Guanren Community hosts children's summer camp
The Guanren Community and the Boai Social Service Center hosted a weeklong summer camp last week for dozens of local and international students between the ages of 7 and 12.
A total of 15 volunteer students and teachers from Manila Xiamen International School (MXIS) helped to lead the festivities.
“Our kids have been at home for too long because of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Smita Anand, a mother of three. “They need to come back to the community and interact with other people so that they can feel the warmth and joy of play and communication,” she added.
The children played a number of games, including icebreakers, scavenger hunts and more. A group of journalists led a children's seminar about how to conduct an interview. The children decorated mini-microphones and conducted their own interviews.
“This was my first time to be a volunteer and I felt tired but fulfilled, said Hanna Quibuyen, an MXIS volunteer who is in the twelfth grade. “The kids in my group were quite competitive and I did help them try to win,” she said. “But these little kids amazed me and, even though our team lost the game, they all still had great fun.”
The summer camp included visits by the students to cooking classes at four area restaurants. At the Japanese restaurant Masake, chefs taught the children how to make sushi and everyone enjoyed a Japanese meal. The students even practiced their interviewing skills with restaurant owner Zou Luhong.
They discovered that Ms. Zou has run the restaurant for 19 years and that the name of the restaurant is a Japanese girl's name. Asked why it carries a person's name, Ms. Zou said that “this restaurant is my little girl.”
“I was pleased to welcome these kids and to help our community host this event,” said Ms. Zou. “Guanren is a tight-knit community and I've watched it develop over the years,” she added. “I hope that all local and foreign residents feel happy and at home while working and living here.
Eric Chen was another MXIS student who volunteered for summer camp. “My role was very mixed and I took turns as an interpreter, a referee and a team leader,” said Mr. Chen. “We encountered some unexpected challenges but my partners rallied to solve things as they came up. It's been challenging and enjoyable.”
Mitchel Africa, a science teacher from MXIS, also helped to lead the camp. “Schools closed for a long time and students may have been bored or stressed,” said Mr. Africa. “Everyone needs an opportunity to get together and remember the joys of community,” he added. “We hope that this summer camp is both fun and a chance to build and rebuild social skills.”
Mr. Africa noted that the summer camp included a number of health requirements, including a limit on participants and face mask requirements in public spaces.
By Wan Yuling, Wendy Shi