International Exchange Camp a Big Success

From Issue 1

Video courtesy of Jackson Prep

This summer, Prep kicked off its international program with a summer camp for four Chinese and Taiwanese students. Mr. Denny Britt, the head of the International Committee, Ms. Kimberly Van Uden, and Ms. Jane Zhu were vital in making this program as success.

Campers were Jenny from Shanghai, Vita and Alan, who just moved from Taiwan to Madison at the beginning of the summer, and Mike from Beijing.

The 16-day program was full of American and Prep culture. Most days started with campers learning English with Mr. David Hogue. They were always reminded not to speak Chinese so they could practice their English. Students learned many skills, such as introducing themselves in English, ordering their own food at restaurants like Chick-fil-a, and counting money.

Students also had many afternoon activities such as chess with Dr. Paul Smith, and tennis with senior Ellis Abdo.Coach Moore and Coach Mitchell taught them basketball. They learned from Ms. Marsha Hobbs in the Fab Lab, Ms. Leah Heath in the Chemistry lab, Ms. Addy Louis in the art room, and Dr. Luke Nealey in the pottery studio. Some of the other activities they participated in were a day in Natchez, a day in New Orleans, a MS Braves baseball game, a swim party at River Hills hosted by the Upton family, church at First Baptist and youth group, and a trip to Party Safari.

In addition to all of these activities, they also went to the Hong Kong Tea house so the international campers could show everyone their favorite foods and how to order. Everyone’s favorite activity was making homemade pizzas. They split into teams and were given a budget at Kroger to buy their ingredients and snacks. Afterwards they had a pizza party at Mrs. Van Uden’s house. A new family at Prep, the McCoys, including rising 7th grader Riley, and Darby helped make pizzas. Ms. Zhu also invited her three children Joselyn, Jonathan and Jack to help with the pizza party. They all had a great time!

Rising sophomore John Garrett Walters was the student leader. He helped everyone cross streets, filled coolers with ice and water every day, and made sure everyone was having a great time. Senior Easton Sheffield and sophomore Jack Zhu also helped with the program along with some other students.

Some of Ms. Van Uden’s favorite moments included when Mike called her “teacher,” when “Jenny was playing with Betsy Walters and my daughter one night and told us she had never had a sleepover and it was fun!” She also recalled fondly when Vita drove Col. Merrell’s pontoon boat on the reservoir, and when Alan spoke English confidently at the send off party. Ms. Van Uden said that many people offered to help with this international program. “The faculty at Jackson Prep is amazing. I asked if anyone would be willing to help and teachers and parents volunteered their time and many talents.”

Dr. Smith played chess with 8 campers at one time, Mr. Hogue made up stories to tell everyone, Coach Nell Bradford taught golf lessons, Ms. K.C. Williams took the students to her hometown of Natchez, Ms. Chere Guilbeau and her husband took everyone on a swamp tour in New Orleans, Ms. Walters took everyone to downtown Jackson and met Representative Cory Wilson and Chief Justice Waller, Ms. Christina Jackson and her husband, Charlie, helped with the MS Braves baseball game.

There were so many people who helped make this international program be a huge success for everyone.

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