Friday, June 15, 2012

For fourth year, Lucy is off to Concordia Language Village's summer camp

    I drove Lucy up to Concordia Language Villages in Bemidji, Minn., for a two-week camp stay that started Monday. I was going to drive back home and then return, but thought better of it and used frequent flyer miles to come home, leaving my car at the Bemidji airport, as Bemidji comes darn close to being in Canada. Lucy is at Lac du Bois, the French Language Village.
    This is Lucy's fourth year at Concordia, a foreign language semi-immersion camp. Essentially the kids do all the activities they would do at any other camp, but they do them while in an almost complete foreign-language setting. They are allowed to say things like "I cut myself" or "A snake bit me" in English!
    Concordia has one-week camps for children as young as 7, two-week camp sessions for children starting at age 8, with the campers grouped by ages. For example, Lucy is with an 8- to 13-year-old group because many of her friends have wanted to stay together at the same session. Obviously she soon will have to move to a different session, and I suspect this will be decided by some sort of secret agreement among her friends before she leaves camp this year.
    Starting in ninth grade students can attend camp for a full month and earn a year's high school credit. At 11th grade they can attend for a month and earn college credit. In addition to common languages like French, Spanish and German, Concordia offers such languages as Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish.
    I've mentioned Concordia Language Villages on this blog before. I think it's a great program, and obviously Lucy enjoys it or she wouldn't keep going back. Summer camp is always expensive, but as camps go Concordia is more reasonable than most.
    My foreign language skills are limited to saying "My name is ColRebSez," and "I wish a beer" in Spanish. Lucy doesn't get much reinforcement during the year, but the French she is learning at Concordia will not only help her to be a better student, but a better citizen as well. It's certainly a disgrace that our elementary schools don't offer foreign language instruction for the better students wishing to learn.
    The camp is doing a better job than ever before this year of taking lots of photos of the kids and posting them on the "Village Pages." Kids don't send letters home from camp any more, so it's nice to see some photos. The Lac du Bois village page can be found here. A link to all of the Concordia Village pages can be found here.
    I've posted some photos of Lucy at camp below. For anyone stumbling on this page, be aware that there are lots of boys at the camps, too. But Lucy is always sitting with a group of girls.

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