Tag Archives: German immersion

2016 German Language Summer Camps in California


It’s only just springtime but summer will be here quicker than we think. And we know that summer vacation for kids here in the USA is by far longer than in Germany. Having grown up in Germany I remember my 6-week summer vacation seemed endless (until I was a teenager of course) and I would have loved to go to a cool summer camp. The choices here in the U.S. are amazing, from adventure and sports camps to academic camps and more. All is covered!

So here we go:  For all our German families staying in California for the summer, why not immerse your kids into the German language while also having fun at a German Summer Camp?

Camps are offered in both, Southern & Northern California


San Diego – German Pacific School San Diego

Science & German Go Hand in Hand

This year’s camp by German Pacific School SD is all about flying, flying machines, rockets, space travel, planets and stars!

One highlight: We will explore the Air and Space Center and the Science Center in Balboa Park. We will: spend a lot of time outside, play board games, read books, continue to fill up our writer’s journals from last year, build rockets and, as always, have a big construction project in the yard.

There will be only two weeks of camp this year (June & July), so better sign up quickly!

Check out the flyer below for Info & Dates:



Newport Beach – GermanSchoolCampus

German & Environmental Science Camp

  • 1st week Monday June 27th to Friday July 1st
  • 2nd week Tuesday July 5th to Saturday July 9th

Day camp 8:30 am to 4:30 pm – Space is limited!

Camp location is at our GermanSchool campus:
1931 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach CA 92663

Inquiries: Please email the school’s director, Frau Schoeneich at  principal@GERMANSCHOOLcampus.com or call 949-285-0829

Check out our STEM Summer Camp 2016 – Flyer – here



Mountain View (NorCal)- GISSV MOUNTAIN VIEW

SUMMER IMMERSION CAMP 2016  – language classes, art, music, science, sports, cooking and more! For Grades 1-8.

Various Dates : June 20 – July 15, 2016

The GISSV Saturday School is excited to once again offer a German Immersion Summer Camp. We offer children a unique opportunity to spend their summer having fun learning/improving their German language skills in a stimulating, creative atmosphere!

Check out their flyer:

German Camp GISSV


Title Image: ©German Pacific School San Diego



Learning German for Kids in Southern California -NEWS



German Immersion Outdoor Camp – July 26 to August 1, 2015

It’s that time of the year again to start thinking about summer camps. In three more months the children will be out of school and summer vacation will have started! If you plan on having your child expand on his or her German language skills, there is exciting news.

GASA (German American School Association of SoCal) offers its German Immersion Outdoor Camp again. This year the camp will take place at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center in Orange, Southern California and promises fun for everyone! Seven days and six nights full of adventure, with special activities like zip lining, swimming a 136ft. water slide and archery are on the itinerary. Activities will all be conducted in GERMAN and include fishing, sports, crafting, baking, nature hikes and more. This year children will also experience the thrills of a planetary walk.

WHAT:     German Immersion Outdoor Camp                                                      WHEN:    July 26-August 1, 2015                                                                                       WHERE:  Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center in Orange                         COST:       $650                                                                                                                  For children ages 7 to 16. For more info refer to http://www.germanschool4kids.org         .

NEW German Flag Program at Theodore Roosevelt Middle School, Glendale

Middle School students within the Glendale school district can now continue their studies of the German language beyond elementary school. With Franklin Magnet School of Glendale having offered a bilingual immersion program in German from Kindergarten on for the last few years, graduating six-graders can now move on with their studies in German by attending Theodore Roosevelt Middle School in Glendale.

Theodore Roosevelt Middle School in Glendale, CA is excited to welcome the GERMAN FLAG program to the school next year! The school is one of the oldest schools in Glendale and recently underwent an expansive modernization of the campus. The school has an extensive partnership with JPL/NASA and has been named the first NASA Explorer School in the Glendale school district in 2007. “With our new school bell schedule adding 7 periods to each child’s daily schedule, all students will be able to take an exciting elective in addition to their GERMAN Language Arts class!” says Mary Mason, the middle school’s principal. The students have progressed in the district’s GERMAN FLAG program since kindergarten, and can continue now into middle school here at Roosevelt.

For more information on the school and its program, please contact the school at (818) 242-6845 or mmason(at)gusd.net.

Brag Sheet Back


Images: GASA & Thedodore Roosevelt Middle School, Gendale


German Immersion Outdoor Science Camp from June 29-July 4, 2014


It might seem a bit early to think of summer just yet. But hey, we are already at the end of February and I remember 2014 just having started!!

