From June 3 to June 14, the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona and The Tucson Chinese Cultural Center together successfully host its first “Chinese Star” Language and Culture Summer Day-Camp for Greater Tucson children and youth through Arizona Youth University at the UA Outreach College. The camp attracted more than 30 American kids aged between 5 and 16 for one-week and two-week camps.
Based on students’ ages and Chinese proficiency, two classes were offered. Students were provided with a variety of courses on Chinese language and culture including Integrated Chinese Skills, Traditional Chinese Musical Instruments, Martial Arts, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, Chinese Folk Dance, and Making Zòngzi (粽子：Chinese sticky rice dumplings) during the Dragon Boat Festival, and Making Jiǎozi (饺子：Dumpling) on Beijing Tour Day, crafts like paper cutting, paper folding and making beautiful Chinese knots, and also various fun games, like pingpong, rope-skipping, iron ring, Chinese shuttlecock hacky-sack, skipping rubber bands, etc. , all aimed at enabling them to appreciate the beauty of Chinese language and culture from different perspectives and help students acquire Chinese language skills in an engaging and interactive environment. A “Virtual Tour of China” was the theme for the camp to provide students a memorable experience of China’s rich cultural heritage and breathtaking scenery.
Every noon, students enjoyed a delicious authentic home-and restraurant-made Chinese meal with their new friends and teachers at the “ Language Table”, they practiced their Chinese and discussed different aspects of “mysterious China” during their pleasant meal time.
On the last day of each camp, students got a chance to learn and try the wonderful Chinese Lion Dance with the TCCC Lion Dance Team. They also gave wonderful performances of music, kungfu, dance, Chinese songs and skits, display their art and language works at a closing ceremoney at the end of the each camp, which won great applause from parents in the audience. In the end, none of the students could wait any longer and rushed to the “camp market” to buy their favorite Chinese goodies including books and art crafts by means of a game, “Chinese Currency,” and speaking Chinese with the “clerk.” They proudly shared their prize with their family since they worked hard to earn “Chinese currency” based on their performance during the camp.
We look forward to another exciting and fun CIUA summer camp next year!