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Alumni Spotlight: Irene

Published: November 7, 2019

As we gear up for the 60th summer at Waldsee, get to know some long-time members of the Waldsee community! This week, meet Irene!  Irene has come to Waldsee as both a counselor and a camper since 2010 and serves as our second half Waterfront Manager and coordinates the curriculum for the two-week campers.

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How did you find out about Waldsee?

I took German at a Saturday school for six years as a kid after moving back from Berlin, but I wanted to have German more than just one day a week. The principal of the school suggested Waldsee to my mom as a different type of language learning environment for me. My mom actually signed me up in secret — she told me I didn’t have to go to Saturday school anymore if I spent four weeks at Waldsee. Needless to say, I felt like I had been duped! I had such an amazing time at Waldsee, though, that I came back for ten years straight!

What makes you come back year after year?

I come back year after year because of something I felt my first year as a villager. Waldsee was the first place where I felt like I could be 100% myself. To me, the language learning was great, but the wonderful community and the friendships I made were the most important. Every year, that feeling grows.

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What do you look forward to most each year?

I look forward to seeing all of my villager-friends-turned-co-counselors and watching the campers learn and grow. I have had many different roles at Waldsee, and with each summer and each role I play, I learn more about myself and how to be a good leader. I look forward to the opportunity for personal growth within a community that supports me through both triumphs and failures.

What's something that's different now than your first year at Waldsee?

The counselors don't feel as old as they used to (because I am now an old counselor so everyone just feels young to me)!

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What is your favorite Waldsee Lied (song)?

“Alt wie ein Baum”

Best snack at Cafe Einbeck?

Bienenstichkuchen! (Bee sting cake)

Meet Irene and other members of the Waldsee community from throughout the years at our 60th Anniversary Alumni Weekend, July 17-19!