Two days ago was the official start of FALL! Yes, can you believe it? Summer is over at least according to the calendar. But don’t we all love to take a look back to these blissful days of summer, recalling our adventures?
That’s exactly what Eric Goldston and Kai Levato did. These two teenagers attended GASA’s German Summer Camp at Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center and had such an inspiring experience that they felt compelled to share their adventure with you!
GASA Camp June 2019: Der Zauberlehrling
By Eric Goldston (17) and Kai Levato (15)
As of six years, Orange, CA, has been the home of the ‘GASA Sommer Camp’, a camp where children of various ages go to immerse themselves in the German language and culture. The ‘GASA Sommer Camp’ of 2019 brought in young German learners from everywhere in the US and even Mexico. Kids left camp excited about the German language and willing to share all of the amazing experiences they had.
The camp is located in the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center, with two bunkhouses for all of the campers. This center offers children the opportunity to explore new and engaging outdoor activities, which GASA rotates every year. This year, campers were given the opportunity to go swimming, learn to use a bow and arrow, and zipline. In addition, one of the highlights was a visit from Dr. Barbara Hendricks, member of the German Parliament (Bundestag), and Kathrin Steinbrenner, Vice Consul of the German Consulate. They were given a tour of the camp and were allowed to watch students learn and having fun in the classroom and out.
This year, we had two different themes campers explored during the week: environmental protection and the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, most notably, “Der Zauberlehrling”.
Along with all the learning, making seed bombs and soap, baking and singing, the GASA Camp hosted multiple events to give campers a space to let out their excitement and energy. The first of these was a water fight and later during the week a dance; with great tunes and greater memories, it remains a camp favorite.
Using ‘Euros’, which were given out during the week of class, campers were able to buy candy and toys at the annual Jahrmarkt. After the Jahrmarkt, a pizza party was held, leading into the final performance of the students’ themed plays and skits. Highlights of this included an entire student-written and directed play, a parody of “God’s Plan” by Drake with the words from “Der Zauberlehrling”, and a song and dance combination performance. The finale was a campfire and s’mores, welcomed by young and old.
By the end of the week, the campers were worn out and ready to go home. However, they all agreed that they wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. Victor, one of the campers, had to say, “bruh [sic], because of the experiences I had at this camp, I feel more fluent in German and knowledgeable about a lot of the German culture.”
For more information visit GASA (German American School Association)
Credits: Images ©GASA, Text ©Eric Goldston & Kai Levato