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The 2017 German Language Summer Camp Guide for California

Summer is approaching faster than we all would like to acknowledge it. And here we are, once again, trying to find the perfect camp and other summer activities that will save our kids from ‘extensive boredom syndrome’ during these hot summer days…

If you were planning on having your son or daughter attend a camp that will provide not only fun but will also stimulate their intellect – A foreign language immersion camp might just be the perfect pick!

In the following find a compilation of some German Language Camps up and down the coast of California. They all offer a great variety of fun activities along with German language immersion.

GERMAN LANGUAGE SUMMER CAMPS 2017

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STEM Summer Day Camp 2017 at GermanSchoolCampus in Newport Beach

Back by popular request is the STEM science camp in Newport Beach at the beautiful location at the Newport Seabase right along the waters of the Newport Bay. Children will enjoy a whole week of fun learning about “Feuer-Wasser-Erde-Luft” (Fire-Water-Earth-Air) while taking full advantage of the beautiful location and undertaking an excursion on a pontoon boat and trying out little motorboats. Fun is the top priority at the GermanSchoolCampus summer camp at the sea!

Classes are open to all children 6-17 years of age. Children can be pure beginners of the German language since all parts of the camp will be conducted bilingually and the German language is introduced throughout in a playful way.

Camp Dates : One week ONLY – Monday July 3 – Saturday July 8, 2017 from 8:30-4:30 (with no class on 4th of July)

No prior knowledge of the German language is necessary!

Contact: 949-285-0829 – Frau Schoeneich- School Director

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Camera, Lights, Action – Summer Camps for kids at GPSSD in San Diego

GPSSD San Diego offers four fun weeks of German language summer camps with themes like Zeitreisen (Time Travel), Camera, Lights, Action…, Trolls and Tournaments. The camps are open to all children 4-14 years of age.

Camp Dates: June 26 -July 21, 2017 from 9am-3pm (extended care possible)

Contact: (858) 461-9118 or germanpacificschool@gmail.com

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SUMMER IMMERSION CAMP 2017 at GISSV MOUNTAIN VIEW (NorCal)

German language classes + art, music, science, sports, cooking and more!

The GISSV Saturday School is excited to once again offer a German Immersion Summer Camp. Our combination of morning language classes and engaging afternoon activities offers a unique opportunity for kids to learn and play in German!

The German Immersion Summer Camp is for children ages 6-16. Prior knowledge of German is not required. Langauge classes are offered each day of camp from 9am-noon. Afternoons are packed with interesting, fun and physical activities ranging from art to soccer to science, cooking, yoga and music. Responding to popular request, we will also offer a KinderCamp for ages 4-5. KinderCamp will follow its own curriculum in our Kindergarten classrooms. Prior knowledge of German is not required.

Camp Dates: June 19 – July 14, 2017 , from 9am-4pm (Extended care is available for a maximum day from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm)

Contact: office@gissv.org or (650) 254-0748

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“Stein, Schere, Papier” – German Summer Camp 2017 at Bay Area Kinderstube in Berkeley (NorCal)

Bay Area Kinderstube offers four weeks of a full-immersion German summer camp at Berkwood Hedge campus, 1809 Bancroft Way, Berkeley (one block west of Berkeley High). Beautiful Berkwood Hedge campus in Berkeley has spacious classrooms and a great outdoor space. The camp is for children ages 3-13.

The curriculum is hands-on and includes singing, playing, acting, history, music, cooking, arts and crafts, field trips and many outdoor activities. Each age group is led by a native German teacher with experience in instructing various levels. The teachers will be supported by assistants, many of whom are former campers themselves. Because our camp is full immersion, it is best-suited for children with at least basic understanding skills in German. Counselor-in-Training program for 8th grade and up.

Camp Dates: July 17–August 11, Mon-Fri 9am-3pm (Extended care available form 3pm-6pm)

Contact: Heike Feltes at sommerschule@kinderstube.org or at (510)525-1310

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Nature, Creativity, Language – Summer Camp at WAnderKindSchool in Glendale 

Two amazing summer camps are scheduled for this summer. In June we will do two weeks of FORREST SCHOOL CAMP packed with outdoor fun and adventure. In July you can sign up for GERMAN LANGUAGE IMMERSION CAMP to playfully learn and improve a second language. Preschoolers join us in the mornings and Elementary Student (up to age 9) come in the afternoon.

