Waldsee Blog 

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The Lehrling Lifestyle

Published: March 20, 2019

The only thing more fun than two weeks at Waldsee is four weeks at Waldsee! High schoolers who want to spend four weeks with us can participate in our high school credit program or our apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship program gives villagers a unique view into the lives of the Betreuer (counselors) here at Waldsee and allows villagers to not only grow as readers, writers, and speakers of German, but also as leaders in the village community!

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The Lehrlinge (apprentices) begin every day with a structured German class, focusing on reading, writing, grammar, or cultural topics. Sometimes these take place in a more traditional classroom setting, but other times are held outside, even out on Turtle River Lake on the beloved Waldsee pontoon boat!

Just like the four-week credit villagers, Lehrlinge participate in two Arbeitsgruppen (AGs, working groups) in the span of four weeks. Villagers choose which AGs they would like to participate in, with a changing variety offered each year. Past favorites include Tanzen (dancing) Yoga und Fitness (yoga and fitness), Deutsche Gebärdensprache (German sign language), and even Fechten (fencing) and Drachenboot (dragon boat racing).

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The Lehrlinge also shadow Betreuer during Familie (language-learning family) sessions, where German is taught through a variety of games and activities. Lehrlinge assist leading these sessions and learn some of the best practices to teach German in an immersive environment.

Betreuer also have a number of other tasks around the village, from selling t-shirts the Laden to working the counter and serving cake at Waldsee Cafe. Lehrlinge are assigned to work directly with the Betreuer in our favorite Waldsee locations. Many Lehrlinge enjoy being Kellner (servers) at Waldsee Cafe, allowing them to simulate a real cafe experience in German-speaking Europe and practice using words like Sie und Ihnen, the formal “you” in German. A piece of Sachertorte at the end of a “shift” is a fun bonus, too!

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The Lehrlinge both participate in and help facilitate different Abendprogramme (evening programs), from chasing the Betreuer inWildsaujagd to saving the village from an alien invasion in UFO-Spiel! Lehrlinge help the Betreuer plan the Abendprogramme in advance and often act as team leaders during games.

Is your high school villager interested in becoming a Betreuer someday? The apprenticeship program is perfect for them! Sign up for to be an Lehrling (apprentice) this summer here.