Well, he had an absolute ball! He hasn't stopped talking about it since his return, and it's been wonderful to hear so much about his time away, and about Campion.
There were many activities during the week, including a game of soccer on the beach, a walk through the blue mountains, and a ballroom evening. There were also training sessions in trust, group activities, and of course, time spent in the classroom with lectures on Latin, Leadership, and Essay Writing.
I have heard a little rumour that our Daniel went to great lengths to dress up for Ballroom Night, inspiring his mates to do the same. He headed off to his room wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and emerged a little while later in black pants and a white shirt. He even asked one of the lecturers if he could borrow a tie! When the guys asked why, he replied simply, 'Well, it IS Ballroom Night!' I tell you, that boy is sooo much like his father, it's scary!
He has also been busy telling us many of the 'funny moments' during the camp, such as the several times when someone would walk past him and look at his name tag (which of course said 'Daniel'). Daniel would smile and say something like, 'Yes, my name is Daniel, not Frank'. And the person would look very confused, nod, and keep walking..... And of course, Daniel made great use of the opportunity to show off his voice, singing every song that was suggested to him, including Whitney Houston's, 'I will always love you' - IN his high voice, of course. I hear they were quite impressed with his versatility!
From a homeschool mum's point of view, probably the most exciting part was hearing about the classroom lessons. What thrilled me most was hearing about Latin, Leadership, and, of course, Essay Writing.
Firstly, Latin. Daniel was keen to let me know that all those Latin lessons would certainly not be wasted at Campion. We had covered most of what was put up on the board, however, there is a point to hearing these things explained a different way, and from a different person. Several concepts that Daniel never quite grasped suddenly became clear, and things clicked into place. Although it was the same material, it suddenly all made sense, and Daniel came away from Campion with a much greater understanding of the Latin Language.
Next, Leadership Presentation. Some of the time at Campion was devoted to the students preparing and presenting a speech to the class. Daniel, because he had completed Speech Boot Camp, found himself very well prepared, and more than ready to tackle the task. I guess he always was confident in front of a group, but he commented to me that Speech Boot Camp was certainly a great preparation for this activity. And I hear that several of the presentations were most entertaining!
And finally, my favourite, Essay Writing. I was absolutely delighted to hear all about this session! The lecturer explained to the students how to write an essay, and it turns out that their suggestions allign very well with the 'Institute for Excellence in Writing' programme. The 5-paragraph essay was discussed, which included three topics, and an introduction and a conclusion - exactly what we teach with IEW. The big difference Daniel noticed was the length of the paragraphs - the lecturer in charge suggested that all paragraphs be about a page long. Too long, in my opinion, but a big part of the IEW course as taught in our 'Advanced Communication Series' , is how to write in accordance with the requirements of a particular college or lecturer. Once again, Daniel found himself very well prepared, and ready to research and write whatever essays were expected of him.
It's amazing how many hours we homeschool mums spend researching and preparing curricula, and hoping that we have made the right choices for our children. I simply cannot put into words how absolutely thrilled I am to learn that in these three areas our choices have well prepared our son (and any daughters who may wish to attend in the future) for Campion.
Daniel returned home excited, full of life, and of course, in touch with a bunch of new friends. He seriously considered signing up and heading off to Sydney this year, however, he is also very much looking forward to his TAFE course and singing lessons, both of which he had already committed to for 2013. So, he's decided to stay here for the time, and make the most of the opportunities that are right here at home. Campion, though, will be something he will most certainly think about for next year.
Considering that our son wasn't even that interested in Summer School, I'm so glad we made the decision to send him along - it's given him much food for thought, and I feel it will open many doors for him in the years to come. I'd highly recommend it to anyone!