Discovering the Secret of All Growing Things on the Farm
Author: Kevin Xu, Residence Hall Teacher
In April, we were pleased to see the new blossom, graceful willows, and the delightful blue water. In this season of revival, YWIES Shanghai Lingang’s Discovery Camp for Hall Residents started again. The theme of this year was "Discovering the Farm". Students were inspired to discover the true meaning of life through learning agricultural knowledge, participating in the games of "Discovering the Farm", experiencing the life on the farm and observing the growing process of all things on the farm.
I. On-Campus Discovery
On the first day of the camp, all students put on the discovery camp shirt and got the corresponding group badge at the opening ceremony. After dinner, the students got into groups and came to each game venue to participate in 11 games. The games were related to a farm theme and were carefully prepared by the teachers. Each group worked hard to get the corresponding task stamp. The whole school was full of the intense air of competition. On the playground, students carried food, while students in the cafeteria concentrated on creating unique vegetable paintings. Students in the classroom were trying hard to remember the 24 solar terms, while others dressed in traditional rural costumes, joyfully taking pictures as mementos. In these activities, our students showed a strong spirit of teamwork, and all the teams completed their tasks within the prescribed time. Finally, in the auditorium, we awarded the four teams who won the game, but also prepared plenty of participation prizes for other teams. In this way, all the students ended their rewarding first day.
II. Off-Campus Discovery
The next morning, students put on hats and backpacks, and with excitement and expectation, took a bus to Baiguo Orchard Farm in Shuyuan Town.
Students were grouped into four teams. Following the respective instructors and teachers, they experienced the activities of planting, picking, making salad and making wonton.
Students planted pumpkin, watermelon and zucchini seedlings in the greenhouse. Under the guidance of the farm staff, young boys and girls learnt to dig pits with shovels, put seedlings in, cover with soil and sprinkle with water. Although most of the students experienced planting for the first time, they did exceptionally well with the help of parents and teachers.
Painting and picking
There were two gourd painters at the painting site to guide students to create gourd paintings. The students were full of creativity and beautiful imagination on the gourds. At the same time, students in the picking areas were vigorously picking vegetables. The most interesting part was digging potatoes, as parents and students had so much fun digging the potatoes up until their baskets were full.
At the same time, in the cafeteria, students were taught by the ayis how to wrap wontons and make salads, and they experienced the process of transforming raw food materials into food.
Students experienced a lot about sowing and reaping in these activities, and enjoyed the satisfaction that only comes through working with their own hands. During lunch time, students enjoyed hearty farm dishes and enjoyed the leisure and comfort of rural life. In the afternoon activities, children enjoyed close contact with nature through catching fish, feeding chickens, freelance sketching and other activities.
Feedback from parents
At the end of the event, two parents' representatives expressed their affirmation of the event and their gratitude to the school for attaching importance to the interaction between parents and children. All teachers were also touched by the excellent performance of the students in their hard work and spirit of protecting the farm environment.
The 2019 Discovery Camp has successfully finished. The students were exhausted but gained a full reward. They spent a fruitful and unforgettable day on the farm. We hope that the students will take everything they experienced on the farm to their future studies and life and continue to become more mature.