Alden Mohacsi spent the last 12 monthsHello everyone! I hope you have all been staying safe and feeling well. Summer is in full swing and many of us may be remembering former years and our childhood experiences of summer camp. What did summer camp mean to you? Was it about playing fun and challenging games, going swimming, acting on stage, dancing, team building exercises, or something else entirely? Well at Summer English Camp Nečtiny, former Fulbrighter Jiří Harajda has incorporated all of the above into a welcoming program designed for 6-18 year old students.
About three months ago Jiří (Harry as he’s commonly known) contacted me with some sad news. Due to Covid-19, his colleague from the UK would not be able to attend the camp in Nečtiny, (about 30 km from Plzeň) this year. He then asked if I would be open to taking on the role of English teacher and special guest at his English Camp in Nečtiny. At first I wasn’t sure what to expect but, needless to say I was intrigued and excited to take on the opportunity. My duties included teaching English lessons every morning, teaching the students new games and sports, leading group activities for team bonding, participating in the games (softball, football, etc.), and assisting in special events with the other teachers and staff.
At the beginning of the camp, Harry introduced all the special guests, myself included. I felt very welcome at the camp because many of the camp attendees were students I knew from the Gymnazium in Žatec. All of the newcomers at camp (myself included) were ushered in by camp veterans via crowd surfing.
After the opening ceremony, a few of the campers were chosen as captains to build teams that they would work with for the rest of the week.
Quite possibly some of the most
In addition to these outdoor activities, students also competed in lip synching battles where they really got into the act.
All of these performances were incredibly creative and funny. I have to give “props” to all the students who participated, as they were all very comfortable with performing.
This resulted in an amazing lip synch performance in which the students emulated one of the performances Rachel and I did together.
Other special events that made the camp memorable for the students (and myself) included an outdoor cinema at sunset (using a projector against the chateau facade), a night where we all slept under the stars (so many comets!!!!!), and a haunted house simulation where the staff and I hid around the chateau and scared the students who were brave enough to run the gauntlet.
In recent years, Harry has also designated an evening half-way through the camp to a surprise guest who comes to the camp to teach a special skill. This year’s guest was famous drummer Papis Nyass, who came to camp to teach the students how to play Gambian Djembe drums!
It was truly an honor and a privilege to learn from Papis Nyass and join in on the session.
As many of us have attended summer