Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our team assembled at the Krakow Airport on Saturday when 6 volunteers joined the bus from Siedlce bringing the campers, the Polish staff, two volunteers, and of course, Dorota, the Team Leader. We arrived in Zakopane about 5:30 PM, quickly dropped luggage in our rooms and then gathered in the dining room for kolacja. We sang Sto Lat and congratulated two volunteers, David and Jackie, who were observing their 50th wedding anniversary! After kolacja we gathered in the work room area and introduced ourselves, culminating with a name game when we each named each other. Most volunteers were ready for an early evening sleep as they were dealing with jet lag.
After a great Polish breakfast on Sunday morning we all gathered again in the work room. Dorota provided the announcements of the day. We reviewed health and safety concerns and then reviewed the Global Volunteer principles.
Next we developed four team goals:
-To improve the English language skills of the students;
-To learn more about Polish culture and language;
-To build bridges; and
- To improve ourselves.
We identified characteristics of an effective team:
Sense of humor
Self control
Appreciation of individuals’ skills
Team work
At this point we received a very nice interruption when the reception staff for the hotel announced that one of our team members had finally received her luggage that had been missing for three days.
We continued our work by briefly discussing the first day classes. Dorota reported that the Polish staff would like us to move the teenagers around to different groups. Also the staff would like us to put together groups or otherwise mix students so that they can hear several versions of the American accent.
Dorota provided a Polish language lesson, and then we adjourned for obiad.
In the afternoon, some volunteers stayed in the city and did a walking trip to the bus office to purchase tickets for returning from Krakow on the following Sunday and two went to afternoon Sunday Mass. The students and four volunteers went hiking in Dolina ChochoŁόw.

At 8 PM we gathered again in the work room. Pani Dyrektor introduced herself again and explained her role at the camp. The other teachers accompanying the students also introduced themselves and then we volunteers also introduced ourselves. Volunteers asked questions about the Prus High School and the students there and asked for advice about helping the students.
Then each volunteer took the chance of pronouncing the student names in Polish who would be a member of their class, and each teacher met with their class for a few minutes.