In the letters that I send out, I don’t have much opportunity to share what camp is like. So I would like to give some more details here.
I attend this camp with a team from the First Baptist Church of Geneva. As of two years ago, we were joined by a team from California. They will be bringing a team back this year. In total, there are roughly 15 Americans that teach about 50-60 students in six different levels of English classrooms.
When we arrive in the Czech, we are met by a wonderful team from a small church in Vysoké Mýto, a town about 100 miles east of the capitol, Prague. The pastor of the church, Vlaďa, organizes the camp with the help of about ten to fifteen Czechs. They put on the camp as an outreach to Czech students. The only reason they need us Americans is because we are native English speakers.
To appreciate why English is so highly valued in the Czech, you must know that the Czech language is spoken only by the 10 million citizens of the Czech Republic. Thus, any student that wants to get ahead must learn a foreign language. I can be hard for Americans to appreciate this need because English is spoken all over the world. But imagine that whenever you travel over five or six hours away, there are no signs in your language and no speakers of your language. This is why most Czechs strive to learn a foreign language. English in particular is a global language and is highly valued by employers. In fact, even to graduate High School, these students need to pass a test which includes a large portion on foreign language.
The Czech believers see this as an awesome opportunity to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Non-believing parents are willing to pay to send their non-believing children to a camp put on by a church because there are native English speakers there.
The church in Vysoké Mýto puts on two camps. The first is a youth camp that brings in high-school aged students. The second is a camp geared more toward families. The team that I will go with teaches only at the youth camp that is a week long.
So this is the basic structure of what we are doing in the Czech! In the future, I hope to give you more details about this camp and about what we plan to do there. Stay tuned and let me know if you have any questions!
Your fellow servant in Christ,