During the last month, almost 100 teenage students participated in the annual English camp of Nitzana.
For ten days, the students were immersed in the world of English, studying five hours a day and doing all of their activities in English. Whenever they were caught speaking Hebrew, they had to do push ups!
Sounds tough? But it worked!
English speaking volunteers came from four different countries to speak English with the students during their activities and free time. After 10 days, the students were very excited with their new English capabilities and felt much more confident.
Each day after learning in class, students participated in activities such as swimming, bike riding in the desert, a camel trip and a sand dune outing where they cooked their own falafel and made their own soup. They also learned to track desert wildlife, studied the stars, had a treasure hunt, played soccer and Capture the Flag. They even went on a trip to Ein Avdat. One special evening outing was called "Ash Lila."
The English professor became Captain Jack and the volunteers became commanders. The kids had to march in army formation into the desert and obey all exercises and tactics in English. Of course in addition to all of these fun activities, they visited the learning environments of Nitzana which included the solar park, recycling center and water reclamation classroom.
A contest, similar to a spelling bee, was held. Students were given 80 new vocabulary words to learn. The words were said to each individual in Hebrew and they had to say it in English. If they missed, they were out. There were some really bright students who knew every word and finally the last two people left standing, each received 100 NIS prize.
Learning English has become more important than ever before with our global world meshing together. Commerce, trade and many professional trades require a good knowledge of English. English opens wide the doors of opportunity for our children. Even the law in Israel for obtaining a degree has become stricter. Students must attain to a certain level of English before receiving their degrees and that's what we wanted to do in our English camp - help those who want to succeed by giving them a little needed push.