CAMP CARROLL, Republic of Korea -- USAG Daegu hosted its 15th Annual Summer English Camp at Camp Carroll Aug. 5-9 for 41 students of the Chilgok County Jang-Gok Middle School.
Often, the most effective way to learn a foreign language is to be exposed to an environment with native speakers. The chances of communicating effectively increase dramatically and students are able to familiarize themselves with the language by naturally experiencing the culture in which it is spoken.
"The whole idea was not to speak Korean at all," said Sgt. Shadae A. Butler from the 551st Inland Cargo Transfer Company, Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, who assisted in coordinating the week's events. "Even the KATUSAs who were helping did not speak Korean."
Fifteen Soldiers from the 551st ICTC, 498th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and 2-1 Air Defense Artillery Battalion volunteered to spend their week with the local students, escorting them around post and participating in joint the activities.
"They were shy at first," said Butler, "so we played Simon Says to break the ice."
Afterwards, the students grew more relaxed and confident in speaking English through a variety of planned activities.
The week began with a brief introduction from the students in English and a tour of Camp Carroll. Students had a chance to eat lunch at the dining facility and later played board games.
Early in the week, the students visited the Materiel Support Command-Korea and the Army Prepositioned Stocks 4 warehouse where they saw military equipment such as bridges and tanks.
During the camp, they also watched American movies, played in the pool and enjoyed sports activities such as bowling, basketball and volleyball, and were given the chance to visit the fire department, tour the barracks and see for themselves how Soldiers in Area IV live.
As the week came to a close, students were rewarded with a certificate presented by the USAG Daegu Garrison Chaplain Lt. Col. Alfred C. Grondski. In his closing remarks, Grondski emphasized the importance of how learning each other's cultures can help strengthen the bond and friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea.
Camp Carroll Community Relations Officer So, Ki-chun is confident the program will continue for many years to come.
"This camp has been held successfully for 15 consecutive years. Every participant is happy with the program because they have a chance to experience American culture and language first hand by interacting directly with our Soldiers," said So.