- Waldsee (camp)
Waldsee, "Lake of the Woods," is the German immersion program offered by
Concordia Language Villages. Located near Bemidji, Minnesota, Waldsee is also the site of North America's first certified passive house, which uses 85% less energy than a house built to the Minnesota Energy Code.cite web
last = Risen
first = Jonas
title = Waldsee BioHaus: First Certified Passive House in the U.S.
date = 2008-05-12
url = http://greenlineblog.com/waldsee-biohaus-certified-passive-house/
accessdate = 2008-09-23]
Waldsee is America's oldest and largest immersion program for German language and culture. Over 1,550 young people participate yearly, coming together from all 50 of the United States and many foreign countries, making Waldsee the largest of the fifteen Concordia Language Villages.
Waldsee offers one-, two- and four-week living and learning experiences in German language and culture for beginning through advanced 7- to 18-year-olds. The goal of Waldsee and each of the Language Villages is not to ask participants to trade their American ethnocentrism for a German one, but to use language and cultural immersion to prepare young people for responsible citizenship in our global community. This global perspective infuses all activities at Waldsee, and includes a variety of cross-cultural, political and social simulations and role-playing to help participants gain a deeper understanding of the role of Germany and the United States in the wider world.
The German Language Village has been cited as a model of innovative education by a wide variety of educators and organizations, including the
American Association of Teachers of Germanand the Goethe InstitutInter Nationes. It has also been featured in such media as Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Basler Zeitung, ZDFGerman Television, CBSAmerican Television, The New York Times, Time, German Life Magazine, Oskar's and Deustchland magazines, and been the subject of award-winning journalistic essays and various doctoral dissertations.
Waldsee offers programs that serve youth (7-18 years old), families of all ages, and adults; one of the high school credit programs travels abroad. During the academic year, Waldsee also hosts school groups.
In addition to small language learning groups that teach through games, Waldsee offers a wide range of European sports from
soccerto fencing. There is also traditional American campactivities such as swimmingand canoeingat the beach. Waldsee also has a few giant chesssets and a giant Mühle ( Nine Men's Morris) game.
Waldsee is currently located at a culturally authentic site on Turtle River Lake north of
Bemidji, Minnesota. Since its founding in 1961, Waldsee has also leased numerous sites across Minnesota. It also offers a credit program that travels abroad.
The Waldsee permanent site, which opened in 1982, is located at coord|47|33|33.78|N|94|44|19.36|W|type:landmark_region:US near
Bemidji, Minnesota on Turtle River Lake, along with six other Concordia Language Villagesites. In all, Waldsee can house up to 240 people (typically, there are about 170 students and 40-50 counselors).
The site is styled after a typical German village and is centered around a "Marktplatz", which is the center of most activity at "Waldsee". The "Bahnhof" is a large building near the entrance of the village that houses class and administrative rooms. The "Gasthof" is another building that serves as a dining hall and houses most indoor activities. There is an artists' colony, named Worpswede, which has about 6 small cabins and houses the arts and crafts activities.
The first building on the campsite was "Haus Katja," which is a log cabin that was built by a group of villagers. The first professionally-built building was the Schwarzwaldhaus, which can house 64 people in four units as well as several more in separate sleeping rooms on the first floor. A twin to the Schwarzwaldhaus is the Max Kade Haus, which was built a few years after the SWH and is very similar in design.
Two new medium-sized residences have been recently built. The Markel Haus (Oberammergau and Unterammergau) has room for 24 people in two units. The Robert Bosch Haus houses the healthcare center (Heilbronn) and another residence (Stuttgart). The newest building at Waldsee is the BioHaus, the first certified
passive housein North America. The BioHaus is an integrated environmental learning center and residence for up to 24 people and includes a small apartment upstairs. There is also Café Einbeck, where villagers can sample candy, soft drinks, and other foods from Europe or listen to a jukebox playing German-language music. Waldsee also has a store at which villagers can make purchases using Euros.
