I wrote a detailed diary on the Japanese Blog, so there are a few fotos, too. But I am very happy with the outcome of the video. Take the time and enjoy 10 minutes of happy smiles. (They lasted full 2 days, not only 10 minutes!)
It was AMAZING~the kids were so great, the teachers were so wonderful!
As the camp was next to Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan, and water provider for Shiga, Kyoto and other parts of Kansai area, of course Lake Biwa was a main topic, as you can see.
Takayuki Hashimoto, the swimming instructor, is a professional swimmer, and I am amazed at how naturally and joyfully he taught each of the kids,wether they were able to swim or not. There are a few kids who hate swimming and one boy actually was going to school late every summer for 5 years, because they had swimming class. So it was a pleasure for me to watch these kids, enjoying the water most of all.
He came a long way from Amagasaki, and he stayed the whole day, not only for the swimming part. I am very very grateful and I learned so much as far as instruction is concerned.
I did have some minor trouble with the institution. They had some weird rules, and the problem was that many of those rules were in their head but had not been communicated. So a few times without warning some elder community guy screams at me not to do this or that. Thanks god they screamed at me and not the kids. Well, and I can't really complain as it was very cheap.
As far as English class is concerned I am happy I held this event for two reasons:
Spending two full days and the night with the kids (27), showed me a completely different side of them, I learned so much more about each of them and I know even better now who to look after in certain ways.
Being with the kids in a natural situation of "living" together, in a situation where it is not the focus to teach new structures or words, I was able to notice what is missing in my curriculum. What more they need, to be able to say what they want.
Are you holding kids camps? What is your focus? What do you notice every time?