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....

Let The Play Begin

Published: July 16, 2015

After days of preparation and rehearsals the credit program villagers were ready for their final project of the summer at Lesnoe Ozero - the performance of a play based on Alexander Pushkin’s short story Pikovaya dama (“The Queen of Spades”).

Spies are everywhere

Published: July 14, 2015

Espionage was the theme of our evening program tonight.

Guest blog post from St.Petersburg

Published: July 14, 2015

Today we have a guest blog post from our "exchange students".  Six of our two-week villagers are taking part in a homestay simulation, in which they are American students studying Russian and living in St. Petersburg with a host family.  In this post they describe the host family's apartment. О квартире В моей квартире...


Published: July 11, 2015

Today is an important milestone for all of us who are somehow connected with this place, Lesnoe Ozero - Concordia Russian Language Village. Today we are celebrating 50th anniversary of the village.

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!

Welcome to Central Asia

Published: July 9, 2015

In the evening villagers met at St. Petersburg divided by families and learnt how to greet each other in languages of the Central Asian region. Each family visited various stations, where they learnt about Central Asian and Russian history and geography, sang a Kazakh song, tried different Eastern dances, and picked up a few Tadjik phrases

Russian Lessons - RB52 Two-Weekers (Episode 1)

Published: July 8, 2015

Our villagers improving every day. Check out video from Russian lessons.

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. Some of the groups went over verbs, cases, apartment vocabulary, and weather. They had to describe what they like to do using verbs and had to tell what they need to wear whether it's fall, summer, winter or...

Goodbye Two-Weekers, Go On Four-Weekers!

Published: July 2, 2015

This day was fulfilled with fun, from our last classes of the day, to our banquet and disco this evening. Today was the last full day this week which means the last full day for our two week villagers who were working on their final projects during the day.

Russian Lessons - RB32 Two-Weekers (Episode 3)

Published: June 29, 2015

Our villagers improving every day. Check out video from Russian lessons.

Guest blog post from St.Petersburg

Published: June 27, 2015

This afternoon we have a guest blogger, an American exchange student living with a host family in St.Petersburg, Russia.

Russian Lessons - RB32 Two-Weekers (Episode 2)

Published: June 27, 2015

Our villagers improving every day. Check out video from Russian lessons.

Thanks God It's Pyatnitsa

Published: June 26, 2015

We are getting closer and closer to the middle of the first two-week program and the International Day so the classes are becoming more intensive and complex.

Day 4 You

Published: June 25, 2015

Today we had a busy day fulfilled with new experience and knowledge. Our villagers started out their day with mannaya kasha (semolina) and fruits. After breakfast all villagers had Russian lessons and learnt new vocabulary. Intermediate class had apartment simulation game where they had to buy furniture and had to call real Russian book and furniture stores to check availability of certain items for their "apartments". While beginner and advanced classes continued...

Pushkin day

Published: June 24, 2015

During the day our villagers experienced apartment simulation as well as celebrated Pushkin Day

Russian Lessons - RB32 Two-Weekers (Episode 1)

Published: June 23, 2015

Our villagers improving every day. Check out video from Russian lessons.

Privet to the New Session!

Published: June 22, 2015

We are happy to welcome our two week and four week villagers today. This year we are completely full at Lesnoe Ozero. All villagers had to go through customs, passport control, and currency exchange. Also they had to switch their real names to Russians, turned in their cell phones, American books, and American music. They could only leave books and music related to Russian culture. After everybody arrived we gathered at...

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later!

Published: June 19, 2015

Today we had the final full day for one-weekers and Family program. To make this day special we celebrated Russian New Year at Lesnoe Ozero. All day long we were getting ready for the evening program to celebrate this very special holiday for all Russian-speaking people. Meanwhile, our villagers continued attend Russian lessons and cultural hours to review what they have learnt throughout the week. They finished their projects that they were doing during their cultural hours. Some...

Russian Lessons

Published: June 18, 2015

Our villagers improving every day. Check out video from Russian lessons.


Published: June 16, 2015

Day 2 started with a sunny but chilly weather and каша (oatmeal) for breakfast to deepen the knowledge and feel of Russian cuisine of our villagers. After the breakfast they had their first lesson and learnt new words in Russian.  During cultural hours we did a variety of activities such as soccer, volleyball, chess, dancing, cooking class, and painting матрёшки (Russian nesting...

Day Twelve - July 18, 2014

Published: July 18, 2014

Sadly, today was our last full day of camp at Lesnoe Ozero this summer. The villagers attended their last classes and last activities, and began saying goodbye to all of the friends they have made this summer.