Camp Dates:  June 19-23 & 26-30 “Forrest School Camp”,  and July 10-14 & July 17-21 “German Langauge Immersion Camp” (extended care is available upon request) Different Times for Preschoolers & elementary students.

Contact: wanderkindschool@gmail.com or 415-812-6675

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Summer Camp with GASA (SOCAL)

GASA will host their yearly overnight camp at the
beautiful Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center.
Swimming, hiking, zip-lining. A 136 ft. water slide, ‘smores by
the campfire, singing and dancing as well as fishing, baking, sports,
games and crafts, plus a special visit to a nearby zoo will be part of the fun! All activities will be conducted in German.

Camp Dates: June 25 – June 30, 2017

Contact: 562-693-0223 or office@gasaschool.org

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Summer Camp at GASPA (NorCal)

GASPA will offer a 4-week German summer camp for children at the location of Alto International School Campus (formerly GAIS) at 475 Pope Street, Menlo Park 94025. The camp is open to all children from ages 3-12 & 12-14. There is no prior German language knowledge required.

Camp Dates: June 19th – July14th 2017  from 9am-2pm (extended care is available) No Camp on Tuesday, July 4th

Contact: 650.520.3646 or contact@gaspa-ca.org

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Image: Courtesy of GermanSchoolCampus.com


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Helau and Alaaf – Carnival Tradition in Germany

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HELAU AND ALAAF – CARNIVAL TRADITION IN GERMANY

This upcoming Thursday, certain cities in Germany, including my hometown Dusseldorf, are going to be crowded with thousands of people – adults as well as children – dressed up in costumes. Welcome to the yearly tradition of Carnival.  For those of you who have never heard of this festivity before, I would describe it as a mixture of Halloween (minus the scary costumes) plus Mardi Gras.

Due to the fact that I grew up in a so-called Carnival central city, I basically was born into the tradition.  Today I can gladly say that I don’t miss it one bit, but back when I was living in Europe I did feel obligated to participate.  So what does Carnival consist of?

This time of the year, which is also named the 5th season, actually starts in November on 11-11 at 11:11 a.m., but the peak of the tradition happens around late February/ beginning of March on a Thursday.  That day called “Altweiber” (old women), it is common at work for women to cut off the men’s ties with scissors and then celebrate on the streets and at bars till late at night.

The highlight of the Carnival celebration is held on Monday with the Rose Monday parades, which are very popular in the cities of Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Mainz.  The 5th season usually ends that following Wednesday, called Ash Wednesday.

To sum it up, Carnival is one of the biggest events celebrated in Germany with parades, costume balls, and street parties.  There are two popular cries that you would be hearing a lot during this time: Helau in Dusseldorf and Mainz, and Alaaf in Cologne, Bonn, and Aachen.

I personally enjoyed this celebration more when I was a little kid in kindergarten and elementary school.  I mean, what kid doesn’t like to dress up.  My favorite costume of all time used to be a cat.  Cats were my favorite animal back then, so luckily for my parents they could recycle my costume every year and didn’t have to get a new one.

Being an adult, I never found it too appealing to put on a costume and get drunk on the streets, even though I participated a couple times.

What changed my perception a little bit was when I actually joined a show dance group that performed during masquerade balls.  I received this opportunity when I was living with my sister in a very small town in the mountains.

A friend of a friend happened to be one of the dancers, and since I loved dancing and had been doing it throughout my entire life, I saw the chance to become part of the group through that connection since they were in need of an additional performer.

For two years I was a member of this group.  And what can I say, I loved it.  I loved rehearsing for the show, performing on stage, and participating in tournaments.  But I still wasn’t too fond about everything else that included Carnival.

Once it was clear that I would be moving to the United Stands, I obviously had to end my time with this group.  It was a fun two years, but I am not missing it much nowadays.  But for everyone else who is a great fan of Carnival, have fun out there these next couple of days!

Image: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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New Year, New Career?

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NEW YEAR, NEW CAREER?

To say life has been a rollercoaster lately would be a total understatement.  These last couple months have been very challenging, and I needed to take a break from writing for a bit, even though I claim it is a kind of therapy for me.  But, as we all know, life happens, and we do have to prioritize certain things.

