Scanning these documents which describe our English Language Summer Courses over the last 40 summers, many of which I have not seen for decades, has been a walk down Memory Lane for me. Vacational Studies has become a huge international family with thousands of children spanning three generations.
What strikes me is how much Vacational Studies has developed over the years, but how almost all the photos could appear in the latest brochure and seem as fresh as they were on the day they were taken. How well I remember getting a bucket of water thrown over Stefan for the 1982 brochure and taking Otto to the highest point on a fire escape to get the sky shot for the 1978 brochure.
The fun, the laughter, the sheer joie be vivre of the youngsters who have been to our Summer Camps is the same whatever the year. But what social and technological changes have occurred in this time. Those were the days before the computer and mobile phone: the days before fax even, when telex was as hi-tech as it got. Quotes, even in the 1998 brochure, refer to ‘letter-writing’ as the way to keep in touch. Skype and Facebook have changed everything. Now Google is king and I have rewritten everything to ensure that the spiders find their target and push vacstuds.com up to page one.
The format of the brochures from the ’80s and ’90s was a concertina into DL envelope-size which is not the easiest for an A4-based scanner. The information section was separated from the ‘news’ part. The ‘news’ went only to those were with us that year and, reading between the lines, I can see why. I used the ‘news’ to say, sometimes cryptically, what I thought. In those politically less correct times, I can see why the staff loved spotting the barbed comments. Nowadays I use ‘IGM’s page’ knowing that only those who are really interested will penetrate so far into the site.
I see, too, that some of the wording I use is unchanged since the beginning. In that the essential ‘message’ is the same as it was in 1973, it has
stood the test of time. In that words on the web now need to be read by robots as well as humans, their time has passed and I now have to use a strange Google-search speak.
The Course is basically what it always has been. I am adding to the brochure front covers below. Click on them or the text to read the whole thing. Remember – the photos in the brochure are those of the year before…
2013 brochure and ‘Putting faces to the Names 2013′
2012 brochure and ‘Putting Faces to the Names 2012′
2002 Mary Hare Students
1992 student names
“This Course is an opportunity so great that, now taken, I cannot imagine my life without it”
‘This is to extend our sincere thanks for the most wonderful and educational time H spent with you, your colleagues and all the students this summer. She returned home with lots of new experiences, increased skills in English and last but not least a new attitude to the international and global world. I am pleased to say that all our expectations came through, H’s and mine included. I would also like to thank you for the follow-ups and the final academic reports and leaving certificate, documents which at the moment mean a lot to H and which I hope will become useful in her future activities. I will be happy to be contacted by parents of new students and I welcome anyone to contact me. My youngest daughter is already looking forward to attending.’ (Letter from a parent)