For everyone planning for summer 2014, and especially looking into summer activities for their children, here is a great camp for kids. Organized by The German American School Association of SoCal  this year’s camp will be at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center in Orange.  Having taken place in Big Bear last year, this camp has become very popular since its inception three years ago. For 6 days and 5 nights the children will be immersed in a complete German language environment. They will visit a geode, gold and coal mine under the guidance of a geologist; can experience special activities such as zip lining and archery, or just swim and slide down a 136 ft. water slide!

Activities such as crafting, baking, fishing and nature hikes will all be conducted in German. So if you don’t plan on going to visit family in Germany, Austria or Switzerland this year, have your children participate in a German Immersion Camp instead, and let them make German friends over cosy campfires right here in California.

The GASA German Immersion Outdoor Science Camp is for ages 7-16 and will take place at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center in Orange, CA, from June 29-July4, 2014.

Cost for the Camp is $575.00. Sign up by March 15, to receive an early bird discount!

To sign up or find out more about it please call the GASA office at (562) 693-0223 or email at office@GASAschool.org


Photo: GASA German American School Association


Related Articles:

German Camp in Big Bear: https://californiagermans.com/2013/09/24/memories-of-a-fun-german-summer-camp-at-big-bear-lake/

German Summer Camps in 2013: https://californiagermans.com/2013/05/27/german-immersion-summer-camps-in-california-for-summer-2013/

German Immersion Summer Camps in California for Summer 2013

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool

Summer is just a couple of weeks away. Have you planned for your children’s summer camp experience yet? If you are still looking for a cool camp in California, where children not only have fun but can also improve their (foreign) language skills, go over the list of German Immersion Summer Camps we have compiled for you below!

We hope you find the perfect camp for your child and would love to hear about your experience!


Southern California offers camps in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Big Bear. Northern California has camps in Oakland, San Francisco, Menlo Park, Mountain View and Berkeley.

Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool


Big Bear – (offered through the German-American School Association of SoCal) 7 Days German Immersion Overnight Camp

  • Dates: 23 June – 29 June, 2013
  • Minimum age: 7 years
  • Fun Activities include: archery, swimming, rock climbing, nature hikes, baking & much more.
  • All activities are in German
  • Cost: $575.00
  • Location: Presbyterian Conference Center, Big Bear
  • Contact: Email for enrollment forms, gasa54@aol.com

Los Angeles – (offered by Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool – Regenbogen Kindergarten )    – Spiel, Spass und Sommer-Aktivitäten  –

San Diego – (offered by Enrichment4Kids – 3 Sessions available )

  • Dates:  Session 1: July 29th-2nd;  Session 2: Aug 5th-9th;  Session 3: Aug 19th-23rd
  • Age Groups: Pre-K to Elementary Age
  • Activities: “Enrichment for the Head, Heart and Body”. Math & reading, both in German will be taught for the first 3 hours each day before activities like swimming, piano, field sports, tumbling, skateboarding, etc.
  • Cost: Call for info
  • Contact: Kimberley@ReCenter.org
  • Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/Enrichment4Kids?ref=ts&fref=ts


Oakland – (Organized by BAKS plus – 2 Sessions available )

  • Dates:  Session 1: June 17th-28th; Session 2: July 1st -12th
  • Age Groups: 4-14 years
  • Activities: Session 1 – ”Wer waren die alten Germanen? – Who were the Germanic tribes?   Session 2  – “Klaus Stoertebeker & CO. – A Pirate’s Life for Me! “
  • The whole program is in German Immersion. Prior knowledge of German is advisable.
  • Hours: Sessions run from 9-1pm daily. Extended Care is available until 5pm
  • Cost: Session 1 – $400; Session 2 – $360 (Discounts available for siblings, Combination of session 1 & 2, and early bird sign ups )
  • Location: Archway Lower School, 250 41st Street, Oakland, CA 94611
  • Contact: sommerschule@kinderstube.org
  • Website:http://www.kinderstube.org/plus/plusprogram.html#summercamp

Menlo Park – (organized by GASPA-German American School of Palo Alto)     One 4-week full immersion summer camp session .                                    “Gedanken in den Wolken…Füsse im Matsch!”

