Ice Cream and Ketchup! Yes…. plus Kiwi Fruit and Cheese!

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

Before completing my second academic year in SK and venturing off for Winter vacation my last task was to lead the second Chungwon High School Winter Camp. The camps title was “Around the World with 4 Fictional Explorers” but quickly shortened to “Around the World in Two Days” as that was the camps duration. The focus was actually the movie “Around the World in 80 days” and 4 countries; Egypt, Spain, Brazil and Myanmar to which I fly off next Thursday. My ambition was to open the kids minds to the possibilities of travel enhancing their lives and liberating their views on the world outside SK.

The teams were allocated to the four countries and introduced to four fictional travelling characters and the books and movies in which they appear; they were Philleas Fogg, Captain Nemo, Pi Patel and 🙂 Dr. Who. Each student had a work book which included a range of activities from quizzes to art; all of which included speaking and listening. There would be individual and team prizes at the end based upon the number of “heart” stickers they had won.

Day One

Opening ceremony with the Principal

Activity 1: Introduction & Team Formation. I presented the four characters profiles and showed clips of the movies in which they appeared as well as videos showing why the students should visit the four countries nominated above


Activity 2: “Travel Quiz” board game. I used an existing ESL board game called “Word-up” but created new question and answer booklets relating to travel with spelling, missing word, crossword clue and multiple choose questions. We had heats and finals to fins the top team.

Activity 3: “University Challenge”. Question master Gary put the students through their paces on the 4 countries plus world questions. Stusents chose home questions for 2 points, away questions for 3 points or more difficult lucky dip “world” questions for 4 points.

Activity 4: “Our Country: Poster”. To make sure the students with lower level English could make a significant team contribution I introduced some creative activities. The students had to make a promotional poster relating to their country using literature and pictures garnered from the various Tourism Boards of their countries.  They were given a head “tag line” to use as a poster title and the teachers voted on the best oater.  I also gave a special bonus award for the most creative idea.

Activity 5: “Scavenger Hunt, Follow the Clues?”. To close day one the scavenger hunt. I gave the students twelve clues relating to 12 images e.g. A Sioux Indian. The pictures were hidden around the school and grounds. This operated as an individual activity so again academic ability counted for nowt!

After dinner around 7 was the evening movie: Around the World in 80 Days which despite its panning by the critics and flopping at the box office (as I predicted) was well received; Korean kids love slapstick humour. Finally there was a diary writing activity which again was linked to a prize.

Day Two

Activity 6: Breakfast Activity “French Toast”. This activity was awesome, full of engagement and laughter. It was a simple task with two simple savoury and sweet toppings for the toast but of course the kids “creativity” took over.  Many eccentric concoctions hit the plates including a sandwich with Eggy bread, ice cream, kiwi fruit and tomato ketchup! Eccentric to what?

Activity 7: “Costume Design and Music Quiz”. The students used their artistic skills to decorate a male or female mannequin with a national dress of their choice.  We allowed them to use their cell phones to find the dress of their choice.  Most Korean kids have  better than average artistic skills which I’d like to see used more in their education system. Art is not valued enough!

Activity 8: “Movie Quiz”. I’d handed them quite difficult questions prior to the movie to see if they could extract the answers; of course many used their cell phones to enhance the research :-). To some of the teachers surprise all groups generated 12 correct answers.

Activity 9: “Charades and Celebration”. Finally we played charades, not specifically travel related but a lot of fun. I explained that western people often play charades when on holiday or at party’s.  The students had to guess what the actors was doing or what animal they were.  A correct answer in English was rewarded by 2 points; if they didn’t know the English word but answered in Korean they gained one point.

Finally we completed an evaluation of the camp, cleaned up and prepared for a well-earned winter vacation. The principal kindly gave me the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off desk warming so I can prepare for my trip. 6:30pm Thursday I fly to Myanmar. I’m hoping to blog as I travel around but I’m not too confident about the internet over there so if its not too good I’ll write up on returning home. My itinerary is as follows:

Yangon (9-14 January), overnight train to Bagan (15-16 January),

Ferry to Mandalay (17-19 January), drive to Kalaw (20 January),

drive to Inle Lake ( 21-23 January), fly back to Yangon and drive to Kyaiktiyo and Bago (24-25 january), fly back to Yangon

Fly to Bangkok (26 January) meeting FOBY and returning to SK on the 1st February.

Time to do the ironing!