Waldsee German Language Village
Waldsee, literally "lake in the woods", is immersion in action – up to an entire month of living in an entirely German-speaking environment where English is outlawed and American foods and pop culture are equally verboten.
Enlarge image Learning is fun at Waldsee (© Concordia Language Villages) The German camp is the oldest of Concordia College’s language immersion programs, which now includes language camps for 15 languages. Set on the shores of Turtle River Lake in Bemidji, MN, the campgrounds look like a traditional German village, with half-timbered buildings, a clock tower, and a Marktplatz where children gather to sing songs and play games.
Waldsee offers a number of immersion experiences for kids 6-18, as well as different four-week high school credit sessions and a college level course. High-school participants in the credit program can earn up to an entire year’s worth of high school credit for their four-week adventure.
Children ages 6 to 11 explore German language at a fun day camp through nature, music, sports, dance, arts, and delicious food. They play the Swiss chocolate game, play on an iceberg by the lake, try their hands at stained glass or pottery or discover the fairy tale forest - thus having fun and learning German along the way, naturally and with confidence.
Summer villages for youths aged 12 to 18 are a powerful combination of language immersion, new cultural experiences and summer camp fun.
Concordia Language also offers weekend language study programs for German language teachers and their students year round. A study abroad program, geared toward high-school age young adults, includes an organized home stay in Bad Waldsee, Germany, the camp’s sister city in Baden-Wurttemberg.
Enlarge image Roof of the Waldsee Biohaus (© Concordia Language Villages) But learning in Waldsee is not restricted to language. In 2006, Concordia Laguage Villages with the sponsorship of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Europe's largest environmental foundations, and in partnership with a number of German and US companies, built the Waldsee BioHaus, the first certified Passive House in North America. The BioHaus serves two purposes: to reflect present-day architecture trends in Germany and to immerse young Americans in cross-cultural adventures in sustainable living.
In 2007 the Waldsee BioHaus won the Minnesota Environmental Inititative Award for air quality and climate proctection - the premiere environmental award in the state. The award recognizes the Waldsee BioHaus' impressive 24-hour air/heat exchange system featuring an 85 percent efficient heart recovery unit. The System provides the interior with superior air quality and the buildings air-tight construction and super-insolation envelope reduces total energy consumption, resulting in a dramatic reduction of carbon dioxide emmissions.