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Sunday, April 26, 2015

adventures in teaching abroad: overnight camping at little ding dong

I have been teaching middle school since I was 21 years old. That's kind of scary to think about. It makes me feel old. When I walked into my first classroom as the teacher, I was petrified. I was convinced the kids would eat me alive, but they didn't, and I fell in love with my profession.

I am now 28, almost 29. In all those years, I have taught more than 500 kiddos, but to me, they are so much more than students. They are these wonderful human beings I get to spend my time with. They humble me, amuse me, and inspire me even though they sometimes also give me splitting headaches.

Sometimes, I do things for them that I would do for no one else like take an overnight camping trip to a place called Little Ding Dong. The best way I can describe this camp experience is like an American summer camp. The kids got to do fun activities: rock climbing, skiing & sledding (it's a looooong story), walking a tight rope, and using paintball guns. They had to sleep in tents they set up themselves. They had to make their own food. They got to put on performances around a bonfire. They got to use glow sticks and jump around and be really loud and obnoxious.
Basically, they just got to have a lot of fun on a Monday and Tuesday instead of spending their time indoors at school. That's not to say that my class isn't really fun; I mean, come on, we just did literary speed dating, although, we never play around with fire or glow sticks. 

Anyway, like I said, I do things for them I would do for no one else like dance on a barrel to Gangnam Style while they all watch and follow along despite the fact that I may be the only person on the planet who does not actually know the dance to this bizarre song. 

And not run fleeing from a warehouse that has a bonfire exploding fireworks out of it only 15 feet away from me. 

Or eat food that they cooked (even after a few catastrophes: lighting oil on fire and dropping critical ingredients on the ground). 

Yes, these are the things I do for them, but they are worth it, and even though I hope I never have to, I would do all these things for them again. If you knew them, I am sure you would too!
To say they had a good time would be a vast understatement! 

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  1. Replies
    1. It was exhausting!!!! That said, because the kids had fun, I did too.

  2. I have been checking the website, and I still have not found pictures of their new mascot....

  3. Ok, so I'm 29 going on middle school because I totally laughed uncontrollably at that name! What an awesome place for kids - I only hope here in Italy where I live those kinds of places exist for kids!

    1. I had a 10 minute chuckle when I was first told we were going camping at a place called Little Ding Dong. In fact, I am still chuckling about it now.

  4. Just wow! The love that you have for your job shows through your words and the amazing pictures you took! Looks like a wonderful weekend, glad I found your blog through Travel Tuesday :)

    1. Awe, thanks :) I really, really do love my job (most days, because you know, I don't think any person can love work every single day).

  5. What a kicker of a place for kids...oh and me too, I'd love to go. Thanks for joining us for SunadyTraveler.