HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Kids' Corner

Mini-journalists visit Chiangmai Mail offices

YMCA’s summer camps

Looking to the stars - thrill and trekking included

Ballet students from Thailand receive training in Hong Kong

Swedish Frida learns multiculturalism

Grade 12 Unleashed

Kids' Corner

Marvin has been singing a song during the last couple of days and it goes something like this: Slip, slop, slap in the sun this summer say slip, slop, slap. I asked Marvin what it meant and he told me how his teacher had taught everyone the song to remind them about protecting themselves from the sun. He said that you had to remember to slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat and then you would be ready to go out into the sun. It is working because Marvin has worn his hat every day this week whilst he has been in the sun. Do you protect yourself when you go out into the sun? Write to Marvin and tell him what you like to do in the sun. You can send your letters to:

Marg & Marvin
Chiangmai Mail
156-158 Im-boon Housing Estate
Muangsamut Road
T. Changmoi, A. Muang,
Chiang Mai 50300
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 053 234 145


1) Why did the balloon burst?
2) What do porcupines have for lunch?
3) Why did the schoolboy eat the coin that his mum gave him?
4) Why is a mother cat so neat?


1) Because it saw the lollipop
2) Prickled onions
3) Because his mother said it was for lunch
4) She picks up her litter

Bye from Marg and Marvin

Mini-journalists visit Chiangmai Mail offices

Michael Vogt
Pic Marion Vogt

Prem International School’s Grade 5 class visited Chiangmai Mail’s offices to get first-hand information on how to produce a newspaper.

Back row (far left) is their experienced teacher, David Best.

As the class is currently in the process of bringing out its own newspaper for the school, the students came well prepared with questions, such as “Who is your editor?”, “Who is your best reporter?”, and “How do you make a profit with a newspaper?” (We are trying to work that last one out ourselves!)

The students were very keen to learn, and were shown around the various departments. The visit ended in the conference room with soft drinks and cookies, and a group picture to show Mom and Dad.

YMCA’s summer camps

Knowledge comes from the experience of a lifetime

Knowledge can be achieved not only through reading books, but also by ‘doing’ activities. This is especially true for children, who find being actively entertained preferable to sitting reading in a classroom.

Shooting produces excitement.

The question for many parents is what kind of activities should we provide our children? The YMCA in Chiang Mai may have the answer. They have started Summer Day Camps. These are concerned with providing safer and better lives for children, while encouraging them to grow up to be mature and compassionate individuals and strong leaders in society.

Rope play is a challenge.

Children aged between 7-13 years can take part in the 10-day camps that make their summer holidays memorable. During this time, they enjoy activities based on the concept of learning. They gain more knowledge about history, art, nature, farming, sports and cooking. The children also learn in the natural environment, according to the theme of the day.

Riding a buffalo can be a new experience.

At a practical level, for example planting rice strengthens the theoretical knowledge they already have. There is an outstanding field trip to a military camp where the children have the opportunity to meet the military men, watch army dog training, ride horses and go on an adventure trail.

Another field trip is to Chiang Mai Zoo, where the children get to meet wildlife from all over the world.

The age difference between the children taking part in the camp never causes a problem. From the observation of the camp leaders and staff, the older children usually take responsibility for making sure that the younger ones are fine and that they are participating in camp activities, allowing children to interact with each other and enhancing their social skills.

As the YMCA is a global organization, there are many volunteers from various YMCA’s around the world coming to Chiang Mai to participate in the activities, including the Summer Day Camps. In this way, the children are able to expand their experience beyond Thai frontiers through interaction with the overseas leaders, helping them grow up to be open minded adults.

There have been three Summer Day Camps during this year’s main school vacation. The day starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The third camp, from May 3-7, was even more special in that English and art were included as the main subjects.

Looking to the stars - thrill and trekking included

Sunisa Bates, student mother

Early in May, a group of children from Lanna International School (LIST) gathered on Doi Inthanon to study the stars, see the passing comet Neat, and experience a stay in the forest.

Trekking around Doi Inthanon and star watching - these were the lucky ones!

The excitement was electrifying. No other words could describe it better when the kids saw the beauties of Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and Neat through the high-quality telescopes provided by Dr Saran Poshyachinda. Although it was a cold night, it was clear and dark - perfect conditions for sky-gazing.

The comet Neat

The next morning the group trekked through the forest to Mae Pan waterfall. It was a hard walk but exciting and enjoyable. Everybody was happy to be in the forest and see the spectacular waterfall.

We hope that trips such as this will help our children understand and appreciate the beauty of nature and the importance of protecting and preserving Thailand’s forests and wildlife.

A big thank you goes to all the mothers who organized the food and the accommodation. Also a very special thank you to Dr Saran for not only organizing the skywatch, but also for explaining the stars so patiently to the children.

We are all looking forward to more stimulating trips like this in the near future.

