Ankunftstag! (Arrival day!)
Published: June 12, 2017
As the sun rose this morning, the Betreuerschaft (counseling staff) rose with it. Their day started early as they made all of their final preparations for the Familien (families) and Teilnehmer (T's) (participants) to arrive. They ate breakfast together and discussed the coming weeks, an air of excitement hovering over them. This is the Begeisturung (excitement) that all of Waldsee's participants witness during their time here. After breakfast, there were songs to be sung and preparations to be made. The team met on the Waldbühne (forest stage) and organized themselves, hurredly finishing up their final pre-arrival tasks. Before anyone knew it, 1:30 was looming over Waldsee and the Kinder (children) had begun to arrive along with their Eltern (parents).
Each family was greeted with a smiling face and a helping hand as they figured out where they would be staying and how they would bring their luggage to the cabins. The Marktplatz (marketplace) was filled with deutsche Musik (German music) and games for the kids so the fun could start as soon as they arrived. Betreuern (counselors) played frisbee, chess, and whatever else the kids might have had in mind. Afterwards, many participants made their way to the Strand (beach) in order to take the Schwimmprobe (swim test). They all eagerly dove in to the refreshingly cool water, swimming for 10 minutes each in order to receive a pearl for their Namenschilder (nametags) that indicated their completion of the test.
Shortly after, food was on everyone's mind. The Betreuerschaft beckoned the newcomers to the Gasthof, Waldsee's main hub where all meals are consumed. The Betreuerschaft (counselors) sang songs as everyone entered and they were all greeted to a much needed hot meal of Schnitzel, bread, asparagus, and other varieties of German cuisine.
Finally, the day ended with chocolate fondue für alle (for everyone) before they were sent off to their cabins. Tired but filled with excitement, the Familien (families) und T's (participants) made their way to their cabins and turned off the lights, just in time for the sun to finish its descent. With their bellies full and the sun already making its descent, the parents and children were sent off to their Abendprogramm (evening program), usually the final activity of the day before everything winds down. For the Kinder, their program was a healthy mix of exploration and introductions as they familiarized themselves with new faces and new environments. The Betreuern dressed as different Tieren (animals) and explained how different parts of the camp, such as the bank, café, nurse and store all work. Despite the efforts of the valiant Tieren (animals), Raübern (robbers) made their attempts to thwart the animal's explanations of the different sites by explaining how they function incorrectly but the kids were quick to catch on. The program came to an end when the staff lead the participants down to the beach where they sang songs and learned about water safety over a fire. After a long and exciting day, the villagers went to bed excited for the adventures to come.