In our first installation of the series “Trip Leader Tales”, we wanted to highlight The Learning Adventure’s China Programs Manager, Karla. Here’s what Karla had to say about her favourite experiences and why!
Feeling the real “holiday spirit”
When you hear the phrase “holiday spirit” in the time leading up to Christmas, you will probably think of gifts under a tree or parties. But what does holiday spirit mean to The Learning Adventure?
When an international middle & high school in Beijing contacted us to facilitate their monthly teambuilding, service, and activity-based excursions last December, we came up with a plan that made sure that their program included a way for students to celebrate the holidays by giving back.
We wanted to show them what holiday spirit really meant to us and worked hard to arrange an unforgettable day for them. Their project was to get to know and interact with local students by preparing activities and a meal for them – it was truly a great way to express kindness to others. Our group of about 270 people split into different groups to serve 3 different schools located in the outskirts of Beijing.
Despite being on a 1-day excursion, this experiential learning project had been in the works for days leading up to the trip. It wasn’t only The Learning Adventure team that had been busy behind the scenes preparing, the students had been preparing meaningful games-based learning activities to share. It was up to the students to develop and show their leadership skills by using their own group’s unique talents and abilities. They had also prepared menus and materials and labour division strategies, with help from us, to help them prepare a good meal for the primary school students.
Games based learning
While walking around the classrooms, I could see students of all ages laughing, singing, learning, dancing, playing and enjoying themselves. Some students were dancing the chicken dance, others were teaching Korean, playing games on the playground, and much more! The most important thing was that they were all in the present interacting and having real interactions and creating meaningful connections.
Meal prep service project
After the games, each group of students prepared meals for their assigned classrooms. The menu consisted of sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and yoghurt. Though the meal itself was simple, students let their imagination flow to create the best sandwiches in cool shapes, sizes, and designs. For the primary school students, it was an absolute hit. And of course, food waste was kept to a minimum!
The day’s success was beyond anything we could have imagined. From the beginning to the end of the day the local students and our students freely interacted with each other, excited to chat, play, and participate in activities together. We could all feel the love and warmth. As the program manager, it brought me incredible joy to see the work that we had put in towards curating this program for the students, come to life!
This is what we at The Learning Adventure would call the real holiday spirit – the joy that came from creating these connections between each other. Even though they might have come from different cultures, languages or traditions, it all comes down to recognizing the common human qualities that we all possess and finding the similarities.
Want us to organise a school trip to China, Japan or Southeast Asia for you? Email us at email@example.com or drop us a message in the chat box below! Or take a look at our itineraries in the brochure below.