Burg in Bad Laasphe

PPP-Camp 2018 in Bad Laasphe - Teil 5

Jedes Jahr nehmen unsere 50 US-amerikanischen Stipendiatinnen und Stipendiaten des Parlamentarischen Patenschafts-Programms an einem vierwöchigen Orientierungsseminar mit Sprachkurs in Bad Laasphe teil, bevor sie am 1. September zu ihren Gastfamilien kommen. In diesem Jahr gewähren uns Teamer und Teilnehmende einen Einblick in ihren Camp-Alltag. Hier veröffentlichen wir ihre Berichte!

Teil 5 -

(zu Teil 4)

Montag, 27.08.2018 – Lehrer

Skurrile Dinge, die wir als Teacher-Team in den letzten drei Wochen gelernt haben:

  • Es gibt keine „Achtung-Krötenwanderung“-Schilder in den USA
  • Den Schuh-Plattler kann man in zwei Stunden lernen
  • „To give a tip“ heißt nicht nur „Trinkgeld geben“
  • Das Bild einer Schildkröte ruft vielfältige Übersetzungsmöglichkeiten, bspw. einen „Knobbelkriecher“ oder ein „Schufttier“, hervor

Wir sind das sechsköpfige Teacher-Team, angereist aus allen Ecken Deutschlands – und darüber hinaus (Österreich). Jede/r von uns hat in den letzten Jahren Bücher im DaZ/DaF-Studium gewälzt. Aber: Probieren geht über studieren – so haben wir alle in verschiedenen Bildungseinrichtungen gearbeitet und unser theoretisches Wissen in die Praxis umsetzen können.

Eine angenehme Lernatmosphäre entsteht dadurch, dass die Klassen aus sechs bis maximal elf Teilnehmenden bestehen, was eine individuelle Betreuung erlaubt. Dies ermöglicht uns, die Unterrichtsinhalte mit den Interessen und Wünschen der Schüler und Schülerinnen abzustimmen und ihnen das nötige Handwerkszeug mit auf den Weg zu geben.

Das Spektrum reicht von „Welche Farbe haben meine Schuhe?“ bis „Die Verwandlung“ von Kafka. Diese Themen werden vorrangig vormittags im Klassenzimmer behandelt, während am Nachmittag das Gelernte praktisch angewandt wird. Ob bei einem Pläuschchen mit dem Oliven-Verkäufer auf dem Wochenmarkt, beim Bestellen eines Milchkaffees oder beim Singen und Tanzen zu „99 Luftballons“ – die Anwendungsmöglichkeiten sind vielfältig. Freitags können die Schüler und Schülerinnen ihr Wissen und ihren Lernfortschritt in einem von uns erstellten Test unter Beweis stellen.

Nicht nur die gegenseitige Unterstützung im Teacher- und Teamer-Team, sondern auch interessante Gespräche mit den Teilnehmenden tragen zu einem gewinnbringenden interkulturellen Austausch für beide Seiten bei.

Things that we have learned in the last 3 weeks:

  • There are no ‘Regard toad migration’ signs in the US
  • You can learn the ‘Schuhplattler’ dance in 2 hours
  • ‘To give a tip’ doesn’t only mean ‘Trinkgeld geben’
  • The picture of a turtle (‘Schildkröte’ in German) evokes several possible translations, e.g. a ‘Knobbelkriecher’ or a ‘Schufttier’

We are a team of six teachers, coming from all different parts of Germany – and even Austria. All of us have pored over books whilst studying German as a foreign language. But: The proof of the pudding is in the eating! Thus we have all worked in several educational institutions before camp to put our theoretical knowledge into practice. The learning environment at ‘Schloss Wittgenstein’ is very pleasant because the classes are made up of six to eleven participants. This allows individual mentoring, and the coordination of the teaching content focusing on the interests and wishes of the students. We are able to provide the students with the necessary language-tools which they can take along with them. In class we cover different topics starting with ‘What color are my shoes?’ to reading ‘The Metamorphosis’ by Franz Kafka. These topics are mainly dealt with in the classroom in the mornings and practically implemented in afternoon classes. Whether during a cozy little chat with the olives vendor on the weekly farmers’ market, by ordering a ‘Milchkaffee’ in the nearby café or singing and dancing to ’99 Luftballons’ – the possibilities of application are manifold. At the end of the week, the students demonstrate their newly achieved abilities in a test which is put together by us.

Not only the mutual support of the teacher and teamer teams but also deep conversations with the participants contribute to a beneficial intercultural exchange for everyone.

Dienstag, 28.08.2018 – Jackson & Tiernan

Schloss Wittgenstein

The amount of growth that can happen in one month is far more than you could possibly imagine. It seems like much longer than 24 days ago that I stepped off that plane in Frankfurt. Since then, I have learned so much, strengthened myself linguistically, mentally, and emotionally. With the support of the 60 other people in this castle, I’ve learned to step back and find comfort in the things I don’t know and can’t control. The next ten months of my life are going to be filled with so much

unknown, but with the help of every person, lesson and plenum here, I’ve grown to be okay with that. Excited, even! I’m looking forward to heading into the unfamiliarity of my exchange year, and eventually embracing those foreign things.