Ballet students from Thailand receive training in Hong Kong

Mom Luang Preeyapun Sridhavat (front row second left) principal of the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy, recently visited the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and was welcomed by Ko Chun Kwai (third from left) who is teaching high level ballet students from Thailand.

Swedish Frida learns multiculturalism

Because life may never be complete without learning how to share it with others, volunteering in a global charitable association should broaden one’s perspectives, enhance one’s maturation and offer multicultural experiences in unforgettable ways.

YMCA, a voluntary organization with branches worldwide, provides its members who are ready to devote their time, energy and skills, the opportunities to learn working in various sorts of charitable activities.

(From left) Chularat Phongtudsirikul, director of the YMCA International Program Center, Swedish volunteer Frida Sjostrand, and Saksakul Boonprasarn, the human resource manager discuss the program.

Frida Sjostrand, born in Sri Lanka, but adopted and raised in Sweden, has learned the multicultural experiences through her family and realizes that skin color does not matter, what does is that people should have love and respect for one another.

She is a sophomore studying law at Stockholm’s University in Sweden, and though she has two more years to complete her studies, she is determined to get some international experience beforehand, as she wishes to work in the field of human rights or international development after graduation. “I have all my life wanted to work with or for people in other parts of the world, especially in developing countries,” said a resolute Frida.

She has been a member of the YMCA of Vasteras in Sweden since she was seven years old and this voluntary organization has been an important part of her life helping develop herself as a person. A month ago, Frida flew from Stockholm to Chiang Mai to join the international department at the YMCA here for six months, where she is now enjoying her job very much. Here, she is helping the YMCA International Center in arranging cross-cultural programs for youth activities and periodically teaching English classes.

She truly represents the connectedness between the Thai and foreign YMCA’s and assists local staff with communication with the European community to bring about the success of the international department.

When she returns to Sweden in the fall, Frida wishes to be part of some international programs of YMCA, as she could bring several ideas from the experiences gained from working in Thailand and contribute to YMCA members in Sweden.

With the concept being to remain optimistic, patient, open-minded and listen to people around her, Frida hopes she will be able to learn much and enrich her life in every aspect.

She has gained experience in living abroad, not only in Thailand. She was an exchange student in Prince Edward Island a couple of years ago. She wishes to learn as much about international cultures as possible, as she is still undecided about where she wants to live after she graduates. “I feel like I can’t plan my life too far ahead, because I need to be ready to take opportunities that come my way - like this internship, for example,” she said with a smile.

The YMCA welcomes and appreciates anyone who is eager to share to join the volunteer network of the organization. For more information, please contact: YMCA of Chiang Mai (Santithum Branch) 11 Sermsuk Rd, Mengrairasmi, Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand. Tel: (66-53) 221819 Fax: (66-53) 215523.

Grade 12 Unleashed

Prem gets artistic: students complete first-ever IB Art Course

Katherine Voll

On Saturday April 24, the Prem Art House was visited by Somporn Rodpoon, a well-regarded university art lecturer from Bangkok. Somporn spent the afternoon interviewing each year 12 International Baccalaureate (IB) art student and evaluating their work. This exam is the culmination of Prem’s first ever IB Art and Design course, the only course of its type in Chiang Mai.

The Year 12 Art Opening ‘G12-Unleashed’ was an excellent opportunity for parents, teachers and fellow students to admire the IB art projects.

“The IB Art and Design course is both challenging and exciting,” remarked Art Department head and IB art teacher Joanna Moon. “The course is an adventure of exploration and experimentation into the students’ own creative growth and potential.”

A piece by Mew (Gr.11)

The artistic work produced out of this IB art course was shared with the entire Prem community on April 30 at the opening of the exhibition, “Grade 12-Unleashed”. Parents, teachers and fellow students mingled with the student artists and admired their work, which included everything from a life-size phone booth to digital photography to computer generated animation. The exhibition was a huge success, and everyone who attended was impressed by the quality of the students’ work and the obvious thought and hard work that had gone into each piece.

A self-portrait by Hseng Tai Lintner (Gr.12)

This first-ever group of Prem IB Art students has several remarkable artists amongst them. Julian Stannard created a very exciting exhibition which was experimental and exploratory, examining the theme of “Concealment”. He worked with a local artist, Sandy Shun, who uses a unique form of photography involving film manipulation.

Joseph Malih, another IB art student, uses digital photography and computer technology to portray images of cloning and other Sci-Fi themes. Joseph will be using his skills and talent in July when he joins Ringling School of Art and Design in Florida to follow a Computer Animation course.

Hseng Tai Lintner also displayed some incredible pieces, including several powerful portraits which featured herself and her friends as the subjects. Her portfolio has impressed the London Institute of Art where Hseng Tai hopes to follow an Art Foundation course next year.

“All the work was highly imaginative and I think students will leave the course having learnt something about themselves and about art,” commented Joanna Moon. We could all certainly learn a lot about art from these incredible students!