Spanish students enjoy a brisk day at the Concordia Language Village. Photo by Amy Addy
NOTE: This story appeared in the April 2012 edition of the Plymouth High School newspaper, Hi-Lights. Look for a copy in the high school office. Also visit the Hi-Lights web site at my.hsj.org/hi-lights for archives and bonus content such as photo galleries.
By Hanna Klecka
of The Hi-Lights staff
The camp, which is a ten-hour bus ride from Plymouth to northern Minnesota, is separated into smaller villages that closely resemble a traditional village of a foreign country. These individual villages help students to be surrounded by the culture so they can better understand the language they are learning.
Spanish teacher Laura Koebel stated, “This camp is a great experience for anyone wanting to go further into the language. They’re in a setting where they’re as close to the culture as possible, without actually being in a different country.”
The overall mission of the Concordia Language Village is “to prepare young people for responsible citizenship in our global community.” For 50 years, this camp has been an advocate for language learning with the vision of peace and understanding within all cultures of the world.
To incorporate different cultures, the weekend included crafts, games, sports, cooking and other group activities. As ConcordiaLanguageVillages.org states, these activities help students to understand cultural diversity, be able to communicate to others with confidence and sensitivity and promote a worldly view of peace.
Trying different food was also a big part of the trip and exposed the students to new things.
“We had lots of different kinds of food. For main courses we ate shrimp and rice, pea bean soup, eggs with all different kinds of peppers on toasted bread, pizza with green and black olives and some garnish, garlic shrimp and some special meats and cheeses,” stated sophomore Amy Addy. “It was amazing.”
Students are able to participate in a variety of camps throughout the year. Mini weekend camps are available during the school year while students can attend longer camps during the summer. There are also programs available to adults. In the past, PHS students have attended several mini-weekend camps and there have been individuals who have attended in the summer.
From this experience, those who went suggest students to consider it for next year.
Addy explained, “I would definitely recommend the camp to people who love Spanish. It's a great opportunity to get submerged into a different culture and really have a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a very little cost. Anyone who wants to travel to different countries or wants to study abroad should consider it.”
“I highly recommend considering going to this camp. It really helps students with the speaking aspect and it seems like students never want to leave,” said Koebel.