(Chinese translation by Shirley)
This program was centered around building a real metal detector and going out to find “treasure” with it. That, and the other activities we did during the five days were a great success, as you’ll see below.
In June, Kids’ Resource Center moved from Taipei to Chia-yi in the south of Taiwan. After getting re-established, there was just enough time to run a short summer camp for two of our Taipei students. This consisted of five days of educational trips, English classes and our main handcraft project – a metal detector, as described in this post here:BFO Metal Detector – Student Project
Day 1: Trip to National Palace Museum 第一天：參觀故宮南院
(new southern branch)
It’s shaped like a boat, and is surrounded by large expanses of lakes and gardens.
The children’s area had some interesting hands-on activities.
In the afternoon we started work on the metal detectors and after dinner we finished the day with various table games.
Day 2: Traditional crafts – Dong-gua (a kind of melon) tea, mosquito repellent, pottery glazing. 第二天：傳統工藝 – 冬瓜茶
The breakfast shop downstairs is our favorite.
We continued the metal detectors in the morning after an hour of English vocabulary and discussion about the museum.
Then after lunch we drove to a small out-of-the-way village. 午餐後，我們開車前往一個很鄉下的村莊。
It even had an old-fashioned corner store. 這邊甚至看得到古早的店仔。
The melon pieces had to be mixed with sugar and other ingredients, then it had to be cooked for hours.
Next we mixed natural mosquito repellent and put it in small spray bottles. We tested it on a huge mosquito! 😉
We painted some small bowls. They came back from glazing after a couple of days – a great result!
我們彩繪了一些小碗。幾天後就燒好取回來了 – 效果不錯。
Day 3: Dong Shi Harbor and protected wetlands area – haven for migratory birds. 第三天：東石馬頭和鰲鼓濕地保護區 – 遷徙鳥的天堂。
Again we started with English and more progress on the metal detectors.
This jellyfish was the first one they had seen. Even stranger was this small whirlpool in the middle of nowhere.
Day 4: Taiwan Sugar Company, suspended bridge crossing and pizza. 第四天：蒜頭糖廠，走過吊橋去吃披薩。
They also found out how to make a cute ornament from a cactus.
The suspension bridge was a little scary. Looking down, you could see straight through the metal grid floor to the river below. It wobbled and swayed as we walked.
The restaurant also had chickens, always waiting for a free feed. Later we watched them climb the tree to roost for the night.
Day 5: Testing the metal detectors, treasure hunt and back to Taipei via Taichung 第五天：測試金屬探測器，尋寶，以及經由台中回台北。
We went to a shady park nearby, got out of the car and immediately found a big piece of iron in the footpath. It was good for practice.
Before we really got into it, some instruction was needed first, for example, how to set up the machine , how to pinpoint a target and how to dig it up. The location we chose was ideal because extensive work was being done, and many areas had no, or little grass.
We quickly found some interesting garbage!
But then we found some coins! Actually, it is rumored that some may have been “planted” for our benefit, but one of them was about 4 cm deep, in very hard, dry clay – difficult to dig. It had obviously been there a long time and was dated around 25 years ago.
The success of the treasure hunt gave everyone a healthy appetite.
After lunch we set off for Taichung, a bit over an hour north of here, to Michael’s new table games restaurant. The students already knew him as a handcraft teacher in our Taipei workshop. It was great fun for all!
The boys had so much fun they were really disappointed at having to go back to Taipei. They were adamant they would come back in the winter vacation – if not before.
For us, this was an experiment to see how many useful educational activities could be squeezed into a short time. It was also a test of the local environment and resources.
We moved here because we believe that children need more space, more exposure to the natural environment and traditional crafts and culture – things that can’t be gotten between the pages of boring textbooks or the walls of a stuffy city classroom. We are very pleased with how it turned out.
搬來這裡是因為我們相信孩子需要更大的空間，需要對自然環境、傳統工藝和文化更多的探索 – 這些都是無法從無聊的教科書或城市滯悶的教室裡得到的。我們很高興這次夏令營的成果。
Stay tuned as we work out the next scheduled camps and programs!