English Language Camp – Crikvenica, Croatia
Unlike last year, this year’s English language camp in Croatia will be held in Crikvenica.
Today we left for Croatia from Nagybajom. The motorway took us through such picturesque landscapes that we soon forgot about the fatigue of the long journey. At first, the sea only lured us in and out of the pine-clad mountain peaks, playing like a siren with our eyes and minds. We arrived at our destination at 6pm, and after the obligatory laps we could finally touch the caressing waves. Our language teachers – Peter Holly, Zsuzsanna Hamlin, Amber Woolam and James Kramer – had prepared an ice-breaker task not only for the kids but also for the mentors: everyone was given a printed list of names and a blank box next to each name. They had to come up with questions to find out as much as possible about each other. Apart from the simple “what will you be when you grow up”, they also touched on serious topics such as the environment and global issues, which were the main themes of the camp, and I personally was asked what made me move home from Germany.
László Gázsik, ELTE, Teacher Training Programme: English Language and Culture – History
The next day the children were divided into groups. Peter Holly presented the theme of the week, which focuses on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Together with our mother tongue teachers, our aim is to help the children overcome mental barriers and dare to speak English.
“English language sessions started today. We were excited to see what topics we would cover and how we would cover them. We broke into groups and started working together. The first task was to show English words and phrases, which our team mates had to guess. They were all related to the environment, as this was the theme of the week. The first lesson was given by volunteer Peter Holly for our group, where we discussed environmental problems in developing countries and compared them with those in developed countries. The next lesson was given by Aunt Zsuzsa, where we looked for interesting articles about natural disasters and environmental protection and made a presentation to the rest of the group. All in all, the lessons were good fun and I liked the fact that we had to use our creativity.” Fruzsina Székelyi, Group 2, Jászberény
“I had the opportunity to attend the English language camp in Croatia, where I had a fantastic time. Every day, English classes started at 9 a.m., where we were divided into groups, studied and had to give a presentation on a topic of our choice by the end of the camp. On the first day we had a better look at the city and where we were. The second day was a common beach trip where everyone was busy. Third day we travelled to Plitvice Lakes where we took a 3 hour hike. The national park was a fabulous sight, a real experience to be there. Day four we took a boat to the island of Krk, where we visited the 900 year old town of Vrbnic. Among other attractions, it has one of the narrowest streets in the world, only 43 cm long. Once we got back from there, we were given some more time to explore the town. On the last day, we had a presentation of the projects and then we ran down to the beach to enjoy the last few minutes. We had our dinner from 7-8 and then group work was the priority, with curfew at 10. I had a great time, made some close friends and last but not least my language development was evident. I’m grateful to the Foundation for organizing such a great camp for us, to our English teachers who taught and developed us day by day, to the helpful mentors who we could always count on when we had questions, to the volunteers, the small mentors, the students’ flexibility, love and help and last but not least to our camp leader who made it so great with his guidance and help. In a word; thank you to everyone who contributed to making our camp such a great one and to being here. I hope I will have more opportunities to attend camps like this from now on, because without thinking yes would be my answer.” Erika Deák, Transylvanian student
“Crikvenica, the location of the camp, provided an excellent environment and a great programme for language learning. The locals were friendly and helpful. The camp had volunteers who helped where they could. The English teachers were very flexible and understanding. In randomly formed groups, we had to create a presentation on sustainable environment for the others. This was very important for me, partly because it allowed me to talk to people I don’t normally talk to. Another important part of the camp was the food (in my opinion). We had a very varied meal every morning, noon and evening, so I was able to taste local specialities. In addition to the excellent programmes, the organisers provided us with plenty of free time, and almost every day we had the opportunity to go down to the beach and swim in the sea. One thing I can definitely cross off my bucket list thanks to the camp was a visit to the Plitvice Lakes, where we could walk around the lakes and enjoy the incredibly clear waters, countless waterfalls and the well-kept, clean, almost untouched environment. I had wanted to visit the lakes for years. If I had the chance, I would come to Crikvenica and the language camp again!” Tibor Kovács, Pécs Group 1
“A new feature of the camp was that the language lessons were taught by different teachers, which made learning interesting and active for us. We also used our English skills freely outside the lessons in conversations with the foreign developers. The excursions and beach trips were also fun, the community was very friendly and cohesive. The project work that our teachers assigned us to do brought the groups together and we were able to approach environmental awareness from different angles, as well as gain new knowledge from our peers.” Eszter Sárközi, Kaposvár Group 2
“When we arrived in Croatia, I never imagined that I would have such an intense, fun, but also recharging and simply great week. And it was, and I’ve stored every single moment of the camp in my memory, never to forget! Which ones? The laughs, thanks to the tiring but funny jokes of our English developer James. The conversations about social issues we had with Peter, or the board game nights we couldn’t have done without Zsuzsa. She was the one who patiently explained the essence of the games to everyone until everyone understood. I will never forget Amber’s positivity and cheerfulness, nor the moments when the mentors, volunteers and helpers were all working to make sure that everything went well and everyone had the best time possible.
I learned a lot at this camp, not only in English, but also as a person, because the adults around us showed me what it means to be resilient, selfless and human in our daily lives.” Gyula Pege, Group 3, Jászberény
More pictures in the gallery!