Little Red Scarf Summer Camp Table of Contents Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
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Stories written by the LRS Lanzhou Staff, Translated by EV Interns
Little Red Scarf Summer Camp Day #1
August 11th was the first day of the Little Red Scarf Summer Camp. This camp aims to monitor the wellbeing of kids who’ve benefitted from Little Red Scarf and develop strong bonds with them through a natural summer camp setting.
This is the first set of photos:
LY-‐242 Caiman, a camper was brought to camp by his father
Two sisters arrive at camp
LY-‐273 Fangyan, a camper, arrives to camp with his father, who is receiving reimbursement for travel expenses as shown above.
LY-‐194 Xiao Zhen’s grandmother, sister, and Xian Zhen arrive at camp. Xiao Zhen’s grandmother even brings some soybeans from her garden as a gift.
The most inspiring and moving part of this camp was how much gratitude and trust we received from the families/ We tell the parents that the kids need to stay at Little Red Scarf’s office in Lanzhou from August 11th until August 15th and that their safety and welfare will be taken care of by the teachers at camp. We receive the same general response from the families: they were all at ease and trusted us completely with their children. After talking with their parents for just a bit, we were completely touched by their stories. From the kids attending the camp, Haoyang recovered from heart surgery three years ago and Xiao Zhen, Caiman, and Fangyan recovered only two years ago. Even though the children received their surgeries a long time ago, it still warms our hearts to see how grateful their families are for the help Little Red Scarf has given them.
The second set of photos depicts daily camp life for the children.
Each child received a colored bowl and towel at the beginning of camp. For the duration of the week, the kids will be using their own toothbrushes, towels, and dishes.
In order to make each child’s bowl unique from one another, each child got to choose their favorite color from the bowls provided
At noon, the children receive all their daily essential items, as well as their lunch. Our lunch consisted of dishes ordered from restaurants and rice steamed by ourselves. Before camp, we asked the parents if their children had any dietary constraints. Luckily, most kids were not particularly picky. However, we were told by Haoyang’s mother that Haoyang and his brother are not huge fans of vegetables. In addition, we were particularly worried about Hongyan because we were told she doesn’t eat too many fruits or vegetables.
Much to our surprise, Haoyang and his brother ate the most vegetables. His mother told us that her children generally did not eat many vegetables, but we sure were proven wrong.
The kids seem to have liked the potatoes the most!
The third set of photos show the signs we made to help kids identify each roo
For the girls’ living quarters, we drew a cute little girl logo to help kids identify rooms (For now, we are
using an office room as the girls’ living quarters). For the boys’ living quarters, we drew a handsome boy design in order to identify the room. The restrooms are labeled as well; each sign is accompanied with pinyin to help the children learn how to read.
Official Camp T-‐Shirts:
On the first day of camp, the kids were given a quick English lesson:
At dinner, we only shot video instead of photos. When the US interns return from China, everyone should be able to see them
We found that most kids slept well at night, but two girls were homesick. Xiao Zhen’s sister, Xiao Jing cried in her pillow around ten, crying that she missed her grandmother. On the boys’ side, Cainan was a bit homesick, but did not cry.
On the morning of August 12th, the children wake up around 7:00. use the toilet, brush their teeth, and freshen up. We eat breakfast at half past noon. Today, someone got up a bit later!O(∩_∩)O haha~
Little Red Scarf Summer Camp Day #2 8/12 was the second day of the summer camp. At 8, the kids were washed and fed, and the camp officially started at 8:30. Breakfast time：
Hongyan and Chenyang
Little Red Scarf Group photo:
Volunteer teacher Xiaoxiao first started with English class: they had a quiz on the four basic everyday words that they had learned the day before, and learned eight color words and ten number words. The kids are very focused on learning, but forget things very easily, as some are 8-‐ 10 years old, and it is their first time learning English. The three older kids are fine. An hour later, thanks to Xiaoxiao’s great teaching, the kids have basically mastered the concepts.
When learning about colors, the teachers gave the kids colored bowls as props to help the students understand and remember the concepts better.
After English, the kids had a ten minute break We prepared to start playing games! Before we started, though, we first made every kid choose a color they liked and then wrote it on a label that they stuck to their fronts. At the same time, we gave them another label with a number to stick to the same place. With these labels, taking attendance before starting the games was much easier.
So good looking! Kids have a lot more fun when they’re playing games with each other. Let’s see more pictures.
These kids performed this for us:
The next picture is a really important one! It’s the thousand-‐handed Guanyin! It’s really amazing; Teacher Guan helped them make it.
