J-CAMP: Discovering American Culture

J-CAMP is an English Conversation camp for young people aged 11-14 years. It takes place under the guidance of American teachers from Hales Corners, Wisconsin, and this year it celebrated its first birthday. This camp, full of good cheer, cool experiences, and the teaching of Christian values and English was a year old in July!

The main theme during the five days of J-Camp was American culture and holidays. Participants began each day with games and activities aimed at team- and relationship-building. These activities were followed by morning devotions where all Slovak minds slowly but surely transitioned into English!

Our young people talked about the need to give thanks for all we have been given (family, food, freedom of religion, etc); they discussed the need to respect parents and grandparents, which is the 4th of God’s 10 Commandments. Later in the week, they learned about the American fight for freedom and the Independence Day holiday. Eventually, they also examined the biblical passage known as the hymn of love (I Cor. 13), to consider how love (of parents, siblings, and God) is changing our lives daily. “I think it’s important to spread the word of God to the children so they can instruct the next generation and also influence their parents (older generation),” said Taylor Paddock, one of the leaders from Hales Corners Lutheran Church (Wisconsin, USA).

After morning devotions, the youth were divided into groups where they learned about American culture. In addition to English, the participants made creative crafts, sang songs, enjoyed American sweets (candy bars!), and played typical American sports. In the afternoon, they contributed to the good of the whole community by sweeping Memorandum Square, the gymnasiums, and Congregational House. They also helped by cleaning and weeding at the city park. “The Slovak youth were amazing,” added Kellie Catron, another leader from Hales Corners. “Many of them really touched my heart.”

Our mission projects could be offered if more American volunteers were available to teach. If you’d like to learn more about this experience a plus but not a requirement—contact our mission projects coordinator Tomáš Gulán.


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