Lesnoe Ozero Blog

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To view photos from our summer sessions, please visit our Flickr page. Visit our YouTube channel to see our videos!

Davai Do Svidaniya

Published: July 17, 2015

Today was the last full day of camp at Lesnoe Ozero this summer. While two-weekers were attending their last classes and last chas kultury (cultural hours) reviewing everything that they have learned up about Russian language and culture the credit program villagers were enjoying some Russian movies and cartoon and took turn talking to their teachers about grades. Today was the day when everyone began saying goodbye to all of the friends they have made this summer....

Sing Me A Song

Published: July 15, 2015

We are getting closer to the end both two seesions and the camp this summer at all which is certainly sad but we still have many things to do and many words to learn.

Spies are everywhere

Published: July 14, 2015

Espionage was the theme of our evening program tonight.

Friday Camping

Published: July 10, 2015

Today very dynamic evening program was full of tourist adventures and especially warm weather smiled upon outdoor activities. That was a real test for the survival skills of the villagers but much fun at the same time!

The anniversary is coming!

Published: July 8, 2015

We started our morning today with weather news from our credit program villagers. We had healthy kasha and fruits for breakfast and it gave us enough energy to be involved in all activities and to study well. After breakfast our villagers went to their classes.

Here We Go Again

Published: July 7, 2015

Today our credit students started the week with new lessons. By this day all credit program students have completed the mid-term test and now they know what should be improved during two upcoming weeks to get the higher grades in the end of the session.

International Day!

Published: July 3, 2015

Today we woke up to the atmosphere excitement because we had to spend all day at Lac de Bois and Waldesee to celebrate the International Day! In the morning we reviewed all that we had prepared for the I-Day. On the way to I-Day we were practicing our Lesnoe Ozero krichalki (cheers) and pesni (songs) that we had prepared for our performance. When we arrived to Lac de Bois other camps have already waited for us there. All villagers and counselors were very...

У природы нет плохой погоды

Published: June 27, 2015

First full week has ended and it is time to sum up credit students activities this week. Beginners group learnt how to count and how to order meals from a menu. Advanced beginners were considering such topics as geography, clothes, colors, and  New Year celebration. Low Intermediate level group were considering the usage of conjugation and imperatives in Russian language. Intermediate level villagers how to introduce themselves and how...

Pushkin day

Published: June 24, 2015

During the day our 3+ year villagers in the two-week program expexerienced kvartira (apartment) simulation and learnt new words to describe kitchen, bedroom and living room. While being a part of the a role play they used new "apartment" vocabulary. Second year villagers in the two-week program bought food in preparation for a simulated voyage on the transsiberian railroad and first year villagers in the two week program learned about locations at camp. Credit...

New day, New friends

Published: June 23, 2015

Today was the first full day for our two week and four week villagers and was full of new impressions.

Baikonur in the woods

Published: June 18, 2015

Today we continued enjoying natural beauty of Lesnoe Ozero and having fun during the Space day in the camp.   Throughout the day we had intergalactic футбол (soccer) and волейбол (volleyball) battles. During cultural hours we learnt how to cook orbital печенье (cookies) and meteoric оливье (Russian...


Published: June 16, 2015

The second day of the Family and One-Week program was marked with new Russian experience, new dishes, new impressions, and new friends.


Published: June 15, 2015

Today we had our first summer session at Lesnoe Ozero. The first day of our Family and One-Week programme was full of new experience for the villagers and their parents: they traditionally passed таможня (customs) where they chose Russian names for the camp, went to a bank desk where the exchanged US dollars for рубли (Russian roubles), and finally gathered...

Day Eleven - July 17, 2014

Published: July 18, 2014

After many days of rehearsal, today the students finally performed their play - Ревизор (The Government Inspector) by Gogol. The play is a comedy about mistaken identity, corrupt officials, and unscrupulous townspeople.

Day Eight - July 14, 2014

Published: July 15, 2014

Today the students reviewed for their finals tomorrow and worked on their portfolios, and then in the evening started watching the Russian movie “Стиляги” (“Hipsters”), which is about the Soviet youth counter-culture movement in the 1950’s and 60’s. In the afternoon the villagers also picked their cultural classes for this week. The classes include classical music, canoeing, improv theater, balalaika, and sports.

