August 2018, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to the Chinese Summer Camp—寻根夏令营 seeking my roots in the Great country of China. For me, this amazing camp was located in the Quanzhou Technology University at Hujian. The middle and high school students came from all over, like the United States and Germany, just to attend the camp.
When we were there, we experienced rich Chinese culture; learning how to write in calligraphy 书法，traditionally paint in Chinese (国画),
paper cut (剪纸) and design and draw Peking opera facemasks (脸谱).
Also, we dressed up with Han Chinese customs, (汉服) and learned its etiquette (礼节礼仪).
Every morning, we had classes 功夫/太极, at nighttime. We also gathered together and sang Chinese songs, read Chinese poems, and had a talent show.
During the camp, we had many nice field trips. We went to the local Chinese 铁观音tea factory and had a lot of fun picking up and baking fresh tea leaves. Later, we were able to learn how make tea! We also went to 鼓浪屿，南少林寺，厦门大学，and 小吃街。
I would recommend anyone to this program. It is fun, and you learn a lot.
Pictures by Jenny Zhang
Editor’s Note: Jonathan Wang is a 14 year old that goes to Menomonee Falls High School. On the weekends, he goes to Chinese School. He was able to attend the Quanzhou campus for the camp and although his writing is short, he is trying to show all the incredible things that he was able to do at the camp.
This summer I went to a China Summer Camp called 中国寻根之旅 with my younger brother.
My campus was located in Chongqing. At first I was not looking forward to the camp because it was 95 + degrees Fahrenheit every day. But, at the camp we had a lot of classes and activities, and learned things that I never would’ve learned in the US. We had a lot of fun making masks, china plates, and writing in calligraphy. With a busy schedule, we still went sightseeing almost every day, such as the Hongya Cave(洪岩洞), Dazu Rock Carvings(大足石刻), and the Chongqing World Financial Center(重庆环球金融中心).
The food at Chongqing was spicy, but very tasty. The hot-pot places and other street food places, such as noodles and buns, were everywhere.
During the camp, we stayed in a good hotel called Antree. The hotel provided a very good breakfast which included tons of Chinese style and western style dishes. During our night free time, we would stay up late to watch movies or even the World Cup soccer games.
Some nights, the teachers would let us go to the nearby supermarket to buy food and drinks. When we spent the night together with the food we bought that night and watched the movies or played our video games, it was a very relaxing and fun time.
During the camp I made many new friends. At the end, we created WeChat groups to keep in touch. After all the classes were done, most of us went to Beijing, where there was no classes and only touring of the city.
We made new friends in Beijing, and visited places like the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, and many others.
This China Summer camp is country-wide. All of the camps from the other cities gathered to Beijing for 5 days. We met people in the same yellow camp t-shirts as us that came from many different camps across China.
In fact, when we all gathered in the Great Hall of People (人民大会堂) there were 3000 total campers in the auditorium. The performances by many famous people from China were incredible.
In conclusion, the month of July was insanely fun. I made a bunch of new friends, toured places I’ve never been to before and ate lots of good food. I also learned about the culture of China and I saw the magnificent creations of my ancient ancestors. If you ever get a chance to participate in one of the camps, I highly recommend you take the opportunity; you won’t regret it.
Pictures from the camp WeChat group
Editor’s Note: Derek Zeng is a 13 year old who attends Forest Park Middle School in Franklin. Also, at Chinese School, he is a member of both the yo-yo club and the dragon parade group. This summer, he was lucky enough to attend the Chongqing campus camp in China. At the top, you can see that Derek made a small diagram that highlighted every important camp within his camp. It is a small “table of contents” to match his writing.