After the games and the activities, during the break, Teachers Guan and Wang opened the Little Red Scarf website to show the kids what they looked like before and after their surgeries. When they looked at Hongyan’s, she told everyone who all the people in the pictures were; she didn’t forget anyone, even remembering every single Little Red Scarf lady who visited her home. She is too good!
Noon quickly approached. Before lunch, Teacher Guan led everyone to recite the Chinese poem “”. The poem told the kids that when they ate, they should not waste food. The kids had played all morning and ate plentifully; soon, the bowls were all empty. Thirty minutes after lunchtime, it was naturally time to take a nap. The kids all slipped slowly into dreamland; here’s hoping that they will have sweet dreams.
After the midday nap, everyone continued activities at 2:30. It began with warmups, and then continued to origami class. I taught them how to fold paper frogs.
The frogs are done; the kids even drew on them with their favorite colors. Take a look at the finished products!
Our activities were not limited to only learning how to fold frogs: we even had a contest to see which kid’s frog was fastest. The first, second, and third place frogs would get a happy face.
Can you guess which person got first place? It was Haoyang, did you guess correctly? Caiman and Chenyang got second and third. In the later group, Haoyang and Xiaojing’s frogs were neck-‐in-‐ neck. After the race, it was fruit time! The watermelons were really sweet!
One of the last activities was to perform the song《感恩的心》. In this activity, every kid surprised us with his/her performance. The kids copied Teacher Guan’s every movement really well, and they could all, in the end, dance together to the music. We will perform this song at the end of the camp; looking forward to it!
If you just look at the kids’ faces, you will know how good the food is!
The drawing activity after dinner is one of today’s highlights; volunteer teacher Xiaoxiao felt very accomplished!
After watching television, the kids had to go to bed. The weary kids all took baths with Yunyun’s help. Hope they have sweet dreams for real this time! Good night, kids!
Little Red Scarf Summer Camp Day #3 On the third day of the Little Red Scarf Summer Camp, the originally shy campers became a lot more comfortable and began playing with each other. Now we have to remind them and ourselves often about the issue of safety. The originally gentle teachers also changed to become “stern” with certain children or incidents. Everyday after breakfast, the campers call their parents to tell them they are okay. We ask them to call in the mornings on purpose in order to prevent the children crying and being homesick if the call time was at night. (*^_^*) Hehe ... us teachers are very smart about things like this.
On the 13th, the scariest thing happened. The night before, we were notified that, because of fixing pipelines, the entire housing community would not have access to water or electricity from 8 am to 5 pm tomorrow. This notice made us very nervous and began preparing promptly. We got water, bathrooms, and attempted to solve as many of the problems as we can. Also because of this notice, our activities would take place mostly outside of home base. This would be the first time for us to leave the house since the beginning of the summer camp. All of the campers were extremely excited. Luckily, the actual time of the cutoff of water and electricity was not the announced time, so we were able to postpone the outdoor activity and wait for the cutoff to happen. Mrs. Gan and Yan led the first class in the morning – coloring. Dr. Gan and Tianyan brought many printed coloring templates and markers of all different colors. The children can color freely by coloring a picture they like with all the colors they choose, in order to produce a piece of art that they are satisfied with. We will share a small amount of pictures in the blog and the American intern will bring back the rest of the photos. Little Red Scarf teachers were around to maintain order. We were worried about children fighting over the markers, which would be bad. We still want a good reputation. Haha.
The children finished many beautiful pieces of art.
Everyone had fun during this activity. The campers colored one piece after another and would not stop. If the water and electricity were not cut off, I think we probably would spend the entire morning with colors. Of course, the lack of water and electricity did not dampen our spirits for our planned outing. We could not wait for this exciting event. We are ready to ride the bus.
Our first stop: Gansu Province Museum. We chose this place because we know that these children are all from rural areas and although they have had the opportunity to come to Lanzhou, they are very unlikely to have had a chance to visit the Province Museum. In addition, we also want to improve the quality of our summer camp as well as find a place to stay away from the heat. After we arrived, we first decided to eat lunch. Because today is our first outing and our American friends have just arrived, we went to get beef bowls. Unfortunately for Ms. Yun, when she left to take pictures of everyone else, the waitress took her bowl with unfinished beef noodles still in it. She did not even have a chance to try the soup when her bowl disappeared. She ordered a huge bowl of beef soup instead and immediately felt a lot better.
The children were great. Their appetite amazed even the teachers. ⊙ ⊙ Because we could not get a free guide for the tour of the museum, Ms. Yun became our substitute guide. Luckily, most of the artifacts in the museum have descriptions. Other exhibits include famous landmarks in Gansu. Ms. Yun made up things that mostly made sense for those, until the harder exhibits, during which she did not even open her mouth. During times like this, silence is golden.
