The four-day program exposes young Ukrainians, ages 14-17, to American culture while improving their English-language skills in fun and interactive ways. The program is based on the idea that learning a foreign language in a classroom is difficult and that the only way to become fluent is to be immersed in an active learning environment.
This year, the Access camp brought some 87 children from working-class backgrounds in the cities of Simferopol, Luhansk and Shchastya to Saki. These three cities were chosen by the organization because of their traditionally pro-Russian tendencies and unwillingness to recognize American cultural efforts. The kids themselves were excited about the program, although the English skills varied considerably. Some could barely pronounce their names while others could quote Hamlet and Macbeth. The camp was also predominantly female, with a girl-boy ratio of about 3:1.
Camp counselors Caitlin Cleary, Margarita Balkova, Ivanna Koziy, and Connor Cleary