International Camp thrives in second year

From July 16th to July 30th, Jackson Prep’s second annual International Camp welcomed fourteen international students who attended a fun-packed two week summer international program hosted by Jackson Prep.

Led by Ms. Van Uden, Ms. Zhu, and Ms. Guilbeau, the students were given a taste of Mississippi and were able to experience true southern culture. The students ranged from twelve to seventeen years old and traveled from France, Taiwan, and China. For many it was their first time to visit Mississippi and even their first time in the US, while a few were “Mississippi pros” having either been to the camp the year before or had attended Prep in the previous semester.

Each day was filled with a variety of activities for the students such as a day-trips to New Orleans and Memphis, lunch at Chick-fil-a, and a swim party at River Hills hosted by the Upton family. A student ambassador, Emily Van Uden, enjoyed Pump It Up and horseback riding. She said that one of her favorite parts of this camp is that, “It was fun because I have friends from other countries now.”

Another student ambassador, Victoria Guilbeau, was instrumental in helping with this camp by helping Ms. Van Uden organize the camp dates and helping decide which ambassadors would come on certain days.

Senior Zach Hilt, who also served as a student Ambassador, said, “Having worked the camp last year, it was so cool to me to see how much two of the returning campers, Mike and Jenny had grown. I loved being able to reconnect with them these two weeks and make even more friendships from across the globe. I am thankful for this camp in that it has opened so many new doors for new friendships worldwide.”

Some of the leaders told us their favorite memories from international camp. Ms. Zhu said her favorite part of this camp is when I see the big smiles on every child’s face. One of her favorite memories was when one of the host parents Ms. Renee Flynt took Kevin an international student to the Apple Store. He wanted to buy an Iphone, and she taught him how to buy one. Her favorite activity was the skits that the campers and student ambassadors performed from fables and well-known stories like Goldilocks and the Three Little Pigs.

Ms. Van Uden was another leader that helped. She said that one of her favorite memories was the van rides. She told us how she would hear the students singing and teaching each other songs in their different languages. She also loved seeing everyone’s eyes light up when they found their favorite activity. She says, “I hope we can expand the program to include students from more nations.”

This camp brings diversity and the opportunity of cultural immersion to the Jackson Prep community.”

— Ms. Jane Zhu

International program Director Ms. Zhu also reflected on the program, “This camp brings diversity and the opportunity of cultural immersion to the Jackson Prep community. The host family’s passion, love and care to take the campers under their wings as their own; the student ambassadors’ commitment and leadership has made this camp so successful. The faculty, leadership team, and board’s great support has helped complete this mission. Again, the International Summer Camp program further strengthens Jackson Prep’s mission to build a more diverse and externally connected student body, to increase leadership opportunities, and to create a culturally immersive environment.” The second annual Jackson Prep International Camp was a huge success.