Grab your passports and get ready for a trip of a lifetime! This summer our campers will be traveling around the world right from our very own campus exploring a different country each week and learning about each ones intriguing culture and traditions. This will be a summer you don’t want to miss here at The Preparatory Academy!

The first stop is at a boot-shaped peninsula that extends from southern Europe and a place where you definitely need to bring your appetite. You guessed it, Italy!  Enjoy sailing along the Mediterranean coastline where we will indulge in all that Italy has to offer. Between exploring the beautiful capital, Rome and learning all about the Vatican and Ancient Ruins you will never get tired of traveling through over 3,000 years of history. It’s a place known for its beautiful art, gorgeous architecture, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious food.

Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance, which was a period of great cultural achievements in architecture, poetry, and painting. Famous artists include Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo Da Vinci. Some examples of such exquisite architecture include buildings such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Italian is Italy’s official language and the most popular sport in Italy is football (soccer). Italy is made up of twenty regions and every village in Italy has its own little festival which centers around the food of the region. At these festivals people wear silk, lace, and masks. Each region has a traditional costume, however today; people only wear the traditional costume for special celebrations. Italian cuisine is popular around the world and the best Italian food comes right from the heart of Italy. We will find ourselves having a smorgasbord of Italian food!

The next stop on the itinerary is a place that belongs to the continent of Asia, has the largest population in the world, with over 1.35 billion people and is the only place in the world that is home to the giant panda. Welcome to China! China has a vast landscape which includes grasslands, deserts, mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, and 14,500km of coastline. China contains one of the world’s oldest civilizations, but it has only recently become a “modern” nation. China has changed faster in the past 20 years than any other country in the world. Chinese history is divided into dynasties, each of which marks the period when a line of emperors ruled. For centuries, China was ahead of most other countries in science, technology, astronomy, and math. Some items that Chinese people have invented are: paper, the magnetic compass, printing, porcelain and silk.  

China has a long history of arts and crafts. We will have fun learning about how the Chinese first used silk, jade, bronze, wood, and paper to make art. We will have fun exploring the artistic writing called calligraphy which was invented right here in China! Bring your camera because it will be exciting to see the largest man made structure in the world, The Great Wall of China which stretches 5,500 miles. Did you know that Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, and that Honk Kong has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world? Get ready for a huge celebration, The Chinese New Year is a celebration that lasts for 15 days. The festivities are a colorful display of dragon dances, lantern festivals, feasts, and firecrackers. We will enjoy lots and lots of rice since it is not only the major food source in China, but is a major element that helped grow their society. 

Next on the list of countries to visit is a place we call home, The United States of America. The USA is the world’s largest country in size and contains 50 states and the District of Columbia. The landscape includes tropical beaches, mountains, prairie lands, deserts, and wilderness. You will also find places like the Great Lakes, Grand Canyon, Yosemite Valley, and the Mississippi River. Throughout history the United States has been a nation of immigrants. The population is diverse with people from all over the world. The country is divided into six regions: New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the South, the Midwest, the Southwest, and the West. 

One state we are going to visit here at summer camp is a state found in the Pacific Ocean that includes a tropical paradise of islands filled with exotic flowers, beautiful beaches and year-round warmth. Aloha, Welcome to Hawaii! Hawaii is the southernmost U.S. state and the only state made up of islands. The Hawaiian culture is filled with fascinating customs, music, legends, traditions, and values. Hawaii is the only U.S sate with a tropical rainforest and the only state that has a royal palace called Iolani Palace and it is located in Honolulu. Hawaii is composed of 132 islands, eight main islands, and 124 islets, reefs, and shoals. The Big Island is getting bigger by about 42 acres each year because of the continuous eruption of the Kilauea Volcano, which has been erupting for 30 years. We will have fun speaking the Hawaiian language, learning the hula dance which is a celebration of life, listening to the serene music,  hearing the legends that have been past down from generation to generation and exploring the culture that makes the Hawaiian Islands truly special and unforgettable. It will be nice to break away from the electronic world and enjoy the sounds of nature, peaceful waves, and soothing Hawaiian music. The Hawaiian culture is rich, living, mysterious, and unique. 

Our next stop is to a country that lies in Southern Europe, is located at the Iberian Peninsula and is known for its unique beauty, Flamenco music and dance, fantastic beaches and lots of sunshine. Welcome to Spain! Spain is a developed country with a high quality of life. The largest city and capital of Spain is Madrid. The oldest historical findings in Spain date from about 30000 to 50000 b.c. The most important remains of this period are the Cave of Altamira, Cova Negra and Pinar. We will have a blast learning about two of the, most visited sites by tourists known as The Great Mosque of Cordoba and Granada’s Alhambra. The Great Mosque of Cordoba contains a Cathedral and shows a mixture of different architectural styles, the most popular and impressive is the Moorish architecture which is one of the most beautiful examples of this art in Spain. The Alhambra is not only the most important, but also the best conserved Arabian palace.

We will have so much fun biking along the beaches, exploring the sea caves, visiting the painted caves, learning the art of pottery making, ride horses in the Andalucian hills, take flamenco dance lessons, and enjoy many fiestas and festivals. In every single city, town, and village there is a festival of some kind. Experiencing Spanish fiestas first hand is a great way to immerse yourself in Spanish culture, and learn about important traditions and holidays in Spain. It’s time to grab your party hats because it will be one big celebration with lots of Spanish food, music, and dancing!

