ADVENTURE CAMP - MORE THAN JUST AN ADVENTURE
The word adventure can be defined in many ways; something unusual, something which moves beyond the boundaries of everyday life. Moreover, adventure is unrecognised beauty, an unsurvivable experience or unexpected encounter, superior performance, emotional strain. For a better understanding, we can divide the word into several groups depending on what area of children's skills are being developed – adrenalin, aesthetics, adaptability, performance and intellect, through the camp theme or sightseeing trips. Some adventures are reserved for a whole day, others alternate throughout the day and many are often appropriately combine to complement each other.
ADRENALINEWe can sum it up as a stressful situation in which children learn to concentrate as well as how to act quickly taking decisive decisions. A typical example known from traditional camps is the night game, in which children start tense with the uncertainty of mystery, the unknown, with the need to simultaneously cope with the darkness, with surprise and with the specified task all while dealing with fear. Sometimes it's just known as the ‘walk of courage’, sometimes children have a mission that must be met in the middle of the dark night’s forest. Adrenaline levels rise, especially if it will shower from the skies on a hot summer day during a proper water fight, during which filled balloons fly everywhere and precisely directed jets from water pistols criss-cross the open space. What is this compared to the wild ride on rafts from the ruins of Dobronice all the way underneath the bridge at Bechyně! An element of danger and fear is contained in the rope climb over obstacles hung high up trees, and when flying through the air on a chair pulley, which everyone will want to try again. Among the most popular fighting games is ‘Highland War’, where, until the last moment, you have no idea what rank your opponent has while trying to fight your way to the enemy king, or face the inevitable fate of the loser. And what about The Hunger Games, a spectacular battle of all against all, in which all sorts of techniques are used to hit the enemy from a distance, only one can win!
AESTHETICSJust as a stressful situation produces adrenaline, so participation in creative and artistic activities deepens the aesthetic senses and induces the production of endorphins, evoking a feeling of satisfaction and happiness. Therefore, this category includes artistic achievements, which are expected in fort building in the forest, singing karaoke or the ever-popular talent show, where everyone can show what they can do with often very imaginative visual effects. Among these activities also lies the crazy disguises on the glow stick Night Walk, an evening procession with glow sticks, from which children can make lanterns or other objects of various shapes. Another night light adventure is the traditional firework display and especially the Fire Show, which sees juggling flaming balls and fantastic glowing shapes. Using the light against the wall the shadows will show us how many animals can be made from only two hands. Romance is experienced during stargazing. The favourite Photo Story sees children assemble stories on a given topic creating compositions in which they themselves appear. Probably the most time-consuming adventure in the field of aesthetics is the colour day, when everything in the camp must be tuned orange – clothing, grass, walls, flags, hair, toilet paper, leaders’ smiles, the mood in the disco, and perhaps even the food on the plate.
ADAPTABILITYIn unusual situations, for which it is not possible to prepare children, they learn a lot about themselves, learning to understand their shortcomings while finding a way to overcome them. To some it is sufficient to kindle a fire and roast sausages or maybe trdelník (special new Czech sweet cake made on fire), for others perhaps while sleeping under the stars. We will gain extraordinary abilities during Superhero Day, where everyone must behave exactly according to the character of their hero. Let's not forget the perfect 007, from whom we borrow some of the amazing technological inventions, swift action and, of course, elegance and humour! We will investigate their ability to change while telling adventure stories in the local surroundings. As well as all of the above, we will throw in good games such as Capture the Flag and Capture the Leader, where two teams fight for their flag or try to capture the opponent’s leader. Or Treasure Hunt, in which a small team, in a limited period of time, performs a variety of tasks even with no English when not permitted. A similarly interesting game is ‘Letters to Pedro’, where there is a fight between thieves and postmen, who desperately seek the right recipients. The special charm of this game lies in assembling teams of varying ages, forcing them to work together and overcome shyness. And do not forget Casino Night! This adventure sits us face to face with gambling passion, and the entire camp can try the treacherous dangers of gambling.
PERFORMANCEAs already mentioned, recreational sport is not a real adventure yet, but quite different emotions arise from sports tournaments; thrilling and varied examples of agility and training. This is best shown through the camp Olympics involving a large number of disciplines. In the same spirit, we see exciting races on the boats or orienteering in the vicinity of the camp, which was created for this purpose. It will also be necessary to practice archery and darts. You can easily lose balance during water games, but even more successful in this respect is the so-called Dry Pub – an exercise in which you are so dizzy that you stagger like a drunk just leaving the pub. We can’t forget the show of strength in various sports such as volleyball, soccer, swap, ping-pong, softball, cricket, frisbee and petanque.
INTELLECTNot everyone is aware of the role intellectual emotion plays in our lives. It is even common in the lives of children who daily go through successes and failures at school experiencing joy and disappointment. At the camp, we certainly do not ask how to calculate maths problems, we don’t even expect specific grammatical examples. Our assignments are based on a creative approach that uses a combination of their memory as well as imagination and swift action. This is why we will not miss puzzles and codes both visual and verbal. A language camp naturally lends itself to competitions in English. We want even the weaker ones to experience the joy of success, so we include even less demanding disciplines. Among the most popular for many years has been "Unlock the Code".
