It’s funny thinking of something as simple and mundane as a Summer Camp and then comparing it with a natural disaster of epic proportions, but that was exactly my mindset as I went into the first week of an English/Sports Summer Camp. Just hang on until it passes.
Working with a well-known academy and language program here in Madrid, the program offers a one week camp for local Spanish teens, ranging in age from 13 to 18 years old. Their whole idea is to mix Spanish speakers with English speakers of the same age. To this end, they bring in youths of the same age from the U.K., Ireland, Australia, etc., who interact and speak English with the Spaniards for the entire camp. Playing all kinds of sports and games, building projects and doing art, and speaking one on one, all seemed to be effective ways for these kids to enjoy a week away from home and also improve their English speaking abilities.
My role there then was simple, to serve as one of the cliche summer camp counselors we’ve all seen in the movies. But I made certain that if there was going to be any revolt or uprising from the kids, I’d be on their side. Some other counselor could try and tell a mob of 30 hungry spaniards, “Sorry the kitchen is closed”. Or suffer the misfortune of ending up locked in a toolshed after asking the group of sun-starved Irish girls to re-apply sunscreen.
The week passed without any major issues and at the end of the day, the experience was fun. With two-more weeks to go, the thought of an August vacation is my only solace. Portugal, Italy, or maybe the south of France…but not yet. Two more weeks and I’m still standing.