Published: July 13th 2008July 13th 2008
Staff picture, on July 5th
We had a barbeque... July 4th was too rainy, and July 5th had perfect weather.
The first week of having villagers has been crazy, but fun. On Monday, the students arrived, and I was one of the three counselors who went to Zurich to pick up the arrivals at the airport. There were a few flights that came in later in the day, so I waited for them, and I brought them to the camp on the train. There were five trains we had to take, and then 2 buses, so it was crazy but I got to know them pretty well, which was fun. The rest of the staff stayed at the institute and checked in with all of the arriving students who came by train or by car. From what I heard, it was very chaotic at the institute when everyone was arriving.
On Mon. through Fri., we wake up at 7:30, have calisthenics at 8, then breakfast till 9. After that, the students are broken up into groups by language level and have a lesson on a topic that each teacher chooses to focus on. Then there is another activity that is more physically active, such as kickball, or basketball, soccer, or theater-related stuff. Then, there is what we call "Rock 'n
The first week we were here was the last week of the Fancy Fiddlers being here. They are all young, and all from Holland. They are some of the top string players in Holland. We got to see one of their concerts earlier that week, and then they played during the barbeque.
Roll" where we teach songs. Then lunch, then "chill out time" (I open the camp store during that time, which has been fun), then another lesson, Simtown (a simulated government... I am one of the people leading the media branch), then activities, including sports, bracelet-making, board games, etc., dinner, break time, and then we have an evening program every night, which counselors take turns organizing.
So far, the evening programs have included: Super Mario's Quest, Fractured Fairytales, World Expo, Restaurant and Concert Night, and then yesterday (Saturday) we had a hike up to a peak in the Alps, which took about 6 hours total. The theme was Alice in Wonderland, and there were characters along the way. It was a lot of fun. When we got to the top of the mountain, we had hot chocolate and apple strudel and our packed lunches. We danced polka together, and sang songs, and people sang happy birthday to one of the counselors and one of the campers in every language represented by the group (Russian, Spanish, Castilian, French, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Taiwanese, Mandarin, German, and Polish.) After resting at Alp Laret (the destination) for a couple of hours, we
all hiked down again, and while we were hiking down, there was a huge lightning and thunder storm, and the lightning was really, really close to us. We got soaked, but everyone was laughing and having a great time, despite all of that. It was really awesome. Then, at night, we all watched the movie "Alice in Wonderland" in the concert hall that is here at the institute. Everyone brought their pillows and blankets and we projected the movie onto a big screen.
Today was what was called Hometown Games. We had tons of games going on, like water pong, dodgeball, basketball, ultimate frisbee, etc. The whole event was put on by the Parks and Recreation branch of Simtown. The Chamber of Commerce sold food during the event, the Media did interviews of campers, asking for opinions on the event. The City Council enforced all the rules, and the Fine Arts Council made the governor (the dean of the camp) a very special hat. We (the Media) got our first newspaper out today, which was distributed at dinner. It had interviews of the City Council, an article about a counselor suspected of stealing fruit from the cafeteria, a crossword
puzzle, Sudoku, opinions articles... the list goes on.
Tonight, we had a very nice evening program. We were planning on having a camp fire, but because of the weather, we couldn't. So, we put out about 20 tealight candles in the center of the concert hall, and all sat around in a circle. Every staff member and every villager was given a piece of paper, and we each wrote a camp memory or a hope that we had for the coming week, and put them all in a basket. People were invited to read them out loud if they wanted. Also, people could sing a song, tell a story, or share something they liked about camp. It was very nice having piano in the background -- a pretty famous pianist from the States is staying here with us this week. He is good friends with one of the counselors, and she has been trying to get him to come for a couple of years now. He made an amazing addition to the camp this past week... he played a concert for us a few day ago, which included the kids... all 100 of them! They were all split into
different groups and during the week, with the pianist, they wrote a song and rehearsed it for the concert. There were also two soloists, two students who were particularly passionate about music. It was so fun. Then, we heard the concerto that the pianist wrote, and a piece that he wrote this past week. He has about 50 CDs out... ask me for his name if you are interested! Unfortunately, he is leaving tomorrow morning at 6 am for the States because he has some concerts to play this week.
Now that I am caught up, I will leave you with some pictures, minus ones with campers in it.
There are more photos below