ADVENTURE THEME 2023
Both leaders of each group, the native English speaker and Czech leader, organize the program which should entertain and educate, it is carried out primarily in English. Each year SUMMER TIME has a unique theme, which by its nature evokes many adventures. This year there are not only many adventures awaiting us, but also many interesting facts in the game HUNT FOR THE METEOR, which is inspired by the timeless novel written by Jules Verne, the founder of science fiction literature. The close approach of a cosmic object to the Earth usually only raises questions about a possible apocalypse, but Verne shows us another point of view – in the story the approaching meteoroid is in fact made entirely of gold and represents an incredible value that not only poses a scientific and technological challenge, but also raises a number of political and moral issues that are described with humorous insight using models of everyday human behavior.At the beginning of our story there is an innocent argument between two astronomers - stargazers about the primacy of the discovery of the meteor. But this is only a minor incident compared to what is to come in the future. At the beginning of the last century spectral analysis was in fact already able to determine what this meteoroid was made of.
Therefore, when the Paris Observatory announced that, according to the calculations of its experts, the meteoroid measured 55 meters in diameter, weighed 1.8 million tones and was made entirely of pure gold, the real HUNT FOR THE METEOR had just begun. An extraordinary sequence of events followed. Everyone would prefer to have that gold just for themselves. Can you also think of certain parallel with today, when in the pursuit of wealth, which is mainly perceived as mineral and raw material wealth, people do not hesitate to use any means, including war conflicts? At that time, a meteoroid of immense value was circling 400 km above the earth. The value, which could be obtained in the form of pure gold, exceeded all imaginations of possible wealth. However, an enthusiastic physicist managed to calculate its flight path and to build a device that could direct it to a specific point of impact on the Earth. In this connection it is not without interest that an extremely interesting rock called pitchblende, which was purchased for this purpose in Bohemia near the silver mines in Jáchymov, played an important role in the construction of the instrument. Uraninite, which is what pitchblende is properly called today, is the most important ore of uranium and radium and it is used, for example, in the fuel cells of nuclear power stations. You may also be wondering, what the difference between a meteor, meteoroid and meteorite is.
Meteoroids are objects that are millimeters to tens of meters in size that move between planets in our solar system. When such a meteoroid collides with the Earth, meaning it flies into its atmosphere, we see a light phenomenon called a meteor. And if, thanks to favorable conditions, the meteoroid does not burn up in our atmosphere and falls on the surface of the Earth, we can find this cosmic object, which we call a meteorite. The story in Verne's novel escalates, purely because of human foolishness, to a situation where a global catastrophe is imminent. But look, everything can be solved by the goodness of the human heart, which simply must show up in a critical situation. The moral decision of an individual for whom goodness and science meant more than any wealth, proved in the end to be more rational than all the governments and personalities of the world. Fortunately, the world conflict was averted because the meteor was redirected in such a way that nothing was left of the meteoroid when it hit the Earth. But who knows, maybe we will discover a fragment of this cosmic body, that is a meteorite, after more than a hundred years. After all, people find meteorites all over the world every day, even much older ones. Even Jules Verne himself could not have known how relevant his science fiction story is today. That all the gold on Earth comes from outer space and was brought to our planet by asteroid impact, is already a scientifically proven fact. But for instance, the enormous potential of the asteroid Psyche 19, which travels between Jupiter and Mars, is being demonstrated by the interest of the US space agency NASA, which has decided to carry out a mission called the Discovery Mission with the aim of reaching this asteroid as early as 2026. Perhaps we are at the beginning of a new industrial era where gold and other precious metals will be extracted by mining in outer space. Some adventurous mining companies are more than enthusiastic about the challenge, because the mentioned asteroid Psyche 19, for example, is estimated to contain enough gold to equal several tones for every person on the planet. The more than 100-year-old message by which Verne warns mankind in his novel is now brought to life again ... Well, let's set off together for the next adventures of the SUMMER TIME language camp.
One afternoon is devoted to a trip to the beauties of South Bohemia. English remains at the centre of our interest throughout the journey. Through games and activities the children are engaged through hearing the English interpretation of familiar local landmarks and other places of interest. As part of the trip, children can look forward to, for example, visits to the historical cellar of the town of Tábor, a cruise along the Vltava River from the castle Zvíkov to the castle Orlík – zamekorlik.cz or from Týn nad Vltavou to Podolsko, where our Stádlecký Chain Bridge originally stood. With thrilling anticipation, we may head to the hydroelectric power plant at Orlík, where we can inspect the technology directly whilst in operation, and then sail the wide river by the dam. We have also visited the spa town Bechyně and saild on rafts to the romantic ruins of the Gothic castle in Dobronice. Successful trips also saw us visit the wonderful view of the towers of the castle Hluboká nad Vltavou – zamek-hluboka.cz with a trip to the zoo, where we were amused by the antics of meerkats; or the royal town of Písek, where we heard the sounds of a Kaplan turbine and admired the oldest public hydro power plant in Bohemia, where on the adjacent island we ate a rich picnic. We have also taken many a romantic selfie beside the water castle Červená Lhota – zamek-cervenalhota.cz and learnt why its original white colour changed to red.
Later, when our adventures took us with explorers to treasures hidden deep within the Earth, the nearby Chýnov Cave – caves.cz beneath Pacova mountain provided us with a real-life experience.