Last week from Tuesday to Friday, Grade 6 went to a place called Zhaoqing in mainland China for our camp, and it was so fun with the action packed 4 days!
Our first day was a tiring one, even though we weren’t as much active as the following days. We had a one hour ride from our school to the border, and that time was normal, but then I started getting nervous on the end of the ride because it was the first time I was crossing the border without my parents. When I passed the immigration, I felt relieved because I knew that I had done it and I was in China. We ate lunch on our next 4 hours bus to Zhaoqing from Shenzen. After finishing my Subway sandwich and cookie, I played games with the people around me on our seats, but after we finished playing, we were so bored that all we could do was either sleep or look outside the window. I was finally excited when I heard that after our gas stop break, it would only take about another hour to reach our destination. After talking shortly with other people, I started to sea the bumpy roads wich meant we arrived. We really were in Zhaoqing! The grade separated in a couple of groups to take a short boat to our resort. When we were there, we had a welcome by the Dragonfly staff, and we went into our color groups(mine was green) to do team building. My group learned our numbers to headcount in Spanish! Our group leader told each student their number from 1-24 and first, my number was hard to pronounce, and it was even too hard for me to memorize how to say it. I thought that was pretty much the only thing of what we did for the day, but after eating dinner in a restaurant with my group came the Dragonfly challenge. My group was called the Wasabis, and I thought it sounded a bit funny but we had success with the group name. For one of the challenges where we have to act a famous movie scene in our groups, the Wasabis played a part of the movie, Forrest Gump. We enjoyed moving around and acting out things in the challenge, and we also came 3rd place overall of our group out of all the teams that participated so that was a good thing to hear. We had lights out at 9:30, and I slept well because the room was nicer and cleaner than I expected.
Our second day was so active, because we got to go to many activities. In the morning, we had our first breakfast together in camp, and then we went to a room in the hotel to make paper. What we did was divide into small groups from the 24 students, and then we ripped paper to put inside water. After all the tearing, we went to a bamboo paper factory to see how the workers made the paper in many processes. I was looking forward to it because I have never seen people making paper and it was the first time I was going to a paper factory. We saw a lot of nice pieces of paper and even though I usually don’t use them, it was great to see the culture of Chinese paper making in a factory. After a snack break on our bus, we went back to the resort to then mix the paper we ripped with pulp. Almost everyone in my group said we would have to clean our hands a lot, and I agreed but still, I had fun. The Dragonfly staff ironed each of our own paper, and then once we were all done, we played a game called Splat and I enjoyed it. We ate lunch at our resort and after that, we went to the cableway hike, but before we reached our destination to actually go on the cables, we had to walk uphill for a long time until another group came to an area which we were doing activities and playing games. Our green group then walked for a little while until we reached the first cable, and I struggled putting on the hook to the cables and unhooking them at first, but then after going to the second, third and many more cables, I got the strategy and was able to go past the whole way. When we got back to the Nine Dragon resort came the… BBQ! My favorite type of food was meatballs and sausages. We had a good time eating and talking behind the fire and this was the best dinner of the three nights. After a feast, we went into the hotel’s huge dining room to carve ink stones. One of the Dragonfly staff taught us how to carve deeply and he showed us his own one which was amazing! I decided to carve a bridge dividing nature and a man made object, which I carved mountains and an ocean below the bridge and a beats headphone above the bridge. I was surprised when I actually felt the deepness and texture when I felt my ink stone with my hand, because I thought I wouldn’t be able to carve as deep as the Dragonfly staff’s one. All the fun we had was great, and we even learned lots of new things this day! Lights out was at 9:30, so for me it didn’t make a huge difference from the first night cosidering sleep.
The 3rd day was the most adventurous one out of all in camp! We woke up and had breakfast normally and then we went up to a room in the resort and learned chinese painting! The teacher that taught us 2 paintings is an artist that showed us first a painting of a crane for us to learn each part from her and paint it ourselves. She had lots of detail on the bird and I first thought I wouldn’t be able to put such fine lines and perfect color, but I realised I could do it once I got the technique for each step. I was excited for the whole time and each new part the teacher drew, it got funner and funner until we were actually complete and done. I was proud of my work and I couldn’t believe my colors for the bird’s body parts were just good enough to make the whole painting work. After a short break to let our first paintings get dry, we started painting our second one which we are supposed to show mountains on the far view with a small structure surrounded with small mountains and the sea in the closer view. I found this more challenging than the first one, because this cosisted a lot of swirly and thin lines, and I was struggling to paint those. When we were finished, I was not 100% satisfied with the details in the artwork, but it was a great oppurtunity to learn and paint from that teacher. From finishing the lunch, it was my group’s turn to go out of the resort to do the great race! We arrived by the bus at a park which many tourists were in, and it was a great place for a great race. Our great race leader told us to get into groups of 6 and the rules for this year’s version. I was so excited to plan and go to the places where we could find the answers to the questions and also take photos that boosted up our points for the competition. When we were aloud to set off, we met many locals that helped us find our destinations, and also tourists that were kind enough to talk to us about the places in the park. Since we had so much questions to answer and pictures to take from the same angle as the actual example photo, so my group was in a rush. Even though we needed to hurry, I enjoyed being ourselves and felt adventurous. For some pictures, we got stuck and spent a lot of time searching it, but the good thing for us was we got a lot of answers instead to replace the points of the picures we couldn’t find and take. I thought our whole group were good risk takers because we went for some difficult photos which valued higher than the normal ones. A part of the time, we focused to just keep on walking around bridges and looked around to see if there was anything around us that we could use to find out the answers or at least hints about the questions. We used each person’s knowledge and gave the whole group ideas that may be hints to finding our destinations. Once we reached the places where our target was, it was easy to see directly of perfect angles for the photos and also the exact answers. One mission accomplished for us was that we could make it to our meeting place by the ending time, so that we didn’t get disqualified. We were the first group to come back when all the other groups were not there. When all the group’s adventurers came back, we had time to talk about how the race was, and about all the fun we had. In the bus ride back to the hotel, almost everyone was talking about the great race, wondering how much points their groups got. When we arrived back, it was time to eat dinner and after our last one at Grade 6 camp, we had a campfire as a whole grade! In the campfire, there were just fabulous shows that some students performed, and the most funniest for me was the yellow group’s show. They sang a song which had entertaining lyrics such as ‘Moose, Potato, Moose Moose, Potato!’. These shows were so amazing I enjoyed just being part of the audience. There were some activities the Dragonfly staff taught us, which we all werer part of it, and that was also active and joyful. At the very last end of the great campfire was the announcement of the top 3 highest point teams for the great race. Everyone was excited and wondering at the same time, and drum rolls beated when each team was presented. The third place team was introduced, and everybody clapped for them, but then on the 2nd place team…my team was called out!!! I was so happy that we had accomplished one of our goals to be in the top 3 of the grade and also that we were being called out in front of all the other students. It was such an honor that we were celebrated with the clapping of the crowd and also recieved gifts from Dragonfly. It was a good time being at the awesome campfire with all the shows and celebrations going on and it was my favorite night from all of Grade 4, Grade5, and Grade 6 camp. All the happiness didn’t end when we got back to our rooms to sleep the last night of our amazing adventures. We had to have lights out at 9 o’clock sharp because we would have to wake up at 6 in the morning next day.
When I woke up, I just realised we were leaving camp. It felt like such a short time with all the fun activities, our great Dragonfly staff and all the other good things that happened during the 3 days. The 3 days felt just like with the Young Americans, because we were enjoying. I still miss camp now but I guess normal life at school and home will be fine too!