Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not just archery and bug juice anymore

This summer my daughter Sara spent what she calls the best 2 weeks of her life at Swedish language immersion camp in Bemidji, Minnesota. The camp is at Concordia Language Villages, a total language immersion camp designed for kids aged 7-18 run by Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Sara decided that she was interested in learning about Sweden after watching a television show on Scandinavian music, and soon developed an interest in learning the language. Unfortunately, there aren't many opportunities to study Swedish in the States, so she started out by using the Rosetta Stone language software. Remember learning about the Rosetta Stone in 8th grade? OK, neither did I, but thanks to the internet I was ready when she asked me exactly what is a Rosetta Stone, anyway? (I know you're looking it up's OK). So this year was her first time at overnight camp, and we wanted to find something very cool for her to do. When we found Concordia Language Villages, we were super excited to see that they had a Swedish program and that it looked excellent. We quickly signed Sara up for the 2-week session and figured we would have months to prepare her for the potential frustration of an immersion program. Amazingly, Sara embraced the study of all things Swedish with full vigor, to the point that she drove us a little crazy with it, and by the time camp started she was already singing their national anthem and having short conversations with herself. Even Sam knew a few key phrases, just by listening to Sara. My Mom and I flew halfway across the country to attend the parents' day at camp and see what Sara had gotten herself into, and I was just blown away by the positive energy and enthusiasm of the staff and of the campers. They were on cloud 9, even though they were hot, sweaty, and not smelling too terrific. I was moved to tears watching the kids sing in Swedish while Sara had a huge grin plastered across her face, something I hadn't seen in a long time. As soon as we got home, I set to work immediately on finding us a home exchange with a Swedish family. Tack så mycket, Concordia! Vi kommer alltid att minnas dig!


ursula said...

hej i went to that same camp! i remember the matshalen!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your post. Found your blog through a web search because I'm thinking about encouraging my children to go to language camp at Concordia.