Since 1962, villagers at Lac du Bois have experienced the “grand simulation” of living in another language and participating in cultural activities from a variety of French-speaking countries. From le batik (fabric art with wax and dye) to chanson et danse (songs and dance), villagers at Lac du Bois have an abundance of choices for les activités. Whether just learning bonjour or reciting Baudelaire, villagers progress through skills and vocabulary at their level and pace through a blend of listening, speaking, reading, writing and conversational activities. Find chez toi (your place) at Lac du Bois, or check out our French adventure canoeing excursion, Les Voyageurs!
From our flagship summer youth camps to family programs and adults-only sessions, Concordia Language Villages provides a lifetime of language learning and cultural adventure. Find the program that’s right for you!
Duration: 1 Week | 2 Weeks | 4 Weeks
Our flagship Language Village camps where language comes to life. A fully immersive cultural experience.
Duration: 1 Week
Daytime programming for young villagers ready to explore the Village experience without overnight stays.
Keep your Language Village experience going all year long with our Virtual Clubs, Classes and High School Credit programs.
Duration: 2 Days | 3 Days | 1 Week
Fun and learning for the whole family (and friends)! Enjoy culturally immersive activities, meals and tailored learning.
Duration: 3 Days | 1 Week
Learn a new language or advance your skills in a fully immersive environment. Choose from Workshops, Weekends or Week-long programs.
Special programming for school groups and language educators. Introduce your students to cultural immersion or advance your own education!
Training for military, healthcare and corporate clients, with customizable programming designed to bridge cultures and break language barriers.
A global outlook is important for success in the domestic and international arena. Concordia Language Villages offers customized corporate, government and military training programs to meet the specific needs of our clients.More Information
Need-based scholarships are available for French summer youth immersion sessions through the Passport Fund. Scholarships are based on a family’s adjusted gross income, number of dependents and the length of the session.
Additionally, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education offers a $1,000 stipend for Minnesota students who qualify for free or reduced lunch at school.
The Lac du Bois site on Turtle River Lake was built to make you feel as though you’ve magically happened upon a French village. Every detail of this Village—from the mailboxes to the street signs to the menus—are authentic to francophone countries. This comfortable, modernized site was built in 1993. The cabins and central buildings are inspired by the architecture of the francophone world.
We have three distinct groups of cabins at Lac du Bois: Le Centre Ville (downtown), La Campagne (the countryside) and Les Montagnes (the mountains). Each cabin sleeps 16, including at least two counselors, and all cabins have electricity, bunk beds and a small amount of space to store personal belongings. The centrally located bathroom and shower facilities are shared among cabins.
Our central building, Paris, serves as our dining hall and gathering place, particularly if it’s chilly or rainy. In nice weather, we’d rather sing songs in our amphitheater in the woods or at our fire ring at la plage, our beach on Turtle River Lake.
The site includes other features inspired by France and the francophone world — we have a gravel court to play the traditional sport of pétanque (lawn bowling), a boukarou (traditional round hut from Cameroon), fountain, giant chess set and even our very own Eiffel Tower!
Read more about our professional staff at Lac du Bois, our French Language Village.
Cliff Benoît Schwartz is the Dean of Lac du Bois (summer first half). He has worked in the summer program at Lac du Bois in multiple roles since 2003, serving as dean since 2015. Benoît earned his bachelor's degree in French education and theatre education from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. He has studied at Université Rennes 2 in Rennes, Brittany, France and has studied abroad with the Indiana University Honor’s Program in Foreign Languages for High School Students in Brest, France. Benoît is a French teacher at Edina High School in Edina, Minn., teaching French courses in both the traditional and immersion programs and has traveled with students to Quebec several times.
Marie Thérèse Penner-Hahn is Dean of Lac du Bois (summer - second half). Thérèse currently serves as the Director of World Languages, Grades 6-12, for the Belmont Public Schools. Her career with the Villages began in 2004, working at both Lac du Bois Hackensack and Bemidji. Thérèse has been a counselor, two-week curriculum facilitator, credit facilitator, credit abroad facilitator and assistant dean in her time with Concordia Language Villages. She holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree in education from Boston College and a graduate certificate in educational leadership from Boston University.
Megan Mirabelle Baldwin is part of the year-round staff in our facilities department with a special focus on risk management for all the Villages. She also serves as our liaison with the American Camp Association and currently sits on the Local Council of Leaders as the Membership Chair in our region. After spending a year as an exchange student with the Rotary in France, she discovered the Language Villages and fellow francophone culture enthusiasts. As a longtime staff member at the French Language Village, she honed her skills in sharing culture through art and baking activities. Megan is the program leader for our European Holiday Workshop.
Nicole enjoys leading activities and teaching French experientially to students of all ages, in classroom and out of the classroom contexts. She has been on staff at Concordia Language Villages for many years, and has led a great variety of programs. Her favorite pastimes are traveling and speaking French, as well as spending time with family and friends in the out of doors – especially canoeing, camping, skiing, cycling and singing around the campfire. Nicole has lived abroad in France and in Switzerland.
Vanessa leads the virtual Club Lac du Bois, as well as the French family weekend. Currently a resident of Minneapolis, she lived for two years in Amiens, France and has worked at Lac du Bois (in its overnight and virtual programs) since 2007. She can often be seen at these programs playing French-language music on the piano and guitar. Other hobbies of hers include painting and vintage video games.
Concordia Language Villages staff may speak a Village language, creatively teach culture, work and play hard. They also develop skills and qualities that will make them excellent employees in any field.