Monday, April 11, 2011

This one time, at Russian camp...

Today I was told that my last day of work would be May 31st. That was a bit of a shock to me - May 31st is not that far away! It hit me just how much I'm going to miss the school and Mytishi, and especially my students.

Once I found out when my last day was, a new question was raised. My contract with Language Link is until July 1st, so what was going to happen to me in that interim month? I had heard that I might be sent to teach at a school in Moscow, which, although it would have been okay, wasn't something I was super pumped about. I commuted back and forth between Moscow and Mytishi during my month-long internship in September, and, well, spending upwards of 5 hours a day on a commute isn't exactly the best use of my time!

So you can imagine how thrilled and excited I was to receive an email today, informing me that I had been given a placement at a summer camp! The camp, Euroclub, (website is here, but in Russian only) is located about 60km northwest of Moscow, in the wilderness. I'll move there June 2nd, and will be there until June 28th, working 6 hours a day, 6 days a week, with Sundays off and three consecutive days off in the middle of the month. I'll be the only English instructor, and lesson structure and content are entirely my prerogative - a challenge and definitely something I'll have to prepare for, but it should also be really fun! Meals are free and included, and in my free time I'm encouraged to use the swimming pool, the fitness centre, the hiking trails...and horse back riding!'s basically a DREAM.

The only downside is that there is no internet at the camp, so The Devushka Diaries will have to go on a bit of a hiatus in June. I'm not sure how isolated this camp is from civilization, but if there's a town nearby I'll try to get some wifi - otherwise, I will have a lot to write about in July! I am really excited for this opportunity - it should be something fun and different, and it will be great to see another part of Russia.

Here is what one of the instructors who taught there last summer said about the camp:

“The Euroclub experience was...interesting. The location is a little unsettling at first, if you haven't been exposed to the walled-in prison atmosphere of an athletic training camp of that type."

Hmm...can't say I HAVE been exposed to any walled-in prision-like atmospheres...

"The food is surprisingly good and the living accommodations are pretty nice, although it may be a bit of a walk to a shower. The kids are mostly well-behaved and glad to have a chance to practice their English. It is, however, a difficult line to walk during class time; the kids are there for, essentially, vacation. They want to have fun and practice speaking. However, the administration of Euroclub is under a lot of pressure from parents who want their kids to receive intensive education during these English classes. They want to see a lot of written grammar exercises. Classes are approximately 40-55 minutes, so it's fairly easy to work in a decent balance of enjoyable activities and drier written grammar work."

"Also, the kids are really friendly! Don't be afraid to go visit them in their dormitories, they really like seeing you outside of class and getting to speak English more."

Bring it on! June sounds like its going to be an interesting, fun, and exciting month. Russian wilderness, here I come! :)


  1. omg i'm really jealous of you! that sounds amazing!

  2. What a day for new assignments - I found out today that I am going to a new school in September. New as in "new to me". Will fill you in when we talk next.

  3. Wow, really?! And we were just talking about being back at Gleason for another year on Sunday! Can't wait to hear more details!

  4. Another piece of unsolicited advice here: better not to leave the camp. There might be dragons. For the internet access - most mobile phone operators offer mobile internet now. My dad uses SkyLink (, it provides decent connectivity in much more remote place than this camp. You could buy modem for yourself or borrow one from your students, I sure someone will be using it there.

  5. What a perfect date to end camp on ;). Have an awesome time - If camp in Russia is anything like Canada you will have a blast.

  6. Thank you for your advice, Teknomad - and it is never unsolicited - I appreciate it a lot! But dragons...what do you mean?!

    Zack - when I first heard about going to this camp, my first thought was of Ramah! :)Hope my experience is as positive as yours!