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In 2012, Lake Shore held the first Summer Foreign Culture Camp. Forty elementary students from our sister school in Beijing came for a three-week camp. Our middle school and high school students have already been involved in our relationship with our sister school in Beijing. This was the first time that elementary students have gotten in on the cultural exchange on a grand scale.
American and Chinese students studied each others language and culture in the morning and then enjoyed field trips and activities in the afternoon. The program was staffed with certified teachers. The Chinese school also sent teachers to help with the program and share with the kids. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon activities that included going to the Hands On Museum in Ann Arbor, CJ Barrymore's, and shopping at Great Lakes Crossings just to name a few. They also participated in field days, swam at the community pool, and held their own Olympics!
The most rewarding experience for the Chinese students and the host families was the bond formed by spending two weeks in an American home. The Chinese students attend a boarding school in Beijing, so to be immersed in an American family setting is one of the most cherished memories that they take back with them to China. Plus, even though we warn host families that they will not want to let their Chinese son/daughter go home at the end of the camp, many tears were shed at the farewell party by the American students and parents.