Day Seven - July 13, 2014

Published: July 13, 2014

This evening the village ran a simulation of the tourist attractions and stops along the Moscow metro system, playing the part of tourists from America. The villagers split up by family and went to different stations where they collected souvenirs or took photographs of themselves next to landmarks, such as the Bolshoi Theater, Gorky Park, and Russia’s first MacDonald’s. At some stations the families videotaped themselves singing or dancing or reciting poetry. The families simultaneously had to avoid police officers and metro guards who would fine them if their documents were missing. In the end the family that managed to visit the most stations won, but all of the families had fun getting a taste of sight-seeing in Moscow.

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 Four - July 10, 2014

Published: July 11, 2014

During the day, all the villagers received Azərbaycan manatı (currency from Azerbaijan) for a special program this evening. After our singing activity in the afternoon, the villagers went back to their cabins to change into nice clothes for a simulation of dinner at an Azerbaijani restaurant.

Day Three - July 9, 2014

Published: July 9, 2014

This evening we had a program about different kinds of dance, both modern and traditional. Dance is an important part of Russian culture, and the villagers had a chance to learn both Russian folk dances and dances from other countries which are practiced in Russia today. Groups of villagers at different stations learned a traditional dance from the Republic of Tuva, waltz, cha-cha, rumba, and матросики (a Russian sailor dance). Finally, everyone together danced the Russian folk dance ручеёк (rucheyok).

Day Eleven - July 3, 2014

Published: July 4, 2014

This morning the two-week villagers had their last lessons, while credit students took midterm exams. In the two-week program, we were sad to conclude our classes, but happy that the villagers have learned so much over the past two weeks.  Instead of cultural classes the villagers went back to their cabins this afternoon to change into nice clothes and take pictures together with their camp families and all the friends they have made here. Dinner was a formal banquet, where the...

Day Ten - July 2, 2014 (Updated)

Published: July 3, 2014

Today the villagers learned a dance and decorated shirts in preparation for International Day this Friday, and the cultural classes had their last chance to practice what they will present to the other camps. We also learned more Lesnoe Ozero cheers in Russian so that we can show our village spirit. In their lessons the first year two-weeker classes learned about health and all sang a song about parts of the body together. The third year two-weeker class went to the sports...

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 Eight - June 30, 2014

Published: July 1, 2014

In our evening program we talked about diplomacy and international relations. Countries with territory in the Arctic Circle must cooperate to manage bountiful resources in the northernmost part of the globe. In our simulation the two-weekers played the part of the American Department of Foreign Affairs and the four-weekers played the part of the Russian Duma. Both groups discussed who should have access to the resources and what actions should be taken to implement their plans, and negotiated with each other.

Day Six - June 28, 2014 (Updated)

Published: June 29, 2014

Our evening program today was about learning outdoor skills. Despite the rain, everyone had fun and learned new skills while practicing teamwork within their families. Inside the main building, the villagers assembled a tent, ran a rope obstacle course, and ran relay races.

Tuva Day- Day Five - June 27, 2014

Published: June 28, 2014

Today we celebrated the Republic of Tuva. This Russian republic is located in Central Asia and the south of Siberia, and is the home of five of our staff members this year. This evening the villagers were able to try traditional Tuvan dance, watch videos of Tuvan wrestling, listen to Tuvan throat singing and even practice lassoing horses on the Siberian steppe.

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 Two - June 24, 2014 (Updated)

Published: June 24, 2014

Today the villagers had their first full day at Lesnoe Ozero. They spent the morning in their language classes, where they made new friends and learned new phrases in Russian. The theme of the second year classes is the Trans-Siberian Railroad, so each day the villagers will learn new vocabulary that they can use when traveling in Russia. Later in the day everyone picked their cultural classes for this week. The classes included balalaika, Ukrainian dyed eggs, Russian literature,...

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.

Day Two - June 17, 2014

Published: June 17, 2014

Today was the first full day of camp, and the day was full of fun and exciting activities. This morning the villagers began the day by singing the Russian national anthem and eating каша (oatmeal) for breakfast. The students were sorted into their lesson groups, and during урок (lesson) we learned how to introduce ourselves in Russian. The first year students even recieved a special language task challenge from Valery...

Day 26- July 19, 2013

Published: July 20, 2013

Today was the last full day of camp. The students were happy to have a morning to watch Чёрная Молния, a contemporary Russian film. The two-week students spent part of the morning reviewing what they learned and preparing short videos for closing program. Once they finished their projects, they all gathered to watch the popular Russian cartoon Маша и Медведь before lunch.