I usually start to slow down during the winter months for a bit, not being able to be as active as during spring or summer. Piled on top of this was my career situation.  I did start an internship in August, which I unfortunately had to terminate in November.  I had such a great time at Tricoast Worldwide, and it really wasn’t easy to leave.  I learned so much and had wonderful coworkers who made work feel like fun.  I loved the family environment so much more than working for big corporations like I did before.

But, as another saying tells, if one door closes, another one opens, which I did not see at first.  As not many of you might know, I do work as an independent contractor for an app that provides dog walking, boarding, and sitting.  I started doing this job on the side when I was still at Tricoast, but it became my full-time position once I quit.  I am a huge dog lover and have to confess that I was actually a little excited, yet also scared, to take on this career shift.

I personally rather am with animals than sitting at a desk all day, staring at a computer screen.  I also wasn’t ready to start writing applications for PR jobs again, after it took so much effort to eventually land an unpaid position- yeah, no thanks.  I told myself to take it easy over the holidays, and once New Year’s hit, I would feel refreshed and ready to give applying another go.

But you know what? It didn’t happen like that.  Yes, I did take it easy over the holidays and got some much needed rest.  But I wasn’t feeling refreshed and ready to write applications.  All I wanted was to work with dogs.  I know that probably sounds ridiculous to many people, especially in expensive California.

But I am happy.  I am truly happy to have a job that doesn’t feel like a job to me.  It never feels like work for me, and every day is different.  This, I believe, is what your dream job has to feel like.  And, since I have put a couple of these in this post already, here is another smart saying by Mark Twain that sums it up perfectly: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

I do am aware that I will not be able to perform this job forever.  At the end of each day, I can always feel every muscle in my legs from being on my feet all day.  Also, there are no benefits, and I have to work rain or shine in order to make ends meet. But I see this position as my ground base.

I would love to be able to combine my degree in communications with working with animals at some point.  But I am not stressing out about it at the moment.  I rather enjoy what I do, be able to save up some fundamentals, and then start taking the next step of the career ladder. And also find the time to write more again.

Image: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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Frohe Weihnacht – Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays!

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Thank You for a Wonderful 2016!

Merry Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten, Happy Holidays!

As the year comes to a close, we wanted to thank all our readers and friends for their support throughout this year and for being an important part of our CaliforniaGermans family.

Have a wonderful Christmas and may your 2017 be filled with joy, health, prosperity and peace!

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Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

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Berlin – Our thoughts are with you!

 

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This summer we had just returned from Munich when we witnessed in agony the events unfold in the Munich shooting rampage close to the Olympic village. Desperately we were trying to get a hold of all our family and friends over there making sure that they were safe. Munich and with it all Germany felt under attack. As it turned out the tragic event hadn’t been a terror attack after all, but the Germans’ ‘heile Welt‘ (sheltered/perfect world) did not feel that ‘heil‘ anymore. We learned that despite all precautions (Germany was on high alert) we, Germany, was still vulnerable after all.

This week on December 19th, 2016, a truck ploughed in the evening hours through a crowd of people at a Christmas market taking down wooden stalls and Christmas trees. Twelve people died and fifty people are injured.

This time it was real!  Berlin had been under attack by a terrorist.

When asked, many Berliners despite still in shock over this tragedy, mention that this was just a matter of time. “We all were aware that something could happen anytime…” And, as we have learned this year, this is something that can happen anywhere in Europe and the world for that matter.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all, who have lost family and friends in Berlin’s terrible tragedy of this week!

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Recent Updates  and Voices:

NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/world/europe/a-berlin-square-where-the-prewar-postwar-and-modern-eras-coexist.html?emc=edit_tnt_20161220&nlid=60847579&tntemail0=y

Süddeutsche:  “Deutschland ist nicht im Krieg”

Spiegel Online: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/attack-in-berlin-anis-amri-the-suspected-perpetrator-in-berlin-a-1127085.html

Süddeutsche – Internationale Pressestimmen:   http://www.sueddeutsche.de/medien/presseschau-zum-anschlag-in-berlin-deutschland-und-europa-sind-zu-fettleibig-um-den-weckruf-zu-hoeren-1.3304386 

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