Campers from China!

With the summer almost halfway through, summer camp is in full swing.  Working at one of the most established summer camps in the world has afforded me the opportunity to work with people from a wide variety of countries.  Arriving back to camp on Sunday morning, I was happy to find that we will be hosting a group of several Chinese campers as well as their chaperones for the next two weeks.  Straight from Beijing, they range from the age of five all the way through fourteen.  It is the coolest event of the summer as far as I am concerned.
I do not know what the future holds in terms of my connection to the summer camp world, but over the last few months I have gained an interest in some of the cultural exchange programs that exist between China and the United States (as well as some other countries here and there).  I would like to combine some of the elements of each of the things that I enjoy, which ultimately leads me to look at study abroad programs and cultural immersion.  The current group of campers that we have are here through a Canadian agency who I know little about.  I suspect that they are based out of Vancouver, but I have no solid evidence.  Ideally, I would like to travel to China and recruit staff members to come work in the US, or some other arrangement in which I am taking American students to China for cultural exchange.  Actually that’s not quite true.  Ideally, I would like to write, but this will not pay the bills just yet.
These thoughts on summer camp, and my interest in China have led me to wonder about summer camp in the PRC.  I don’t know a whole lot about such organizations, or if there is even any such tradition within the nation’s history.  I am going to do some research on the subject and see what, if anything, there is to know.  Based on what I know of Chinese parents and their frequent obsession with their Children, I can’t quite picture them sending their kids away for the summer, but then again, I know very little of the subject.  Do Chinese have this remarkable world of summer camp?

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