What to Expect on Ankunftstag (Arrival Day)
Published: June 5, 2017
With our very first summer session starting soon, we know that many first time Villagers (and parents!) are wondering what to expect when they first arrive at Waldsee. Going away to camp for the first time, especially one that happens in a foreign language, can be a daunting task. Knowing a little bit more about what to expect on the first day can definitely help to ease some of the nerves though.
So, what exactly can you expect on Ankunftstag (arrival day)?
Crossing the Grenze (Border)
Time to check in! When Villagers and their parents first arrive at Waldsee, they are greeted by a friendly counselor who will tell them where to park. Then, everyone walks up to the Bahnhof (train station/the first building in Waldsee you’ll see when you drive in), where another counselor will check them in and send them on their way. Don’t forget your CLV Passport!
If your Villager is arriving by bus (from the airport or otherwise), they’ll be dropped off right in front of the Banhof, where they can begin their check in process!
Der Namensbaum (Name Tree)
Next, it’s time to choose a new name! Through the passageway of the Bahnhof, Villagers will find a tree full of new German names for them to choose from. Here at Waldsee, we believe that choosing a new name is one of the first steps to becoming immersed in the language. Plus, it helps Villagers find a new sense of independence!
Once the Villagers have chosen, a counselor will take note of their new names and tell them where they will be living for the next 1, 2, or 4 weeks!
Die Gepäckkontrolle (Baggage Control)
Yet another way that we get into the immersion spirit at Waldsee is by only consuming German food, music, and media. Villagers aren’t allowed to bring in their phones, English language books (except for homework purposes), or American food. At this station, the new Villagers will be asked to give any of these items that they have up. But no worries, these items are kept in a locked room and they’ll get everything back at the end of the session (and we even charge their phones for them)!
Villagers can leave their stuff by Gepäckkontrolle station as they proceed through the next stations.
Die Bank (The Bank)
After going through Gepäckkontrolle, Villagers head over to Waldsee’s very own Bank, where they open up a Konto (account) and exchange their dollars for Euros. They’ll be able to take out 4 Euros every day to spend at Cafe Einbeck or the Laden (souvenir store). If they want to make a bigger purchase, they can also take out a check!
Villagers also participate in a short Sprachinterview (language interview) while they’re opening up their bank account. This is just to tell what language level they are at so that we can place them in the appropriate Familie (language learning group). They probably won’t even notice that they’re being interviewed!
Die Krankenschwester (The Nurse)
Health and safety are our top priorities at Waldsee, which is why we always have a nurse on site. At this station, Villagers will submit their health forms, any medicine that they’ve brought with them (the nurse will distribute this at meal times and before the Villagers go to bed, depending on when your child takes their medicine), and have their hair checked for lice.
Das Haus (The House)
Each Villager is assigned to a cabin, or Haus, of 10-14 Villagers and 2-4 counselors. After going through all of the stations, it’s time to move in! Villagers can go back to the Gepäckkontrolle station to pick up their Gepäck (suitcases), where a counselor will lead them to their home for the next 1, 2, or 4 weeks! There will be always at least one counselor in the house to welcome Villagers and help them get settled.
After Villagers are all moved in, they have some free time to wander around camp. There’s always loads of activities going on on Ankunftstag - from Barbecues to Frisbee on the Marktplatz (main square). Parents are free to leave their kid to it once their sure that they’re having a great time!
Der Abend (The Evening)
After the parents have all departed and everyone has arrived, everyone gathers for Abendessen (dinner). Traditionally, we always eat the very stereotypical German food of Schnitzel!
After dinner, the villagers are all taken on a tour of the camp, where they can learn the ropes. Then, everyone gathers down on the Strand (beach) for a Lagerfeuer (camp fire) and to learn some of our favorite Waldsee Lieder (songs).
Finally, it’s time to go to bed! Everyone is sure to be exhausted after such a long day - and it’s only the beginning!
For more information on how to prepare for this summer, check out these blog posts:
- I'm a First Time Parent, What Should I Expect?
- Top 10 Packing List
- Advice for First Time Family Participants