Today was the last day of teaching, and I must say, I am so sad to be leaving the kindergarten and Budapest! I had such a memorable summer with some of the funniest kids out there. I tried not to cry too much while the kids sang a goodbye song during lunch. The school director asked me to write a little article about the summer camp for their quarterly magazine, so I figured I’d include that here, seeing how I haven’t really talked about how the summer camp was, day to day.
One of the English Garden Summer School teachers was Kimberly Bird from Utah, USA.
Here is Kimberly’s summer diary:
The first week’s theme was Cooking, where we were able to cook together as well as take a day-trip to Nobu and Sugar. What a fun first outing! We were all excited to see the “behind the scenes” of a sushi restaurant. I loved watching the kids learn to roll the sushi and make their fruit cocktails, but I think the most memorable part of the trip was at Sugar, where the kids saw all of the incredible different cakes and desserts. The students talked about all of the different creative cakes, such as the Japanese styled cakes, volcano cakes, and animal cupcakes. The students also had a wonderful time decorating their very own cupcake.
After such a successful first week, I was excited about the second week’s theme, Musical Theater. Fae from Dramaworks came to direct the students. The kids focused on learning songs from “The Lion King,” “Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang,” and “High School Musical.” The Juniors group especially loved singing and dancing to “I Can’t Wait to Be King” from “The Lion King.” It was so fun to watch them singing the song to themselves while they were coloring or playing. I must say, the performance was quite impressive! The Juniors sang and danced energetically to “I Can’t Wait to be King” and the Seniors were incredibly powerful and enthusiastic while they sang and danced (especially to the “High School Musical” songs).
Week three’s theme was Drama, and Fae came back from the previous week to coach the students. The students all became very attached to Fae and her friendly personality! After a day of practicing, we had the Juniors draw a picture of the Aesop’s Fable that they were going to perform; we then had the students dictate the story to us. Hearing the stories in the children’s words was wonderful. It was fun to hear the parts that they emphasized. The week ended with another successful performance, and the kids were so proud of how well they had memorized their lines!
Digital Photography was the theme for the fourth week. Each child brought in their own camera with much excitement. Throughout the week, we talked about different types of photography, and then the students were able to try it out on their camera. I loved how the different themes (portraiture, architecture, and nature) allowed the students to truly observe the world around them. I was also impressed with the quality of nature photos—the students loved capturing pictures of flowers, bugs, or plants.
Week five was Puppetry and Storytelling. This week, the children were able to really use their imagination while they told stories with the hand puppets and mini theater. Also, this week’s highlight was the trip to NOHA studios where the children made innovative spoon puppets (either Red Riding Hood or the Big Bad Wolf). After the exciting craft, we watched one of the funniest plays I’ve seen—it was a creative version of Little Red Riding Hood, but the actors used unique props. The performance was so entertaining that everyone had a great time laughing and watching the actors.
Design and Technology was the theme for week six. We were able to make and design all kinds of fun devices! The Juniors designed their own mobile, painted their own castle (as well as designed the wallpaper and flooring for the castle), and made their own felt ball. This week, we also visited the Challengeland Ropes Course at Orczy Park. The kids were able to test their minds and bodies to figure out all of the different rope routes. I had fun helping the kids from rope to rope!
Week seven’s theme was Film and TV. Each day, we talked about a different type of film (cartoons, black and white, and real-life). We were able to practice our filming skills by doing interviews, advertisements, and reality TV shows. The most memorable moment was watching the final film clips with everyone. The Seniors were incredibly creative with the script-writing and storylines, and the Juniors loved participating in all of the films, so once the filming was finished, we had quite a wonderful film to watch. The students were also all excited to design their own DVD cover and take home a copy of the week’s filming.
The final week, week eight, was all about Dance. We had Kristy from Fusion Dance come, and she choreographed three fantastic dances! The boys loved dancing to their very cool sailor/pirate dance. The girls took their dance (an Indian inspired style) very seriously and enjoyed practicing their dance moves in the garden. Throughout the week, we had fun talking about different international dance styles by looking at pictures and videos of the different styles. And of course, the students loved the final performance, and they even got to take home their tie dyed shirts!
Overall, this has been such a wonderful, fun-filled summer! I had loved all of the themes, and most of all, I have loved getting to know all of the students at the summer camp. Whether it was playing in the garden, doing creative crafts, or telling stories, it has been fantastic to work with and create relationships with all of the students at the English Garden Summer Camp!
And finally, some pictures of the kids I’ve been hanging out with this summer (a lot of the kids are on holiday this week, so I didn’t get any pictures of many of my favorite kids). And don’t pay attention to my sweaty face (it was nearly 100 degrees and super humid today) or terrible undereye circles (anyone know how to get rid of them?):
Ilona, from England
Rebecca and Charlotte, sisters (mom is from Chile, dad is Irish)
Riccardo from Italy
Maria from Italy, Katya (mom is Ukrainian, dad is English) and Zosia from Poland
Dami from Hungary
Bori from Poland
I am going to miss the kids and other teachers!