the completion of the program. We presented two star campers with scholarships that will allow them to attend private school this year! The day was completed with the students giving Ilayas his birthday presents and many tearful but loving goodbyes. It was a great way to end such a wonderful summer!