Waldsee has also operated at leased sites since its founding in 1961. Waldsee has been located in
Alexandria, Minnesota, Vergas, Minnesota, and Cass Lake, Minnesota. Waldsee departed from Vergas in the summer of 2006 to make room for the Al-Wāḥa, the Arabiclanguage village, which was founded that year.
Waldsee travels abroad to
Germany, Austria, and Switzerlandwith smaller groups of high school students studying German in their summer for credit.
BioHaus (Passive House)
2006, Waldsee opened the "BioHaus", the first certified passive housein North America, on its permanent site near Bemidji, Minnesota. It is built to the German passive house standard for energy conservation and renewable energy use, and uses 85% less energy than a house built to the Minnesota Energy Code.
The construction of the BioHaus was funded in part through a grant from the
Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt(DBU), which is the world's largest foundation dedicated to environmental practice, education and construction. The Waldsee passive house marked the first time that DBU had awarded such a grant in North America.cite news
title = Waldsee BioHaus Attains "Passive House" Standards
publisher = Pro/E Community
date = 2006-08
url = http://www.proe.com/feature_full.php?cpfeatureid=15148&PHPSESSID=e7a31dac772a2f
accessdate = 2008-09-23]
In 2007, the BioHaus won the
Minnesota Environmental Initiative Awardin the category of Air Quality and Climate Protection. It was a 2007 Nominee for the World Clean Energy Awardin the construction category. cite web
last = Initiative for Renewable Energy in Architecture
title = Case Studies: Waldsee BioHaus Environmental Living Center
url = http://www.rearch.umn.edu/case_biohaus.html
accessdate = 2008-09-23]
The fixtures are German, and the house helps to introduce students to the "new Germany" as well as preparing them for responsible and ecological citizenship in the global community, the mission of Concordia Language Villages. The modern house itself pays homage to the
Bauhausschool of 1920s architecture, and floor-to-ceiling windows recall the symbolic transparency built into West Germangovernment buildings post- World War II.cite web
last = German Embassy, Washington, DC
title = Letters Home from Camp: Lessons from Waldsee’s BioHaus, the First Passive House in North America
date = 2008-08-28
url = http://www.germany.info/relaunch/info/publications/week/2008/080822/misc1.html
accessdate = 2008-09-23]
The house was built using eight critical design strategies: Passive Solar Design, Superinsulation, Advanced Window Technology, Airtightness, Ventilation, Space Heating, Efficient Lighting and Electrical appliances.
The building replaces 100% outside air; no air is recirculated through the system. Two underground tubes exchange outside and inside air eight feet beneath the ground, passively warming or cooling the air to match the temperature of the ground (~55° F year round). The house transfers heat between the outgoing air and the incoming air before it reaches the rooms, resulting in a difference of less than 10°F between the incoming fresh air and the desired room temperature, even in the midst of Minnesotan winter.
Water in the house is heated by solar thermal heat panels on the roof, rather than
photovoltaicsolar cells, which would convert solar energy directly to electricity.
Low-growing plants make up the building's green roof, reducing rainwater runoff and adding another layer of insulation to the building. Additionally, the western half of the lower level of the structure is tucked into the slope, enabling natural insulation based on the soil.
Waldsee enjoys a continuing
sister cityrelationship with the German town of Bad Waldsee, located in Baden-Württemberg. American high school participants can spend four weeks each summer with host families in Bad Waldsee, and receive the equivalent of one year's worth of high school German credit for their experience.
Horst Köhler, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, is the official patron (Schirmherr) of Waldsee, as was his predecessor, Roman Herzog. Many German Ambassadors and other dignitaries have visited Waldsee. World leaders have endorsed Concordia Language Villages, notably
United NationsSecretary-General Kofi Annan, and former U.S. President Bill Clinton, whose daughter Chelsea attended Waldsee for six summers. [http://www.concordialanguagevillages.org/newsite/About/history.php]
* [http://www.concordialanguagevillages.org/newsite/Languages/german1.php Concordia Language Villages German programs page]
* [http://www.waldseebiohaus.typepad.com/ Waldsee Biohaus]
Concordia Language Villages
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