  • Dates:  One session from June 24th – July 19th, 2013 (9am- 2pm Mo-Fri; extended time 2-6pm available)
  • Age Groups: 3-12 years ( no prior language knowledge required!)
  • Activities: music, art, cooking, crafts, sports games, dancing & much more
  • Cost: Early bird – $995 and Regular – $1095
  • Location: GAIS School Campus, 275 Elliot Drive, Menlo Park, CA 94303
  • Contact: office@gaspa-ca.org;
  • Website: http://www.gaspa-ca.org/summer-school-program/overview
  • Note: Earl Bird Tuition valid through March 31st & non-refundable $150 registration fee for all registrations per child!

GISSV – German International School of Silicon Valley offers German Summer Camps in 3 different locations in NoCal: San Francisco, Berkeley & Mountain View. ( www.gissv.org/summerprogram )

San Francisco – (Organized by GISSV – 4 one-week sessions available)

  • Dates: June 17th – July 12th 2013 (Four sessions)
  • Ages: 4.9 -7 years
  • Activities: Indoor & Outdoor Adventures. Per session children will discover one of the four elements, air, earth, fire & water.
  • Hours: 9am-4pm
  • Cost: $395/Full Day Session
  • LocationSan Francisco Campus, 4 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129
  • Contact: office@gissv.org, phone: 650-254 0748
  • websitewww.gissv.org/summerprogram

Berkeley – (Organized by GISSV – 5 one-week sessions available)

  • Dates: June 17th – July 19th 2013
  • Ages: 3-6 and 7-12
  • Activities: Explore the world with topics like Ocean, Circus, Space, and Fairy Tales from Around the World!
  • Hours: 9am-2pm
  • Cost: $247/Half Day Session
  • Location: Berkeley Campus, 1581 Le Roy Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708
  • Contact:  office@gissv.org, phone: 650-254 0748,
  • websitewww.gissv.org/summerprogram

Mountain View – (Organized by GISSV – 4 sessions available)

  • Dates: June 24, 2013 to July 19, 2013
  • Ages: Ages 3-4, ages 5-14, and adult classes
  • Activities: Students will be exposed to German throughout the day. Music, Art, Art History, Soccer, Basketball and much more. For further information on our program
  • Hours: 9am – 12pm/ Half day, Afternoon activities available from 12pm – 4pm
  • Cost: $375 – $750
  • Location:  Mountain View Campus, 310 Easy Street, Mountain View, CA 94043
  • Contact:  office@gissv.org, phone: 650-254 0748,
  • website: www.gissv.org/summerprogram
  • SPECIAL Website: http://www.gissv.org/podium/default.aspx?t=151553&rc=0

The Challenges Of Raising A Bilingual Child

Bringing up a bilingual or in fact even multilingual child isn’t always an easy task. Lots of unforeseen challenges often lay ahead and even with good intentions it’s often hard to follow through.

When our now eight-year old son was born it was simply expected that he would learn to speak German along with English.  There were several reasons for it. An important one was that I wanted him to be able to communicate with my parents whose knowledge of the English language would not have been sufficient enough for building a deeper relationship with my son, their grandchild. Another reason was that I had raised my older son, who was born in Germany, bilingual, and I naturally wanted to give the younger brother the same advantage of being comfortable in two languages as well as cultures – since with the language comes along also a deeper understanding of the particular culture. I had learned that early on myself that being able to dive into conversations with the natives when visiting a foreign country opens up a complete different perspective, and makes one understand people of a particular country more in depth, including their values and what makes them drive.

Challenges Ahead

What concerned us, we were initially thinking of raising our son trilingual, since my husband’s native tongue is Spanish. As much as our decision of raising our little son with three languages seemed like a very sensible one at first, it turned out to come with a lot of challenges along the way.

Feeling left out

One easily forgets that someone not understanding and speaking the other language might feel left out eventually. This often happens to be the spouse, but also other family like grandmothers, aunts, uncles etc. What we experienced in our family was that following through on speaking German with our little guy demanded a lot of patience and trust of others in the family particularly my husband whose German was limited at that time . Constant open mindedness was absolutely important for both parties in this endeavor, in addition to being consistent with speaking German despite discouraging looks and comments of people around.

Connecting to your child in your native language

Speaking of consistency, we learned first hand how hard it is for the parent who is working full time to follow through on using his/her native language. Since the main “family language” was English among us and our older children, my husband had a hard time to follow through on speaking Spanish only with our little son. He felt he couldn’t connect to his son properly since all the little guy heard during the day was either German or English. Slowly but surely my husband’s Spanish gave way to English in the end. Only now since our son is learning Spanish in school my husband experiments with speaking some Spanish with him also at home.

