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!

Home Away From Home

Published: February 25, 2017

Tatiana visiting fellow staff Boris and Valya in St. Petersburg.
Lesnoe Ozero has been my second home for 10 years as both a villager

and, more recently, a staff member. This fall, it was finally time to strike out on my own for a semester abroad in Russia.

Davai Do Svidaniya

Published: July 17, 2015

Today was the last full day of camp at Lesnoe Ozero 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...

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

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.

Guests from the Bulgakov novel

Published: July 1, 2015

As we are getting closer to the end of two week program and the middle of the four week program two-weekers are working on finishing their projects while credit program villagers are preparing for the middle-term tests.

Next Stantsiya Is ... Day 9

Published: June 30, 2015

Two week program villagers were learning body parts vocabulary and the second year villagers completed vrach (doctor) visit simulation then.

Russian Lessons - RB32 Two-Weekers (Episode 3)

Published: June 29, 2015

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

Tuva Day

Published: June 29, 2015

Today we celebrated the Republic of Tuva. It is a part of the Russian Federation that lies in the geographical center of Asia, in southern Siberia, and is the home of three of our staff members this year.

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...

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.

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.

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

As it was the last day of the first session we have celebrated Russian New Year at Lesnoe Ozero to make this day special.

Russian Lessons

Published: June 18, 2015

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

Sweet weather, sweet day!

Published: June 17, 2015

We started our day with Russian lessons where beginners continued to learn village vocabulary, heritage speakers learnt more about сказка (story-telling) and adults studied new phrases in Russian and could even speak to each other a little bit during lunch.


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 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 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 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 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 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.

More videos from the 2-week program

Published: June 28, 2014

As villagers continue to make great progress in their language classes and other aspects of village life, we have a few more videos to show. The villagers in these videos are primarily first-year villagers, but in the next week we will have videos from the second-year and third-year curriculum groups.

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.

2-week program: Day 3 videos

Published: June 27, 2014

Here are a few videos from our 2-week program, keep an eye out for more videos as classes put them together

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.

Russian Scholarships Available!

Published: February 19, 2014

Concordia Language Villages is pleased to announce that scholarships to attend Lesnoe Ozero are still available. All applications must be submitted by Feb. 28, 2014. More information regarding scholarship requirements, including scholarships only available to Lesnoe Ozero villagers is available at www.ConcordiaLanguageVillages.org/Scholarships.