Greek Lessons OnLine Summer Camp through the eyes of a 12-year-old first-time camper
As wonderful as summertime might be, juggling work and school holidays can be quite stressful for those of us with children.
We want to take advantage of school breaks to make memories with our children, travel and relax. We definitely don’t want them spending their entire school holidays attached to a device, behind a screen, or surfing the Net.
Maybe this is why summer camps abroad have become so popular recently.
A camp is not a stress-free solution for anyone, especially if you are of Greek origin. We Greeks sure do love to keep our children close!
Rather than trying to weigh the pros against the cons of this option ourselves, we hear first-hand from a first-time camper about his experience, one that in hindsight we wish we had as kids.
...something different to the usual Greek island holiday…
Nikos is a 12-year-old Greek-Australian who departed for Greece from Australia in the winter of 2019 and landed smack-bang in the middle of the Greek summer.
He was visiting Greece for a week in July 2019 with his parents, who wanted to Nikos to experience something different to their usual Greek island holiday and perhaps as a busy couple in these hectic times they also hoped for some much-needed quality alone time.
They came across Greek Lessons OnLine (Greek LOL), an online school that specialises in bringing the Greek diaspora closer to their cultural roots and language.
Every summer the Greek LOL team welcomes young expats aged 8 to 15 years from around the world, to one of the most fun camps in Europe, immersing them in the Greek language.
...ready for a Greek adventure...
Stella Bompotsiari Vri, Founder & Director of Studies of Greek LOL, asked Nikos what his first thoughts were when his parents suggested the camp.
“Well at first I really liked the idea, not because of the Greek lessons but because I could play lots of football and go horse riding. That’s why I said I'd do it. But as the days were approaching I wasn’t sure I wanted to go anymore.”
Despite these last minute nerves, leaving winter and landing in the midst of Greek summer really helped according to Nikos. He got straight into summer mode and was ready for his Greek adventure.
This would be the first time Nikos would spend time in Greece with more Greek kids and that was exciting!
...after just 8 days I sounded more Greek...
Nikos spoke about his Greek lessons at Greek LOL Summer Camp.
“The way you have classes there is really different. You learn in the morning and then in the afternoon there are super cool activities like treasure hunts, tasting games, geography projects plus I got to learn horse riding. All in Greek. It was great.”
Stella asked Nikos if he actually felt like he learned anything.
“I don’t realise it at the time as I was having too much fun! But when I joined my parents after 8 days they told me I sounded much more Greek and that from now on I would be the one to order food at restaurants.”
Niko’s mother also mentioned that he returned from the camp much more confident. He was able to shop and buy ferry tickets independently. She felt that he really enjoyed being able to speak Greek.
...can’t really help getting better at speaking Greek every day...
Stella asked Niko whether he would recommend this camp to a fellow Greek-Australian and his answer proves that his summer camp experience has become a personal affair.
“I would absolutely recommend Greek LOL Summer Camp,” he confirmed. “Speaking Greek all day was really awesome. You can’t really help but to improve in the language when you're around 2,000 Greek campers and supervised by Greek teachers all day.
"But what I loved the most were the people, the friends I made there.
"Before you go, you’re worried that you’re going to be around strangers but it’s not like that. Everybody was so warm and happy that we were there. They were so proud of us as we were able to speak more and more Greek every day and that also made me feel a bit prouder. My family are always telling me I am Greek and so should be proud and speak the language. Now I know what they mean.”
...Greek summer camp friendships for life...
It is truly wonderful hearing all of this this from a 12-year old boy.
Stella asked Nikos if he will go back to Greek LOL Summer Camp next year.
“I really hope so. I just stayed for half of the camp period because you know Greek summer holidays and school holidays in Australia are not the same dates, so I'm wishing to go for the whole time next year. We'll see.”
What is certain is that Nikos has found a way to practise his Greek even more by keeping in touch with the friends and teachers he met this year in Greece.
You know what they say...
Summer camp friendships are for life - and this proud young Greek is here to prove it.
The Greek LOL Summer Camp runs for 13 days and takes place in Sofiko, Greece -close to Korinthos- in one of the best camps in Europe which combines modern facilities with a surrounding of amazing natural beauty in the Peloponnese, only one hour away from Athens! Dates for the 2020 Greek LOL Summer Camp are listed below:
- June 16 - June 28
- July 1 – July 13
- August 2 - August 14
Read more about Greek LOL on Greek City Times HERE and HERE.
Find out more about Greek LOL Summer Camp HERE or BOOK YOUR FREE TRIAL LESSON to learn Greek today.