Next Country to visit on our journey around the world is a place that is a string of 7,100 islands in southeastern Asia and is known for its beautiful beaches, coastal areas, hills, valleys, and mountains, you guessed it The Philippines! The Philippines enjoy a higher standard of living than many other countries in Southeast Asia. Farmers grow crops, such as sugar cane, bananas, mangoes, rice, and corn. In the Philippians people enjoy festivals and processions every year. These special events are a great day of joy and happiness and feature music, dancing, and food feasts. 

The Philippines is a tropical country that contains high temperatures and humidity the whole year. It is also home to 3500 species of plants and animals and is where you will find the world’s smallest monkey and largest fish. We will indulge in a variety of fruits and vegetables, explore the beautiful coral reefs, climb a volcano, swim next to whale sharks, and visit the mountain tribes. The Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. Spanish architecture has left an imprint in the Philippines in the way of many towns were designed around a central square or plaza mayor and the common use of the English language is an example of the American impact on Philippine society. Grab your sports equipment because the people in the Philippines enjoy basketball, boxing, volleyball, football, badminton, karate, taekwondo, bowling, and chess. This will be a week of nonstop fun and a chance to enjoy everything the Philippines has to offer!

The next Country we will enjoy visiting is the most populated country in Africa, is home to more than 250 ethnic groups, and is known for its abundant wildlife, oil, beautiful music, and award-winning literature. Welcome to Nigeria! Nigeria is the most important country politically and economically in West Africa. It is richer than all other Western nations and holds considerable power. It contains distinctive regions including deserts, plains, swamps, mountains, and steamy jungles. It has one of the largest river systems in the world, including the Niger Delta, the third largest delta on Earth.  Music and art spring from strong tribal roots and are prevalent throughout society. 

Although the country of Nigeria is fairly new, the area’s history stretched back for thousands of years. The town of Nok in central Nigeria was once the home of a culture that existed more than 2,000 years ago. Archeologists have found many of their clay carvings. English is the official language of Nigeria and is used in education, business, and for official purposes. We will have fun playing the board game ayo, which is played by 2 people using seeds and a board that has twelve cups and we will also enjoy playing checkers and hand-clapping games. Soccer, volleyball, wrestling, and boxing are popular sports in Nigeria. We will have fun celebrating the festivities in Nigeria which include dancing, music, sporting competitions, and exhibits of arts and crafts.

The next Country we will have the honor of visiting is the largest country in South America and is known for its brightly colored birds, dense forests, street carnivals, and white sand beaches. Welcome to Brazil! Brazil is home to the Amazon which is the world’s largest jungle, in the north. Northern Brazil is dominated by the Amazon River and the jungles that surround it. The Amazon is not one river but a network of many hundreds of waterways. Thousands of species live in the river, including the piranha and pink river dolphin. Brazil has the greatest varieties of animals of any country in the world. You will also find the world’s largest wetland known as the Pantanal. There you will find giant anacondas, huge guinea pig relatives, and fierce South American alligators.  Southeastern Brazil was once completely covered with dense forest but is now the county’s industrial capital, home to Brazil’s biggest cities: Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. 

Most Brazilians are descended from three ethnic groups: Amerindians, European settlers (mainly from Portugal) and Africans. In the 19th century immigrants from Europe, the Middle East, and Japan all added to the mix. This diversity of cultures has created a rich religious, musical, and culinary culture. . Brazil is also South America’s most industrial nation, producing chemicals, steel, aircraft, and cars. We will have a blast playing lots of soccer because it is huge in Brazil. They have produced some of the best players and won the World Cup soccer finals five times which is more than any other nation. This will be an unforgettable adventure you won’t want to miss. 

Our last and final Country we will visit this summer at camp is the largest country in the world, which occupies one-tenth of all the land on Earth, spans 11 time zones across two continents; Europe and Asia and has coasts on all three oceans which are the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic. Welcome to Russia! The Russian landscape includes deserts, frozen coastline, tall mountains, giant marshes, pine forests and treeless plains called steppes. Russia has about 100,000 rivers including some of the longest and most powerful in the world and many lakes. There are about 120 ethnic groups in Russia who speak more than a hundred languages. Most Russians trace their ancestry to the Slavs who settled in the country 1,500 years ago. Other major groups include Tatars and Ukrainians. 

Russia is known for its long and rich cultural history. It contains strong tradition and influential arts, especially when it comes to literature, philosophy, classical music, ballet, architecture, painting, cinema and animation. It contains a very visual past which include its colorful folk costumes and ornate religious symbols.  One food that holds significance here in Russia is bread. Bread symbolizes key aspects of the national self-image. It is the mark of hospitality, as in khlebsol, the ancient custom of welcoming a visitor with a round loaf with a salt cellar on top. Two signature food dishes in Russia are Borscht, a beet soup served hot or cold and Pelmeni which are small moist dumplings filled with chopped meat. Basketball, hockey, and soccer are popular sports in Russia and chess is a national obsession. Other pastimes include the card game Durak and the computer game Tetris. We will have fun exploring Russia’s landscape and natural resources and exploring over 40 National parks and 100 wildlife reserves. We will also enjoy visiting some of the most famous places in Russia which are the Red Square, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, The Kremlin which is in Russia’s capital Moscow and Lake Baikal which is one of the largest lakes in the world containing more water than any other lake on Earth. Learning all about Russia will be a great way to end our last week of Summer Camp here at The Preparatory Academy!