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Bluestar summer camp delights global employees' children

By Cao Yingying | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-08 08:23

When Ren Jianxin, chairman of China National Chemical Corporation, or Chem-China, advocated and launched the first Bluestar Summer Camp in 1990, he might not have expected that the event originally intended for domestic staff members' children would turn into a happy gathering for youngsters from around the world.

As a subsidiary of ChemChina, starting from 2009, Bluestar has extended its summer camp to overseas subsidiaries from domestic ones, and officially renamed it the Bluestar International Summer Camp, with its permanent camp theme determined as "Bluestar, we are family".

Bluestar summer camp delights global employees' children

On July 20, a total of 880 little campers coming from 17 countries, including 10 from Gulang county in Gansu province, witnessed the opening of the 28th Bluestar International Summer Camp. Gulang is an area that has benefited from Bluestar's poverty alleviation efforts.

At the opening ceremony on July 20, Ren said in his speech that the event built a bridge for cultural exchanges among various countries.

"Over the years, ChemChina has adhered to its open corporate culture and invited staff members' children from around the world to join the event."

"The gathering also shows that our subsidiaries in different countries have operated in great harmony thanks to mutual respect, trust and inclusiveness, which are the foundation of ChemChina," Ren said.

Tian Ziyi, a 13-year-old from Beijing, said she is very happy with the event. She added that she wants to be a translator for the camp when she is too old to join in as a child.

She said the most impressive activity for her is the family day, which is a featured event at the summer camp. Foreign children are invited to stay at local homes in Beijing and gain first-hand experience of Chinese family life and culture.

"An Italian girl gave my mom a hug when she received gifts," she said.

An Australian girl whose given name is Capri made lots of friends at the camp. "It's like a big family here. We have exchanged our social media accounts so that we can keep in touch when the camp is finished," she said.

She tried to speak Chinese and sing Chinese songs with the help of local friends.

This year is the fifth year that Wang Haihan, a girl from Beijing, joined the event. "It's the event I most look forward to during my summer holidays. It's a pity that I can only take part in two more sessions in the future as I will be over-age."

Wang said that she likes outdoor activities very much. Several days ago, the group went to the Summer Palace and took a sightseeing boat cruise northward up along the river to the beautiful imperial gardens.

She remembered the day they visited the Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square. "The visits became more interesting thanks to the rainy day. We wore colorful raincoats and our camp leader said we looked like little elves."

A French camp leader named Chloe said: "It's my third time to be a camp leader. I love children very much and I know how to take care of kids throughout the experience."

She said one of the most difficult things for her is to write diaries to record the campers' daily life for their parents.

Liang Xiaoliang is a ChemChina employee, the parent company of Bluestar. Her son has participated in the camp three times. The mother said her boy has learnt at the camp that people are very different, so they need to communicate and to be understanding.

Liang said they invited a Swiss boy home on this year's family day. Her boy practiced English very earnestly before the day to play host to his guest.

Some volunteers provided translation for German, French and Portuguese-speaking campers from different countries. The volunteers are students from Beijing Foreign Studies University. "We heard about the event from our seniors. They used to be volunteers and advised us there was good experience on offer here," said one of the volunteers.

Bluestar summer camp delights global employees' children

Bluestar summer camp delights global employees' children

(China Daily 08/08/2017 page15)

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