The 10th anniversary of the PSU – BSU English Camp was purely the definition of success. With more than 110 students from four PSU campuses, 13 Camp Leaders from the USA, and a bevy of PSU staff on hand to make it all happen, it was a project that truly outperformed itself.
The camp began in Bangkok, and then traveled on to Hua Hin, Surat Thani, Krabi, Phuket, and Trang, visiting many attractions along the way.
In Surat Thani participants enjoyed the monkey training center at Kradae Jae, where all learned how monkeys can be trained to harvest coconuts. At the Salaka Garden they learned how not only to grow the succulent salaka fruit, but also the process of growing and roasting coffee beans.
In Krabi, students and Camp Leaders alike took part in a voyage to the Andaman Sea’s James Bond Island and a tour of Koh Panyee, a 200-year-old floating Muslim fishing village, where hand-woven silk garments and inventive bric-a-brac reign.
In Phuket everyone was excited to visit the famed Chalong Temple, and then delighted in a tour of a nearby pearl factory. The day ended with a glorious, relaxing time spent on Naiharn Beach, having dinner while the sun set, while some partook in swimming and hiking.
The time in Trang was highlighted by an informative and aesthetically breathtaking tour of the Thung Khai Peninsular Botanical Garden, where all were treated to the 18-meter high canopy walkway. This, however, was not to be outdone by a tour of the Plan Creation Toy Factory, where the display of handmade wooden toys returned everyone to younger days.
Throughout all this, of course, daily English lessons were conducted, with the Thai students exposed to English spoken by native speakers. Friendships were made all around. Thai students made new friends with other Thais, and all Camp Leaders created lasting kinship with their newfound Thai students.
Most important, however, was the motivation given the students to love and continue to learn English—this is the goal of English Camp, and the 10th anniversary proved the ultimate success.
Profound thanks go to Dr. Kris Rugsaken and Dr. Chatchai Ratanachai, who for the past 10 years have generously devoted their time and energy to this endeavor. Cheers to you both!
And long may English Camp continue.
by Lance Terry