Taking part in a summer camp is such a unique experience not only for the fun activities and the spectrum of people you will meet but even just the concept itself is rather interesting. Participants spend a week away from normal civilisation being governed by a completely new schedule (with some very unique programmes) where, due to the 24/7 exposure to new people, you quickly form very deep connections with people you have only known for two or three days. Those who have not experienced a camp like this will not understand the intensity of connection building and general firing of such camps but it is literally like living in a brand new sub-community that is disconnected from the rest of the world! As discussed in the last review, Angloville invited native speakers from all over the world to help organise these camps and deliver conversational language sessions and so each camp will be totally different (despite following exactly the same programme every camp) and as the camps are usually a few hours away from Budapest you feel as if you are secluded with a group of random strangers away from everyday life. Will the step away from day-to-day stresses can be very relieving, you do quickly fall into the trap of expecting every day going forward being within this strange community setting so the moment you re-integrate into normal civilisation is a bit weird! There was a moment after the first camp had finished that we went to a shopping centre and it felt so surreal to see moving about freely, being able to buy whatever food we wanted and not having to herd people to a random activity!
We have spent the last two weeks travelling across Hungary teaching English at various summer camps (if you want to stay updated to date you can check part one of the trip at https://rhysreviews.com/2022/07/26/hungary-2022-part-one/ and part two at https://rhysreviews.com/2022/08/04/anglovile-2022-week-one-experience-review/) and we are spending another week teaching English with the company Angloville but this time in a brand new location and mostly new participants. The unique structure of any camp (but specifically Anglovile camps) means that even though the timetable is exactly the same, it is the people at the camp that make every week different from the last! We went from the over overwhelmingly spacious Kunsagi major to the a lot smaller Adam Tanya both of which had it’s our benefits and drawbacks. The former had a lot more space for activities and games but meant that oftentimes sessions would start late as participants would have to walk from one side of the camp to the other (which could easily be at least a ten-minute walk) and also in free times it was often very difficult to locate anyone as everyone would spread out across the site. The latter on the other hand was a lot smaller which meant we had to be much more careful with the activities we did but we could easily locate any missing learners or international participants. Generally speaking, I would say that the food was of a higher quality than the first camp we did this year with one meal being a particular highlight (more on that later!) and also the participants of this camp were a bit more mature which meant more stimulating conversations could be had. Adam Tanya was also in the countryside which had some horses (which, unlike Kunsagi, we were not able to ride) but I do have to say that there were a lot fewer flies in the bedroom! Both camp locations served their purpose but I do think the smaller sit of Adam Tanya allowed for more meaningful connections to be made as both Hungarian and international participants were essentially forced to communicate with one another during any free session due to the space available!
Yet again for this camp, I was given the role of activity leader which is one of the limited paid positions available on an Anglovile camp. As discussed in my previous blog post this position pays around £150 for the week where my main responsibility is organising the games/activities that the learners will take part in. This also meant that the number of speaking sessions I took part in was severely decreased which is something that people should be aware of when signing up for this role. This position had me leading organising and leading the games (which tended to be recycled drama games), social activities and group activities that everyone took part in! I do have to say that the participants of the Adam Tanya seemed to be more willing and excited about the premise of a talent show where we not only saw me recycle (an albeit upgraded version of) my magic show, other comedy acts, hilarious comedy performances, mesmerising baton twirling, incredible speed cubing and wonderful dance lessons (both tap and ballet.) We also saw the return of the camp song which was brilliantly made up of both international and Hungarian participants both singing and doing the cup movements. I also think that due to the higher age of the camp participants and the limited space available, this group of campers were a lot more creative with the photo scavenger hunt which I personally created and organised. The campers used every resource available to them to create hilarious and very clever submissions to each of the categories which is always great to see! We also spent an evening where the Hungarian participants had to teach the international teacher a series of Hungarians phrases that would be presented in front of everyone. The learners found this activity very entertaining and were genuinely proud of each person’s attempt at their language. This second camp managed to involve a lot more cultural exchanges which I personally think is a vital part of camps like these ones! However , despite being responsible for the activities for the week my personal highlight was actually organised by the hotel staff! Towards the end of the camp, one of the chefs decided to cook traditional Kyver Langos outside in a huge pizza over with a range of toppings and sauces that each person could individually customise. I will say however that it did seem like all the flies had been hiding until this point as the food was swarmed by flies! This meal was so classically campsite food yet still with a Hungarian flavour which I know many people really enjoyed!
Overall, this week’s Anglovile camp at Adam Tanya really focussed on the cultural exchanges and social interactions that were slightly missing from the first camp. The higher maturity of Hungarian learners meant that conversations could be more complex and learners could use more of their own creativity for activities. As a general note, this camp seemed to be a lot more organised and structured than the previous with mentors being more aware of their responsibilities (with some maybe pushing their learners a bit too hard even) but keeping the focus firmly on English development! I would rate this camp 4.5 stars out of 5!