Day Six - July 12, 2014

Published: July 13, 2014

Today we had a special Saturday schedule. Instead of classes, the villagers went to fun activities throughout the day. Villagers could play card games, practice archery, do tie-dye, or even learn phrases in Georgian. For one activity the students made п​ельмени (dumplings) that everyone ate for dinner. During our extended free time today. villager had the opportunity to swim at the beach, play games outside, and buy souvenirs and candy in the store.

Day Two - July 8, 2014

Published: July 9, 2014

This evening the families competed with one another in various outdoor games. At different stations two families at a time ran relay races, undid human knots, and worked together in teams in order to accomplish tasks. Finally, all the families together competed at tug-of-war, first against each other and then against the counselors. All of the villagers were able to work together and beat the counselors in the last tug-of-war match.

Day Nine - July 1, 2014

Published: July 2, 2014

Villagers participate in the "Auction" evening program.

This evening we held an auction for special classes, items, or activities from counselors. Throughout the day, the villagers were able to earn fake money by using their Russian skills creatively. Villagers received money for sustaining conversations in Russian with counselors, for reciting poetry or singing songs in Russian, or for writing their own compositions in Russian. At the beginning of the evening program the groups of villagers could add to their earnings by answering Jeopardy-style trivia questions about Russian culture and history. The villagers had no problem naming Russian paintings, identifying the flags of former Soviet republics and remembering Russian historical figures. At the end of the round, villagers had the option to answer the “final question,” potentially doubling their winnings or losing it.

Day Seven - June 29, 2014

Published: June 30, 2014

Lesnoe Ozero villagers participate in an exchange with Lac du Bois-Hackensack and Salolampi villagers.

Espionage was the theme of our evening program tonight. While most of the staff and villagers were innocently watching a video, one of our counselors, Sasha, had his yellow baseball cap stolen! Sashsa wasn’t sure who it was, but he narrowed it down to five suspects. In order to reveal the identity of the thief, groups of villagers had to complete puzzle and memory games.

Day Four - June 26, 2014

Published: June 26, 2014

Villagers bargain with local officials during an expedition through Siberia.

This evening the villagers went on an expedition through Siberia. Everyone split into their family groups and went to various stations each representing an aspect of traveling through North Asia. They had to choose which supplies to bring, cross a river with boards, bargain with corrupt officials, communicate with locals, and escape a sinking ship. Each group received points for successfully completing the activities and the family with the most points won.

Pushkin Day - June 25, 2014

Published: June 25, 2014

The theme of today was the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Pushkin, Tsar Nikolai I, and a few of Pushkin’s other contemporaries made appearances throughout the day. During class time the villagers also learned about the cabins and how to describe where they live in Russian. The classes went on tours of the site to practice talking about the cabins, and one class even went on a scavenger hunt. In the evening the villagers split into groups and performed a very abridged version of Pushkin’s most famous play, Boris Godunov. Everyone had lots of fun wearing silly costumes and using their Russian theatrically.

Day Four - June 19, 2014

Published: June 19, 2014

​Today we honored the Russian cosmonauts and the achievements of the Soviet Union during the Space Race. Yuri Gagarin (the first man in space), Laika the dog (the first animal in orbit), and a few extraterrestial guests introduced today’s meals. Though it was raining throughout the day, the villagers were still able to go on an adventure through the cosmos during today’s evening program.

Day Three - June 18, 2014

Published: June 19, 2014

Villagers painting matryoshki dolls during cultural hour.

Today we learned about сказки (Russian fairy tales). Baba Yaga, Golden Fish, and Kolobok appeared in the village throughout the day to introduce today’s meals. For evening program the villagers split into three groups and watched Russian cartoons about each fairy tale character. They visited the swamp to see Baba Yaga in her chicken-footed house, the seashore to see the fisherman who caught the Golden Fish, and the woods to see Kolobok.

First Day with Villagers and Families

Published: June 16, 2014

Today marked the beginning of this summer’s Russian-learning adventure! The first families and one-weekers arrived this afternoon and went through customs, during which they chose a Russian name and were assigned to their family and коттедж (cabin)

Day 24- July 17, 2013

Published: July 18, 2013

Today, we celebrated Ukraine Day, starting with the Ukrainian national anthem in the morning. Throughout the day, villagers were able to hear meal presentations with Ukrainian words and phrases. In the evening, we played traditional Ukrainian and Cossack games. Due to a sudden rain storm, all of our games were moved inside. There were various strength competitions and team games at different stations throughout our new building, St. Petersburg. At the end of the program, a representative of each family competed in a pushup competition. It was a fun way for the credit students to destress and for everyone to cheer on our Lesnoe Ozero families.