Below are helpful guidelines from Linda Ebner Erceg, RN, MS, PHN. Linda serves as the executive director of the Association of Camp Nurses and worked at Concordia Language Villages for more than 25 years prior to her retirement.
“Is my child ready for the Concordia Language Villages experience?” That’s an important question. Given the Language Villages’ mission, and the program that has been designed to support that mission, in order to be a happy, successful villager, your child should be able to:
These developmental markers — especially the third one — are critical to the Language Villages experience. Your child will share a bedroom with several other people and will be expected to effectively interact with others to accomplish all kinds of quests — from establishing cabin rules to creating skits and maintaining emotional resilience in our language immersion setting.
Please contact our Health Services Office if you have questions or concerns that you would like to discuss with us. We are especially concerned about youth with a mental health diagnosis. Our program may not be a good fit for some of these children.
8630 Thorsonveien NE
Bemidji, MN 56601
Direct Line: (218) 586-8771
Fax: (218) 586-8770
Main Office: (800) 450-2214
Villagers will find elements in our program intense, fun, perplexing, rewarding and, most of all, unique. Villagers, especially those new to the program, will be experiencing what may be an entirely new style of teaching.
Adjusting to a new situation usually takes a little time, and many of the villagers’ unquestioned assumptions about education may be challenged for the first time.
In an immersion environment, it is not always easy to recognize one’s own progress. As children, for example, we didn’t notice we were growing until the relatives, on their yearly visit, exclaimed, “My, how you have grown!” Likewise, an intense immersion program can hide the incredible amount of progress participants make until after they return home.
Additional ways to practice being away from home according to the American Camp Association:
After the school year ends establish new nightly routine that would be similar to camp. If your child is use to falling asleep to music, reading a book, or being read to. Start weaning away from these things a couple of weeks before. Then the week before camp your child can fall asleep without these aids.
Involve your child in the packing and shopping for camp. Packing together is a fun and exciting for your villager, and a great opportunity for you to talk to your child about what your child can expect. Your child will have many uncertainties about going to camp. Involving your child in packing will give your child something they can control. It will give them a sense of ownership in the process.
Practice being away from home. Have your child spend a weekend at a relative’s house, or at a friend’s house and have the friend over at your house. This is an opportunity for your child to build confidence in their ability to sleep away from home. And for your child to see what it is like to do things outside of their own routine.