‘Friends Galore and Grilled Corn’: One Student’s Experience at Greenheart English Camp

As a staff member at Greenheart International I wholeheartedly value the moments when we are able to provide students access to programs which are normally out of their reach. This summer we were able to create two of these valuable moments when we presented two distinct students with a scholarship to attend Greenheart English Camp. Greenheart English Camp is a 3 week ESL summer camp in Healdsburg, California with a focus on English language learning, global leadership, volunteerism, and personal development. At the end of camp we asked each of our scholarship winners to describe what camp was like and how it will change their lives for the better. Check out what Andrea, a hard-working, ambitious, and caring student from Spain, had to say by the end of her 3 weeks at Greenheart English Camp!

By: Andrea Matesanz Morales, Greenheart English Camp participant

While I was at Greenheart English Camp I could only think of one word that could describe the experience I was living there: unforgettable. Not only was I amazed by the location of the campus but also by the campus itself, the food, the culture, the values … But overall the best feature of the camp was the people I met. We were 23 students in total and each and every one of us were different from the others as we came from different countries and different cultures. Each student contributed to creating a comfortable environment that came to feel like home. The staff became part of our little family as they were unique and loyal individuals that taught us not only how to grow as global leaders but also how to grow as persons. In summary, with Greenheart I’ve lived one of the best summers of my life.

The three weeks I spent at camp passed by very quickly. Every day had its one dynamic activity, which had nothing to do with the following day. Nevertheless breakfast, lunch and dinner were always around the same time. Each day had 4 hours of English classes and activities designed by the counselors. We would have some excursions during the day that would change the usual schedule.

For me, every little detail of the camp made my experience as a whole simply amazing. Some of the best experiences I had may seem like ordinary things Americans would do on an ordinary day and I guess that that is the reason I felt so happy doing them. One example was going to Walmart in the yellow school bus. I’ve always seen these buses in movies but I had never imagined I would get the chance to ride in one of them. Walmart was also amazing for me as all the snacks I saw had nothing to do with what I was used to. Another example was eating the so famous S’mores and grilled corn. We had two BBQs and really enjoyed both of them because I ate just like an American!

Other incredible experiences had more to do with activities the counselors prepared. Danielle, one of the counselors, took us tubing. For those of you who are not familiar with this term it’s going down a river on a tube or “donut”. It was so relaxing and exciting at the same time! We were surrounded by nature (we even saw some deer) and could enjoy some astonishing landscapes. Another experience that I treasure is the spontaneous visit of Maggie and Kate, two members of O’Connor band. They gave us a mini concert in which we were transported to America’s musical origins. With a number of short pieces they captured every ones attention and broke the stereotypes on classical music.

Finally I wanted to talk about the experiences that had to do with trips to San Francisco. Before I do that, I just wanted to remark the beauty of San Francisco itself. It is a very big city full of life and I have to say that it really did impress me. I think that visiting the prison of Alcatraz really made an impact on all the students. The history behind this prison and the stories of the prisoners gave me the chills! The experience of walking through those corridors full of cells was thrilling. Last but not least we have the day we spend at Six Flag. We all had a great time going on the different attractions! At first we were all terrified but we overcame that fear and went almost on all rides.

These are just a few of the many experiences I’ve lived in this camp. I’ve made some really good friends in this camp and also some really cool memories that will stick with me for a long time. I thank Greenheart for providing all the key elements for a perfect summer.