Mingxuan Li, from China, spent part of her summer volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club Camp Tasker, in Haverhill, NH. Li takes a moment to share her summer camp experience.
My American Experience at Summer Camp
Life at the Camp
Camp Tasker is located in New Hampshire, by the county pond which enjoys a beautiful scenery and is full of fun. Boys and girls can participate in fun and activities including swimming in the huge pool, boating and fishing in the county pond, play soccer or baseball on the playground. During my stay here, I have tried all kids activities and I enjoyed boating and swimming the most. We even went to Portsmouth beach one day! For me, staying at such appealing environment help me get relaxed from my busy school work and I felt I reached inner peace here and was in a good most of the time.
But more importantly, the staff and kids at the club are all very friendly and easy to get along with which enables our Chinese students to fit in with the environment quickly. Coming to a new place though we have a lot of things to learn here ourselves, we were trusted and treated equally as all the C.I.T.s. I remembered the first-day mom took me to the club, Cayla gave me a warm welcome which made me feel at home. She also told me that the club allowed us two-days off each week to explore interesting things and travel around which I appreciate a lot. Kids here are talkative and outgoing, they can become good friends with you if you show your friendliness and care to them. So on my first working day on which we went to the beach, Sophia became my buddy, we stayed together all day together and she even gave me a slice of pizza she ordered! I was really impressed and moved that day. Another special occasion is the day of the award ceremony. It was an annual occasion and during the preparation time, kids were very united, they have been preparing the song for a long time and each group was determined to become the No.1. But our group has always been very confident and well prepared. The result makes us thrilled- Angelina’s Little Savages team won the first prize in the camp song competition! The ceremony went on smoothly, but the most moving moment was when the ceremony ended, all the kids and staffs laughed and cheered together. Along with the music” that’s what I like”, we cleared the place together until it went dark. I think I will never forget this night and people I met here. Although we might soon be apart, we share this pleasant moment together.
It’s time to say goodbye although I don’t want, and I believe the happy memory will never fade. By now I am about to leave, I want to say “nice to meet you, Camp Tasker” from the bottom of my heart.
Life outside of work
Though I have stayed in the U.S. last year for a whole semester which offered me some pre-knowledge of the living style and manners here, when I came to my host family, I still find there is more for me to learn and adapted to. First of all, our host mom is a very friendly and kind person, she is always nice to her children.
Though very busy, sometimes our host mom will take us out and she is so kind that she never let us share gas fee. She once took us to a baseball competition. Although I cannot fully understand the game, I was grateful for the chance to feel original American culture. On other occasions, she took us to supermarkets and malls nearby. But the most amazing thing about her is that she always shares her experiences and opinions about life to us, many of which are very inspiring.
Apart from family life, I also made some new friends here. I have invited Sophia- my best little friend in the camp to come to our home for dinner with her family. We made dumplings, sushi and a lot of Chinese dishes. After dinner, we chatted a lot about the difference in lifestyles, education and other staffs in different countries while cleaning up the kitchen together. On another day, five girls came to our house and we made some traditional Chinese food together and knew each other better. CHI’s party also offers us a chance to meet nearly all of the Chinese students and families around and we chatted with each other.
During the stay here, I traveled to Hampton Beach for whale-watching, as well as to Boston and New York City. For me, it was not the first time I have been to New York City and Boston, but this time without rushing to the tourist sites I have more time to see and feel the life here in big cities, walk along the street and understand the culture here.
Time flies, but in the past 4 weeks, I am glad that I have tried to integrate into local life, no matter in our host family or at work, and I enjoy chatting with people here. I also made some true friends who come from different parts of China. Thanks for the chance of joining the program here which brought people from around the world together.