After finishing the tour of the museum, we must have a group shot. So we chose to take it in front of the dinosaur fossil that the children especially liked.
The beef bowl was so delicious that even before finishing the tour, the campers and teachers all became thirsty and began looking for water. Luckily, on the third floor of the museum there is free boiled water. We spent an entire hour resting and drinking water. The place was definitely free and had comfortable benches. The resting was also in preparation for the activity to come. After touring the museum, the children and we walked to the Yellow River. The reason for this activity is twofold: first, we wanted the children to see the legendary Yellow River; second, we wanted the children to walk so Dr. Gan can see the change in the children with congenital heart disease after the surgery. In this group of children, everyone underwent surgery more than 2 years ago except for Hongyan, who was just discharged half a year ago. All the children walked nonstop in a fast pace for an hour. Sadly, all of them passed us teachers. We were all hot and tired while the campers were still very active. It must be great to be young.
We arrived at our destination. We first rested, ate some snacks, and drank some water to recharge. We have more exciting activities coming up.
It seems like Ms. Yun ate the most. Ever since the first day of the camp when Fangyan’s father told her that she grew fatter, her pride has been severely hurt and she ate more than ever. Everyone could eat slower and be careful not to choke. You cannot be fatter than Ms. Yun. Our first game was the Eagle Catching Chicken game, in which there was a hen, played by the gentle, kind, and beautiful Ms. Guan, while the powerful Ms. Yun, of course, played the eagle.
After the first round, the eagle and the hen were both too tired and too old to run, so new young hens and eagles replaced them. The children had a lot of energy. We were very impressed.
This little eagle was a lot better than the old eagle and caught three fat chicks in total. (*^_^*) Hehe ... The first game was finished and we were still not satisfied. So we played a second one. The second game was called Train Through a Tunnel.
You can tell from the photos that the activities were very exciting. Thank you so much to Aiju for taking these pictures. As a side compliment, her photo taking skills have improved dramatically.
Dr. Gan and Yan from the US were tired so they watched the entire time. Long airplane rides can be very tiring. They were still jetlagged when they committed themselves to work today and must be exhausted. Hopefully the happy laughter of the children can make them feel more relaxed and less tired.
After resting, we returned to our home base.
Exercising is very important. Jumping made us feel younger and happier.
Little Red Scarf children should grow to be healthy and strong in every passing day.
The peace sign sure comes up a lot.
Come on! Let us be happy together. On the trip back in the afternoon, the children slept soundly on the bus. The teachers saw, commented, and laughed at the children’s sleeping poses. The children have such beautiful sleeping postures. Unfortunately, there were too many people on the bus so we could not take a picture. This scene can only remain in our memory. We arrived at the office at 6 pm. The water and electricity are back, so we lined up to wash up and go to the restroom. The teachers began to prepare a delicious dinner. We keep telling the campers to not use their own chopsticks when taking food from common plates, but they always forget once they start eating. Smaller children need to eat standing up. This way, out little table was able to fit 13 people. Also, we ask them to remember to use polite language since we have guests with us. Good habits will take time to take root. Yunyun, Wang Li, Night of 8/13/2014
Little Red Scarf Summer Camp Day #4 Little Red Scarf Summer Camp is on its fourth day, which was considered to be a big one for all the kids. Starting late last night, there have been various incidents. From yesterday’s lack of water to today’s toilet/bathroom issues, it’s safe to say we’ve stumbled on some problems. The only solution would be to take the kids to the nearest hospital to use their restrooms. In the midst of this event the children have truly learned to cherish water as a valuable resource. Following that, in the morning, the children had yet another English class, where they learned the alphabet starting with the A, B, C’s. They’ve been learning very well; most kids can recognize and read all the letters, but struggle with the correct pronunciation.
For the next part of the day, the kids got to do something very exciting. Lauren asked the kids to choose their very own English name; the kids were delighted to do so. Everyone was given colorful markers to write it out themselves and to decorate their little name tag as they pleased.
Today, the children also received a music lesson from Teacher Gan. They learned the song, “Flower of the Field”. Though at first they struggled with the lyrics and the melody, the quickly caught on and sang beautifully. However, the most exciting part of today’s music lesson was when Lauren opened her bag to reveal her violin. Many of these children have never heard music live outside a TV. They were intoxicated by the sweet music. Teacher Gan had another surprise for them; she gave them each a recorder as a gift so that they can make their own music.
The kids constantly asked the two volunteers to listen to them play and to see them learn. Teacher Gan and Lauren taught them a few simple songs, such as Mary Had a Little Lamb. We were all so pleased to see their musical talent. At noon, the teachers began to prepare lunch and Lauren brought out some clay for the kids to play with. The kids went nuts over it! Truly amazing to see their imagination run wild . . .
