The school camps enhance curriculum learning opportunities, they teach students to be responsible towards the environment, and they allow students to understand more about the people living in our neighbouring communities.
Camp Week – held every year in the middle of Term 3 – is a time when all students from Grade 6 to Grade 11 are given opportunities to explore the wider world while the Grade 12 students are facing their own challenges in the International Baccalaureate Diploma “mock” examinations.
Chris Dickerson, Senior School Vice Principal and Camps Week Co-ordinator, says that while the camps are not arranged by levels of difficulty, the programs and the locations are designed to challenge the children more and more as they get older and more mature. “Grade 6 students, for example,” Mr. Dickerson said, “spend their week quite close to the school and focus on camping and cooking skills, building personal relationships and exploring the local communities. Grade 11 students have a week living and working with selected hill tribe villages, giving much-needed assistance with teaching and building projects while also learning to live without their mobile telephones or iPads.”
This year Grade 7 students spent a week afloat on the Traidhos Magic Eye barge (http://barge.threegeneration.org) near Bangkok, conducting environmental studies of the Chao Praya River. Grade 8 went to Mae Kok about a four hours’ drive north to work as teams and to take risks through adventure activities such as canoeing, climbing, rafting, a hike, jungle survival, and biking. Grade 10 students had a week on Thailand’s eastern coast near Rayong where they visited fishing villages, a turtle sanctuary and examined the ecosystems of mangrove swamps. For Grade 9 it was a week of hard physical challenge, with all students experiencing the rigours of an army assault course, a strenuous two-day trek in the hills and a white-water rafting experience.
“The camps allow new students and others who may have been experiencing difficulties socialising with their peers an opportunity to build friendships,”
“Most students come back from the camps with very positive attitudes, having seen how other people live and having found out about their own hidden strengths. Camps also allow many children to develop their own strong leadership talents.”
The time following Camp Week is almost as important as the outdoor experience itself. The teachers – who have also enjoyed sleeping in remote villages or hiking up mountain paths with their students – lead discussions where all participants reflect on what they did and what they learned from the experience. Students write about the week and evaluate their own learning.
It has been said that camping is nothing more than the art of getting close to nature while getting further and further away from the nearest cold drink, hot shower and flush toilet. A wit once said about trekking that it is just an extended form of hiking in which students carry double the amount of gear they need for half the distance they planned to go in twice the time it should have taken.
Camp Week at PTIS may be about the absence of hot showers...but it is also about discovering that the great outdoor classroom has so much to offer us all.
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Established in 2001, PTIS International School is one of the most prestigious international schools in South-East Asia and one of only a few boarding schools in Asia offering the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) including IBCC.
Residing on the tropical grounds of Traidhos Three-Generation Community for Learning, PTIS provides a holistic (Pre K-12) IB education on a spacious, nature-filled campus, with comfortable boarding facilities to accommodate international students from across Asia and beyond.
More than 35 nationalities make up the international school student body. At Traidhos, visiting students and adults of all ages can also enjoy specialized professional sport academies in Tennis, Golf, Cricket and Football.
With a 100 acre campus admired by international schools of Thailand and across the world, the school prides itself on its peaceful and studious environment along with famous Thailand hospitality to help nurture the students' growth and development.