Teaching At English Camp, Chiang Mai, Thailand
It’s funny the things you find yourself saying yes to while travelling.
We’d been in Chiang-Mai-Thailand for a few months and through making some new friends we connected with a lady who taught English to students through her English Camp events.
When she asked us if we’d be interested in helping out at one of her camps we agreed there and then without really knowing what we were letting ourselves in for.
What we thought would just be assisting her turned out to be running our own classes.
We met up and brainstormed few ideas but it soon became clear she wanted us to do a lot more than we had anticipated but that was fine, were always up for a challenge.
Planning English Camp
The day of the English Camp came around and all three of us were quite nervous.
The location for the camp was in a beautiful setting at Tweechol Botanical Gardens.
Lovely manicured lawns and flower beds gave way to a wonderful lake.
We had the run of a covered terrace area and some of the gardens.
Sue and I would be running our own class and Annabel would be floating around helping wherever she was needed.
I had planned my class around learning directions and shapes in English.
Sue was going to teach food and numbers in her class.
We’d been told that the students would be quite young, probably around 9 or 10 but when a busload of teenagers turned up, our hearts sank.
It soon became apparent that they knew much more English than we’d been led to believe, which meant our classes were probably going to be worthless, but we faced the challenge with a stiff upper lip ( and quivering legs ).
The Beautiful Tweechol Botanical Gardens Were the Location For English Camp
We were going to rotate four classes of about ten students each around the four teachers ( me, Sue, the organiser and an American lady volunteer).
Sue had made a little shop where the students had to buy items of fruit and veg and work out the money needed to buy them.
I was going to run a game where one student was blindfolded and had to be directed in English by the other students to find a shape made out of card that I’d hide in places around the garden.
It was actually a lot of fun and the students had fun directing their classmates into trees and bushes ( at least it wasn’t the lake ).
Getting To Know The Students During Some Fun Games
One Of My Students Blindfolded Being Directed To Some Hidden Objects
Lunchtime came around and we were treated to a great buffet meal in the hotel restaurant on site.
But then it was back to teaching for the afternoon.
All the students came together for some tasks and games which we all had fun with.
There was a slight bit of well-intentioned rivalry between us, the English and the American lady about the correct way to pronounce words but it was all in good faith.
There was a final prize giving to the best teams before we went on a tram tour of the park.
Sue Presenting Prizes To The Students
We had great fun even though Sue might tell you otherwise and it was soon time to say goodbye to the students.
But it turned out that the headteacher of the school that the students were from was so interested in our travel story that she invited us to her school to give a talk on our adventures.
So a couple of months later it was lovely to see the students again and share our story.
Hopefully, it gave them some inspiration to set out on their adventures, whatever they may be.
Saying Goodbye To The English Camp Students
It was a great experience, teaching at the English Camp and as a result, we also got invited by the lady who ran it, to help out on the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai stall at a local event in the city.
We had some fun exercises for children to complete that would help them with their English.
They read stories in English to us as well as played games to reinforce their learning.
Annabel joined in with a painting class for the children and loved it.
Helping Out On The Chiang Mai Rotary Club Stall
Fun Painting On The Rotary Club Stall
As a thank you for our time volunteering at English Camp and on the Rotary Club stall, Sunisa ( the lady who ran the English Camp ) invited us for a day out to Doi Inthanon National Park with her and some of her family.
You can read about our wonderful day out on Doi Inthanon here.
One Of The Twin Pagodas At Doi Inthanon