This month, GVI volunteers and staff successfully created, organized, and planned a week-long summer camp for over 100 students at the Ban Yan Yao School, which is located in the town of Takuapa, about a 10 minute drive from our Phang Nga base. The school-summer holidays in Thailand last from the end of March until the middle of May, so it’s essential that we come up with fun ways for our volunteers to spend time with students and immerse themselves in the local culture.
We split the 100 students and the GVI team into three different groups, and each group participated in two different activities each day. Some of the activities GVI volunteers organized include vocational English lessons, cooking classes, various arts, crafts, and science activities, beach cleans, and a football tournament. We ran through some common hospitality conversations with the students during the vocational English lessons, with each student acting out a different role in the tourism industry. During the cooking lessons, we prepared beautiful fruit salads and learned how to chop vegetables quickly, cleanly, and safely. With a beach clean happening every day with a different group of students, we ended up collecting over 50 bags of garbage total from a gorgeous stretch of beach near Ban Nam Khem. During the craft periods, we made beautiful collage paintings out of old books, papier-mâché model volcanoes, and even made planter boxes with soil and seeds for the students to keep!
This is the first time we’ve been involved with the Ban Yan Yao School, and they were very excited to have GVI there. The first day of the camp opened with a small ceremony, and in attendance was the mayor of Takuapa, the head of tourism in Phang Nga, and other important officials who were all impressed with the quality of our volunteer-led summer camp. The leadership abilities displayed by the volunteers that took part was admirable and it was inspirational to see volunteers adding their own flair to the activities they had planned for their group. The sense of pride staff and volunteers had for their respective groups was great!
The summer camp was a pleasure to host and was thoroughly enjoyed by all those who took part. We hope to continue our work with the Ban Yan Yao school and have word has already spread of our achievements here with another school in the area asking us to assist them with the planning of an extracurricular camp!