How to Instantly Become a Celebrity and Get Paid

By Mark Wiens 35 Comments
At the End of the English Camp
At the End of the English Camp

The fans were ballistic, shrieking at the top of their lungs, cell phones and cameras were flashing like Betelgeuse, hands were thrown in the air, notebooks and pens even shirts were shoved in our faces for autographs.

A three day English camp had just come to an end, and all of us camp leaders (also known as English speakers) felt like celebrities.

I had been a migrationologist, traveling the world for about a year and a half when I landed in Bangkok from Manila, the Philippines.  The funds were slowly depleting and I needed to find some sort of income while still maintaining my hobo-esque migrationology look and lifestyle.

After lazying in places like the peaceful shores of Lake Toba and climbing volcanoes like Mount Merapi in Indonesia, the thought of an official job was a truly unpleasant thought.

Through a number of connections in Bangkok, I was introduced to Dragonfly English Camps.

I thought, why not travel for free to a few off the beaten path towns in Thailand, meet some wonderful people, sing silly songs, booty shake, and all while speaking my native tongue, English.

It can’t be too bad right?

Enlgish Camp Introduction
English Camp Introduction

The camps proved to be much more exhilarating and inspiring than expected.

Our crew arrived in Nakhon Sawan for the first English camp excited and slightly frightened, standing in front of hundreds of electrified kids, faces gleaming at us.

Hellooooooooo, my name is Maaaaarkkkk,” I shouted into the microphone with a trembling voice.  The kids saw none of the nervous wreck that I was and the host of them cheered and shouted.  All staff were treated with the same courtesy and exuberance.

The camp continued with energetic English activities full of excitement in the form of games, competitions, singing with motions, awkward dancing, chants, English questions, and fabulous lunches.

Though we aimed to provide educated fun for the Thai kids, the day would fly by as all the staff were equally entertained.

When the camp approached the end, the kids begged us to stay.

Truly treating us like celebrities the inspiring kids wanted to take pictures, get autographs, and bid us farewell.  Some wrote personal notes wrapped in intricate origami to give us while others crowded around us with glowing luminosity.

Answering Questions at English camp
Answering Questions at English camp

Though we left with some monetary pay, nothing compares with the memories, the personal confidence building, and the thought of making just a slight impact into the lives of some of the children.

I give you my word, your confidence will be boosted and you will truly feel like a celebrity if you have the chance to be on an English camp in Thailand.

Thank you Drangonfly English Camp for some wonderful experiences and memories.



35 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Colin Pinker

    2 years ago

    I am a teacher from New Zealand and have taught English in M1 to M3 at an Assumption College in Thailand for 6 years. I am a young 72 and miss teaching the wonderful young people of this world having decided to retire. Would you have space for a person of my experience and age. Colin

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Colin, good to hear from you. I’m just a blogger and wrote about my experience, but you can definitely get in touch with Dragonfly English Camps.

  • Asia

    6 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Would you happen to have any contact details for Dragonfly English camp? I’m really interested in doing this when I’m back in SEA but their “contact us” link is broken. Would you recommend any other camps or schools? I’m very much considering getting my Tesol certification in Chiang Mai as well!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Asia,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      I will e-mail you some information on how to get in touch with them.

  • Dave and Deb

    8 years ago

    What an awesome experience and a great way to earn money.

  • johnny – onestep4ward.com

    8 years ago

    hey mate,

    good shout – i taught english in chiang mai for 18 months but i worked on english camps in korea and that is a great time! you get paid VERY well and it’s pretty easy to get work too 🙂

    good hub to move onto the philippines or japan from there too

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Thanks Johnny,
      I will probably try to finish my contract teaching in Thailand and then contemplate some English camps in Korea. They are great fun!

  • Kat

    8 years ago

    I’ve found that Asians are usually hyped to meet Westerners, or at least, anyone who doesn’t look remotely like them. I could get lost in Malaysia and people wouldn’t know that I was from the Philippines til I tell them. 🙂

    That’s a pretty good experience. I’d love to teach English too, but it seems that unless you live in a country where it’s the primary language, you don’t get that opportunity much… or I’m just looking at the wrong places :p

  • Carrie

    8 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    This is a terrific story that really sums up what teaching in Asia is like for many teachers here. Great job!

  • John Bardos – JetSetCitizen

    8 years ago

    This would be a great experience. It looks like a lot of fun.

    Camps like that are also popular in Japan and Korea. Some even offer a decent wage.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      That’s great to know, in the future I would love to do some part time camps in those countries as well.

  • Dragos Roua

    8 years ago

    That’s a fantastic idea. Saved the post for future reference, although I’m not a native English speaker I would definitely try to attend to one of these camps next time I’m in Thailand.

  • Mark Wiens

    8 years ago

    @Casey: It is an awesome time, I can get you some further information on the camps when you get here.

    @FlipNomad: Very true, you meet some great folks while traveling!

    @Colin: You should definitely take a bit of time to do some English camps. They are worthwhile and don’t take too much longterm commitment.

    @Carmen: You are right about making money or working and having fun at the same time, everything runs smoother and works better.

    @GotPassport: Yah, I can definitley supply you with some more information. See you guys soon!

  • GotPassport

    8 years ago

    This is great Mark! you have to hook us up when we get to Thailand next year. Hope they are OK with the fact that I’m Asian like them!! hmmm!! 🙂

  • Carmen

    8 years ago

    This sounds like a great time! Making money isn’t so bad when you’re having fun. Your descriptions remind me of my experiences teaching English in Japan years ago. I’ve often wondered if Japanese kids are still as excited to meet foreigners or if it has worn off some over the years. What a cool experience you had!

  • Colin Wright

    8 years ago

    Now that I’ve read this, I think I’m definitely going to have to take some time to teach English while traveling.

    Very well written! You really captured the atmosphere!

  • flipnomad

    8 years ago

    thanks! i just started it about 3 weeks ago… when you were here in the philippines i guess i was still in kathmandu… hehe anyway… travelers always meet on the road… so just see you there… keep on traveling…

  • Casey

    8 years ago

    That sounds like a great time. I wanted to get into some of that while in Thailand, but a combination of not knowing who to ask mixed with laziness and enjoying the beaches & beer prevented me. I’ll definitely reference this & Dragonfly for my next trip.

  • Joel bruner

    8 years ago

    Dude good description…:)
    Flashing like Betelgeuse hahahaha!! Right on

  • flipnomad

    8 years ago

    “the thought of an official job was a truly unpleasant thought.”

    yeah it sucks, i just came back from a 6 month trip and now im gonna find a work again… then i found out about this blogging thing… hope it works out… great adventure mark! keep on travelling

    -flip

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      @flipnomad: Truly man, I was in the Philippines for two months, 4 months ago, too bad our paths didn’t cross. The nomadic lifestyle is definitely the way to go. If you ever roll through Bangkok be sure to holla. By the way you have also put together a fantastic website!

      @Joel: Thanks bro, keep on it.

  • Shannon OD

    8 years ago

    Wow, this sounds like such an amazing experience! I am definitely going to have to look this program up when I am in SEA next year! 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Yah Shannon, it definitely is a great experience that is worth doing. The camps are a lot of fun, the fellow teachers are great, and the students are wonderful.

  • Dayne

    8 years ago

    Yo! Whats up with you man? You should have been to the last one, not as much a celebraty feel, but man there were a lot of kids and it was a blast as always. Heard your doing good, so keep it up. Till next time

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Dayne. I know it would have been great to join the latest camp, heard there were loads of kids. I am doing well, still living in Bangkok. I will try to join some camps in the future!