Two summer camps held last month gave junior secondary school students the chance to immerse themselves in an English-speaking environment. The Education Department in conjunction with the Native English-Speaking Teachers' Association and the Society for Community Organisation organised the camps. 'Students were able to learn English through fun-filled activities,' said Fanny Lam Fan Kit-fong, Principal Education Assistant of the department. 'They were given the opportunity to improve their English in a lively and happy environment.' Sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong, a total of 1,000 students from different schools enjoyed the five-day camps at Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village and the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong. A variety of activities, including drama, art, creative writing, sports, music and journal writing were offered. They were designed to help students improve their English, improve self-confidence and develop their leadership skills and potential, said Wong Wing-ming, Senior Education Officer at the department. Participating students were selected by their respective schools. They were divided into groups for activities, which ensured that they would meet new friends from different schools, and were encouraged to try their best to speak English all the time. Although most students spoke to each other in Cantonese, they said the camp had helped to improve their English. 'After a few days at the camp I am now more confident about speaking English,' said Rachel Choi Mei-kei, 14, a Form Two student at Pui Tak Canossian College. Yosie Mok Pui-yiu, a Form Two student at Tak Nga Secondary School said she enjoyed the creative freedom that the camp provided. 'We could choose what to do in our creative writing,' said the 14-year-old. 'We could draw or write what we wanted - and I think it's more fun that way.' The teachers involved in the scheme volunteered their time to help the students improve their English. Steve Folly, a teacher at Christ College in Sha Tin, said he was impressed by the student's enthusiasm to learn. Vivien and Jessica are summer interns from Sha Tin College and Hong Kong Shue Yan College, respectively.