Thursday, November 25, 2010

American Village

I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on my time spent at American Village. At this time I will be able to include visuals as well as reflection after the fact.

La Mazure is pretty much in the middle of nowhere in France. It's country. There is a small town about a 30 minute walk from the site. The small town looks like it came straight from Beauty and the Beast. It was peaceful and quiet.

My role at American Village was simple, it was to speak English. The point was to immerse French children from the ages of 12 - 15 in English. This was done by daily English classes and other organized activities in English. During meals the children had to ask for food in English and we were encouraged to have conversations with them in English as well.

Everyday had a theme that related in someway to America. My favourite theme day was American Athletics. I loved teaching my class about the rules of baseball during ESL class and then about the fundamentals of playing during activities.

After ESL and before lunch is congress. This is perhaps the best part of the day. During congress we put on skits, sang songs, did cheers and whatever else we could think of. All of it related to the daily theme and all of it was a lot of fun to participate as well as a lot of fun to watch.

We all made up nick names for ourselves and we also let the campers choose a nick name. We had a list of suggestions for them. I went with my old St. Vincent De Paul camp nick name of 'Glue.' The other counselors I worked with during first session were Hannah, Brownie, Sparkles, T-Bird, Dude, Ace, Dart, Butterscotch, Ruby, Mocha and Jazz. For second session a few were replaced by Lucky, Hudson and Sunshine.

I have nothing bad to say about the camp experience or any of the people I had the privilege to work with. I really enjoyed my time there and am missing it all the time. I am interested in going back and encourage you to take the opportunity to work there if you get the chance. You can find the American Village website here.

One of the counselors, Ace, is a world traveler. His blogs and travel stories put the ones in my blog to shame. He always had his video camera going. As a result he was able to make a fantastic video compilation of our first session at camp. I have included the videos below. I encourage you to visit his site if you have any interest in traveling.

La Mazure 2010 - 1st Session: Part One from Roni Weiss on Vimeo.

La Mazure 2010 - 1st Session: Part Two from Roni Weiss on Vimeo.


  1. Excellent article as always, Andy. That would be an insane experience to go France to hang with the kids and just speak English lol Although I don't think I'd be cheery enough to do skits and sing songs.

  2. Well lookie lookie.

    Something I did.