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Alumni Spotlight: Peter

Published: February 20, 2020

As we gear up for the 60th summer at Waldsee, get to know some long-time members of the Waldsee community! This week, meet Peter! Peter has spent 12 summer and 6 fall sessions at Waldsee as a villager and a counselor since 2001. He has worn a variety of hats over the last almost two decades, including serving as a member of our core leadership staff and an enthusiastic counselor for the Grüne Welle (nature program).

GW Group 2010

How did you find out about Waldsee?

My middle school and high school teachers were former counselors and had been associated with Waldsee for a very long time. I went up for a fall weekend during the first semester that I took German in middle school and was hooked.

What made you come back to Waldsee year after year?

Waldsee let me find myself in a way that wasn't really happening in my normal school life.  Where I was somewhat pigeon-holed in school, Waldsee let me branch out and develop my confidence and broader worldview. Later on, the opportunity to be paid to spend the summer in a place that I enjoyed and to work with phenomenal people were good incentives to come back. 

Clowning Around 2007

What did you look forward to the most each year?

The staff makes the program what it is.  The buildings and physical environment certainly help, but it isn't a secret that the program would be nothing without a dedicated, quirky, begeistert (excited) Betreuerschaft (counselor team). 

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

There is a lot more media.  The Flickr didn't exist when I started, and Waldsee has clearly gone way past that at this point.  It’s also been interesting to watch my coworkers and friends get older -- many of them are married and now have small children. 

What's your favorite Waldsee Lied (song)?

A tie between Heute hier, Morgen dort and Schifoan.

Austrian Ambassador

Best snack at Cafe Einbeck?

Sachertorte (Austrian Sacher cake)

Sonst noch was? (Anything else?)

My favorite Waldsee memory is selfishly from a Betreuer für den Tag (counselor for the day) activity back in the early 2010s. Tiana had a Schatten (shadow) who was also in Grüne Welle, which I led for many years.  We created the Abendprogramm (evening program) around me getting in a fight with Theo and losing my memory. All of the groups had to go do different tasks to retrieve my memories and receiving a photo of that activity.  Theo and I had done an Ansage (announcement) that morning where we got upset with each other and then the "Du!" showdown at lunch as a buildup.  Super fun. Overall, a Stations- bzw. Laufspiel (station/running game), but it was great fun to do a photo shoot with Tiana's shadow throughout the day who served as our fake child/Tiana as a kid for my "memories" in the game.  Anyway, it was awesome. All around excellent Waldsee experience. 

2011 Amnesia

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

Have you spent nearly a decade or more at Waldsee over the last 60 years? We would love to hear from you for a future blog post! Please fill out this form here if you are interested.

Additionally, we are collecting and digitizing photos from alumni in honor of our 60th anniversary this summer. If you have any photos you would like to share (particularly from the 80s and 90s), please send them to betreuerschaft@gmail.com.