The endless days of summer camp

  • 2009-07-02
  • By Ella Karapetyan

CLEVER CAMP: The summer camp will give kids the chance to practice their language skills in a fun environment.

TALLINN - After the long, cold and dark nights of winter have passed, children and youngsters are happy to meet summer, which is the perfect time for taking part in various international camps all over Estonia.
The well-known language school "School in Down- Town" is opening its doors for children and teenagers to take part in camps that will take place in Tallinn.
The city language camp is held by the support service of Alternative Programs on Foreign Languages (ALPS) on the basis of the School of Foreign Languages In Down-Town and with assistance from the international youth organization ESTYES.

According to Aleksander Kurushev, the coordinator of International Youth Association EstYES, generally the camps start from mid-June and run until the end of September.
Moreover, the topics of the camps are always different, as are the activities. This summer the volunteers are going to work with kids 's mainly manual work for the benefit of local communities, environment, construction works, etc.
"The aim of making these kind of projects are to gain youth mobility, solidarity, non-formal education as well as intercultural learning, rural or community development, personal growth and, of course, fun," Kurushev told The Baltic Times.

Kurushev explained that generally a group of 10-25 international volunteers work and live together in a local community project for a period of a few days to a month. Living and working together, young people from different backgrounds are able to get to know each other and overcome the barriers of language and other differences. The practical work within the community and the intercultural interaction makes every camp contribute to a more peaceful world.
Camps are open for everyone regardless of their age, gender, beliefs, origins, and ethnic background. All volunteers live by local standards. Camps leaders facilitate the camp activities and daily schedule.
The camps address immediate community concerns and provide direct action toward improving a specific project in the community.

According to Valentina Bibikova, who is the coordinator and founder of the project, the city camps will include kids aged 10-12 and teenagers aged 13-16. The camps will be held in a variety of languages, such as English, German, Spanish and French.
The aim of the camps is to study foreign languages through games and debates on different topics, and introduce participants to a variety of cultural traditions in a multi-faceted world, to help the kids gain experience in a multicultural environment, to make their knowledge of the studied language active and to help overcome the language barrier by means of purposeful creative interaction of participants, leaders and teachers.

The language camp accepts about 20-25 schoolchildren who have some knowledge of English, German or French languages. The children will be offered excursions around Tallinn, sports competitions, intellectual games, as well as work on creative projects and drama performances.
The most important aspect is that the project provides a good chance for youngsters to make new foreign friends, to practice languages through different games and to have fun at the same time.