The connections I’ve made this month are making these upcoming goodbyes painful. It hurts to leave this castle, these people, this place where my heart has settled in this foreign land. But it’s time. I’ve packed my bags, and on Saturday, they will take the train with me and my heart to be settled in a new place. It will hurt, but it will be okay. It says a lot that I enjoyed my experience so much this month that it is difficult to say goodbye. That means that the memories I made here are lasting. I can’t wait to see everyone again in a few months, to see how everyone has grown and evolved in our next life-changing months apart.

Mittwoch, 29.08.2018 – Joe & Veronica

This morning, our class walked down to an outdoor market in Bad Laasphe to interview a few of the people that live in the area. Yesterday, in preparation for this assignment, the students in our 5th level German class prepared questions. They varied from „Was machen Sie in Ihrer Freizeit?“ to „Was würden Sie darüber denken, wenn wir eine Weltregierung hätten?“ Although four weeks ago, we would not have had the courage or ability to approach complete strangers and converse with them in another language, today, with almost a month of intensive language training behind us, we managed to accomplish just that. The first few people we spoke with were a little discouraging, saying they had no time to help us with our project. However, we met a few friendly men and women that took the time to respond to our questions- even the weird ones- some also giving us advice for the year ahead.

After we returned to the castle, we learned about living outside our comfort zones. In Germany, we will face unexpected challenges, but those are necessary for us to learn and grow throughout this year. Talking to total strangers about their lives without our teacher by our side to help us? It was terrifying. It definitely took us out of our comfort zones. But this assignment helped us improve our German skills and prepare us for our lives in Germany.

Freitag, 31.08.2018 – Kaitlyn & Will

Gruppenfoto der CBYXler 2018-19 von Experiment e.V.

Overall, language camp has been amazing. The people, food, and staff (teamers and teachers) have all helped create an experience that I will never forget. I have created an unbreakable bond with my roommates and the teamers here. They were with me through the tears and hard times, but also stuck around long enough to see me shine. Language camp has prepared me for this 10 month long adventure in every sense; emotionally, physically, and mentally I am prepared. I suppose the hours and hours of plenum paid off. As I write this post I am full of terror and pure joy because tomorrow I will travel 5 hours to my host community. I already have a good relationship with my host sisters and host mother, but I know nothing about the host father. That on top of the fact that I’m leaving the safety of this American bubble that we call language camp is utterly terrifying. But I have been given the resources needed for this adventure. I know that I will survive, and that is all that matters. I’m armed with my knowledge of the German language and culture, as well as a support team that is the size of an army.

May this adventure treat us all well,


Samstag, 01.09.2018 – Teamer

Dear CBYX students,

thank you all for a month full of new adventures. We, the teamers and teachers, had the best time ever preparing you for your year in Germany. We laughed with you, we cried with you and spent so many memorable moments together that make it hard to see you leave today. Not only did we teach you plenty of things, but you also taught us quite a few lessons that will make us better teamers and teachers in the future. We can’t wait to hear from you throughout the next months and watch you grow from the experiences you will make in your host communities. Remember: It’s not right or wrong – it’s just different J


your Teamers & Teachers

Liebe Gastfamilien,

Danke, dass Sie sich dazu entschlossen haben, eine Gastschülerin oder einen Gastschülerin für die nächsten zehn Monate bei sich aufzunehmen. Wir wissen es sehr zu schätzen, dass Sie auch bereits während des PPP-Camps Kontakt zu Ihrem Gastkind aufgenommen haben. Danke auch für das ein oder andere Paket oder so manche Postkarte von Ihnen, die strahlende Gesichter bei den Austauschschülern erzeugten. Täglich kamen die Jugendlichen auf uns zu und erzählten uns voller Glück von der neuesten E-Mail oder WhatsApp-Nachricht, die sie von Ihnen erhalten hatten. Wir wünschen Ihnen für das anstehende “Experiment” alles Gute und ein tolles ersten Kennenlernen.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

die Teamer & Lehrer

Dear Experiment e.V. and CIEE,

to spend a month with 49 teenagers, you must be a little bit crazy, but maybe that’s exactly what unifies us teamers and teachers. We might come from different parts of Germany (and even Austria!), but our goal for this month was the same: to do our best in preparing the students for their exchange. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to practice our skills in teamwork, communication, English, organization, self-reflection, presenting and leadership. We had a great time and learned so much about the United States, our own culture, group dynamics and ourselves. And the best part: we had tons of fun doing so. Volunteering for Experiment e.V. is something we all have a deep passion for and being given the chance to live in a beautiful castle while contributing to mutual understanding and cultural exchange sounded like a perfect summer to us. We hope we gave the students all the knowledge and mindsets they need to succeed this year. And Katie, thanks for choosing 49 incredible individuals who made this month one to remember. They are an amazing group and we are confident they will achieve anything they put their mind to.


The Teamers & Teachers

Dear American families,

we couldn’t be more honored that you trusted us with your children for a month. They are smart and kind students who made Language Camp an incredible experience. We have all been on exchange and know from our own parents that it’s hard to let your child leave for a year. But we promise we did our best to prepare them for what’s to come and trust us, this year is going to pass faster than you can imagine. So thank you for giving your children the opportunity to take part in this life-changing experience and supporting them on their journey.

Kind regards,

The Teamers & Teachers