The teachers make sure to give the kids ample nutritious food. Kids need to eat properly so they can grow as tall as a tree!
After lunch, we took the kids on a field trip. This time, we visited the Lanzhou Water Wheel
Exposition too see Lanzhou’s main river and its historical irrigation works. The sights brought us back to historical times, where our ancestors invented the water tankers.
We took pictures by the river and the wheel to remember this beautiful moment. From the songs they learned earlier this morning, they performed a couple. They sang, “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, “Singing with a Smile”, and a sign language son, “Grateful Heart”. There are truly many things to be grateful for. . . their upbringing form their parents, the help Little Red Scarf has
given them, and much much more!
The children did not forget to take this opportunity to practice the recorder. This truly marks a significant change—the kids went from being absolutely silent to performing music in public. We saw change especially in Hongyan, who has truly shown courage through her shyness. Seeing this change in her and all the children has truly made all of us joyous.
Look at how large our group is! From time to time, people passing by will ask us how they can sign their kids up with our camp, for many kids are envious to see how much fun our kids are having.
As wonderful as the afternoon was, it had to end eventually. By sunset, we had to leave the river to return for dinner. After dinner, all the kids pulled Lauren aside to show her all the work they had made with the clay she brought.
The cute little bear was made by Xiao Zhen, the little duck by Fangyan, the Red bear by Hongyan, and the grapes were a result of Caiman’s work. The kids truly are very talented. All the kids have trouble sleeping tonight because they are sad that tomorrow is their last day together . . .
Little Red Scarf Summer Camp Day #5 Today was the fifth day of camp, but it seemed like the shortest day. Dr. Gan and Yan arrived at 8:30 to come and play with the kids. Meanwhile, Lauren and her mom brought many gifts for the children. They were like magicians in the children’s eyes, with their capability to pull out wonderful gifts out of nowhere.
Dr. Gan and Yan shoed a short film and afterwards, the kids got to partake in their favorite part of the day, music lessons. They learned how to play new songs on their recorders. Today, they learned Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Dr. Gan taught passionately, the kids learned passionately, and the teachers wished they could learn with them, passionately.
First, Dr. Gan demonstrated and showed them how to play. The kids listened eagerly, absorbing all the information being taught.
Music rang in the room, melodious with varying tone. The kids thanked Dr. Gan for teaching them how to play wonderful music.
Today, Lauren and her mom led a new activity. They brought fish and dragon shaped magic scratch paper. This paper is black in appearance, but once scratched with a rough surface, a beautiful ombré rainbow is revealed. This activity is particularly good for the kids because it allows them to explore with their imagination and utilize their creativity. They were all amazed by their creations.
Once finished, Lauren helped tie a string around the paper so that they can hang it up where they please
Cai Nan’s fierce dragon.
Xiao Zhen proudly showing off her beautiful fish.
Hongyan’s rainbow zebra fish Lauren brought them a bag with their English name on it so that they can bring all of their goodies from camp back home safely.
The bag was left blank for the kids to decorate with paper hearts and a variety of stickers.
It’s truly amazing seeing the kids work; this picture above shows the spectacular scene.
We all loved everyone’s bag; each was differently decorated, reflecting their individual personalities.
Lauren leaves one last gift, a gift from the interns from the US, and thanked the kids for the amazing experience. She hopes that this camp will resonate in their memories and give them great memories to recall on. The children gave Lauren and her mother a huge thanks for everything they have done for them during this camp.
Dr. Gan read them a letter from one of the interns from the US. The letter encouraged the children to become stronger and more powerful. The parents are almost here . . . this is our last dinner together.
After dinner, the doctor gives them one last auscultation and Little Red Scarf gives the children a gift they will never forget: photographs from summer camp to remind them of the wonderful memories they have created.
Finally, the summary of the teachers’ experience at this camp: 1） This summer camp consisted of eight kids, each at different ages, education level, and school experiences. During the entire camp, the teachers placed an emphasis on the younger children’s education, including curriculum design and activity design In order to cater towards all kids, they were taught at a kindergarten level. 2） Taking care of younger children and safety was the upmost priority. Thus, one thing that we struggled with was to create activities that were exciting, safe and mentally relevant for the kids. 3） Another problem was that the office was often very crowded. With eight children and over seven adults, office activities were very limited. Though with sparse space, the sleeping arrangements were satisfactory. 4） Next time, we hope to have more volunteers to help out. With more volunteers, we can create a better camp for the kids. We’ll need people in charge of photography, welfare, dorm life, and activities in class. 5） Overall, the teachers were satisfied with the camp and the experience they gained. They hope for many more camps to come!