My child understands but doesn’t want to speak the language

Another quite common challenge I often hear about is that kids sometimes refuse speaking in the second language despite the fact that they fully understand everything. This was also the case with my older son. We had moved to California when he had just turned six years old. Even though he was already fluent in English and German at that time, he hated it when I addressed him speaking German in public. He didn’t want to be different and my speaking German to him embarrassed him in front of his friends. He constantly answered back in English and begged me to “speak normal” meaning using English when conversing with him. I then tried to reduce my German speaking to conversations at home, and ignored the fact that he was answering back in English. Today one of his courses in college is German literature after all.

Once all these various difficulties have been addressed in one way or another, it can be a very rewarding experience to raise a child with more than just one language. In our case it was not only our little son who benefitted from it and now can chat along with his cousins in Germany, but my husband learned to speak and understand German as well.

Constant immersion into the second language is one important key to success  

I believe it is very important to have the other language/s be a constant component in the daily life of a multilingual child. It is critical to implement a natural understanding of the other (native) languages especially in the very early stages of childhood. If my son wanted to watch a movie or listen to a story when he was little,  it had to be in German. Now that he is older and has his friends from school over I am more relaxed regarding German, even though our personal communication continues to be in German.

A great support not only for the child but also the specific parent I found, is initiating friendships with other children who grow up learning the same language. Join a German mother-child group or a German Immersion Kindergarten or start your own. Find some resources here on our website. Helpful in finding likeminded families can also be attending one of the German Saturday schools throughout California.

Find creative ways to immerse your child into German to strengthen those language skills. Have him/her listen to German books on tapes which make car rides fun. Watch German kids movies or TV series like Biene Maja or Die Sendung mit der Maus , and enjoy reading to them in German as well! There is great reading material out there and so much new kids & youth literature to discover, be it by German or English authors. Just get the book in German instead of English. We for example can’t get enough of Cornelia Funke’s books these days, but also can’t wait for the next book in Michael Buckley’s series “Die Grimm Akten” (engl title: “The Sisters Grimm”). They are all being read passionately in our house.

Finding adequate reading/movie material

The Goethe Institut in Los Angeles has an extensive media room and offers children even to rent out German movies. They host book fairs and Saturday movie mornings for children. There is also plenty of literature online these days, try the online libraries of the Gutenberg Projekt for example, which offer 10,000 titles for free including a great selection of Märchen and other children stories. If you are looking for a particular book or movie, try Amazon.de, they will send German movies oversees.

Should you worry about your child not learning English properly?

My experience is that since we are living in the U.S. and we are surrounded by people speaking English, one shouldn’t worry. The environment our children are growing up in is infused by the English language. Wherever they go they will most likely be addressed in English. They will have neighborhood friends who will speak English. And, as soon as your child attends Kindergarten or school he/she will make even more English speaking friends and therefore easily  learn to transition into English whenever needed and master it in perfection as well.

So dive into the fun of (re)discovering German literature and movies for your child and for yourself, and make it an enjoyable learning adventure for everyone in the family.

Finding a German Kindergarten, School, German Immersion School

Check out CaliforniaGermans Resources


Further Reading Material of Interest:

Article on Language Immersion Programs for Children:  http://www.pbs.org/teachers/earlychildhood/articles/language.html

KPCC – Bilingual Learning Report   http://projects.scpr.org/bilinguallearning/#options


“Global Communication Begins at Home” http://www.multilingualliving.com/2012/04/24/the-abcs-of-multilingual-parenting-the-letter-t/#more-8222

Language Development – Bilingual Children http://www.babyzone.com/baby/language-development/raising-bilingual-children_73233-page-2

Foreign Language Learning for Adults: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120328172212.htm

“Better living through Language Immersion” http://socialexpat.nymgo.com/?p=1242

Article on Raising a Child Bilingual: http://forward.com/articles/154652/why-my-daughter-isnt-bilingual-yet/?picks_feed=true

“German in a Multicultural World” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/education/edlife/german-in-a-multicultural-world.html?pagewanted=2&_r=4

“What Role Does German Play Internationally”       http://www.magazin-deutschland.de/en/artikel-en/article/article/welche-rolle-spielt-deutsch-international.html

Online Gutenberg Book Catalog:  http://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/5502/1