It’s called Camp EPIC: six English Language Fellows, including six University of Indonesia lecturers, seven counselors, and forty-six pre-service teachers from across Indonesia and Timor Leste. As Fellow Alicia Bradley reports, that’s the group that gathered in Surabaya recently for a massive teacher-training camp that was also a real cultural-exchange opportunity. Fellows led teacher-training sessions that included model lessons, activity sessions, and micro-teaching, and campers were able to learn new teaching and classroom-management skills. “I love the atmosphere. It is different from any program that I joined before,” remarked one future teacher. “I just admire how all the facilitators engage the students or campers in really fun ways.” As part of that outreach, Fellows also led American Moments to share aspects of American culture ranging from dancing to sports to superheroes.
The purpose of Camp EPIC is to Empower, Prepare, Inspire, and Connect pre-service teachers from across Indonesia and Timor Leste. The effect of the camp echoes long after the campers go home: they are expected to conduct Camp EPIC sharing sessions when they return to their communities in order to spread best practices and build a network. Making relationships and encouraging connection is part of the Fellows’ goal for events like these, and that came across. As one camper put it, “I do like the ways the Fellows engaged . . . It seems that we can get to know and share [with] each other without any doubt and worry that the Fellows will ignore us.”