Camp to talk — Spanish |

Camp to talk — Spanish

Cindy Ramunno
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St. Clare of Assisi is a Catholic School in Edwards ” but for one week in the summer it turns into a Spanish immersion day camp.

Based on the success of its first Spanish camp last summer, St. Clare will be running the camp for a second time this summer. The programs aims at making Spanish more tangible and exciting for its campers. Spanish will be the only language spoken at the camp and the objective is to combine language, culture, social customs, arts and crafts, sports, music, dance and vocabulary building.

The camp’s director is Jeff Hayslip, a Spanish and physical education teacher at St. Clare of Assisi. Hayslip’s interest in Spanish was sparked after spending a semester in college in Seville, Spain.

After college, Hayslip entered the business world, working five years on Wall Street but decided something was missing in his life. He quit his job and moved to South America.

After traveling around different South American countries for four months he decided to make Buenos Aires, Argentina his home. He spent two years living in Buenos Aires teaching English at Ernst and Young.

When he came back to the United States in 2000 Jeff decided to make Vail his home. He had previously lived in Vail for a year after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993.

While living in the Vail Valley, he has been involved with the Hispanic community. He worked as an adjunct faculty member at Colorado Mountain School teaching English as well as computers in Spanish. He also started a home computer business targeting the Hispanic community.

Last school year, Hayslip was hired by St. Clare to work on a part-time basis as the Spanish teacher. This school year he accepted a full-time position to teach Spanish and physical education.

“For me, being a part of a Catholic school brings me back to my childhood where the Catholic religion was a big part of my upbringing,” Hayslip said. “I feel so fortunate to be a part of this incredible school.”

Before the camp starts, Hayslip will attend a 10-day camp for language teachers at Concordia Language Village in Bemidji, Minn.

Back here in Edwards, former counselor Maria Jose Machuca will return to St. Clare of Assisi this summer. Machuca is from Chile and has worked at camps there for children.

“She is a wonderful asset to our camp and the kids love her,” Hayslip said. “Maria Jose and I both feel that Spanish is an important tool to acquire in our ever changing world and community.”

St. Clare of Assisi is continually trying to expose their children to the Spanish language outside of the classroom. On Cinco de Mayo, St. Clare held mass in Spanish.

“This is only the beginning,” Hayslip said. “At St. Clare we plan to conduct more masses in Spanish next year and hopefully we will be able to attract Hispanic families to attend.”

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