Welcome to Лесное Озеро (Lesnoe Ozero), the Concordia Russian Village! If you (or your child) are planning to attend the village, please thoroughly review the Parent Handbook with your villager(s) before you arrive at the village. Read this carefully, even if you have been coming to Лесное озеро for many years, since there are often important changes in policy.
What happens upon arrival at the village? When you arrive, you will be greeted by staff speaking Russian. We do not expect that newly arrived, beginner villagers will be able to respond to us in Russian – we’ll help you understand what we say using gestures, maps, and pictures – and we will respond to your English! If you’d like to learn some handy phrases for the “customs” process, visit our village production page phrasebook at http://lesnoeozero.villagepages.org/about/useful-phrases/ . Villagers who do speak Russian should do so as much as possible at customs – it’s a great way to set the tone for your time at the village.
How am I going to learn? Will I be in class all day long? The premise of Concordia Language Villages is to “immerse” our villagers into language and culture. Activities, meals, announcements, sports, music, waterfront activities, art, the village store—all reinforce language learning and cultural knowledge in the context of “real” situations and conversations. For more information on the types of activities offered and language use in the village, please email our dean, Lara Ravitch, at firstname.lastname@example.org
What levels of Russian do you teach? Our curriculum accommodates all levels of language learners, from absolute beginner to native/heritage speaker. We rely on the information you provide us to form the initial learning groups. If you are new to the Russian village and have had prior Russian language experience, speak Russian at home, or were adopted from a Russian-speaking country, please contact our dean, Lara Ravitch, at email@example.com so that we can ensure proper placement. With this information, we ensure that appropriate levels are available for your villager. When the villagers arrive, we place them into preliminary learning groups based on our conversations and the villagers’ backgrounds. We then rely on the observations of the teachers and the villagers’ own sense of comfort to fine-tune the placements. For more information on the village curricula, please feel free to contact us by email.
How are villagers housed? Our cabins are lovely, but without much shelf space, so pack accordingly. Each cabin houses about 8-14 villagers and 2-4 staff. Housing is determined by gender, session, and age. Our cabins have bathrooms, in addition to sitting areas and sleeping areas. Villagers take turns in helping to clean both the individual cabins and the common areas of the village. Parents of younger villager(s) should talk to them about the importance of shared cleaning tasks and the need to show flexibility while living communally.
How do I know if I (my child) would be successful villager?
Please note the description from the parent handbook:
Given our mission and the program that has been designed to support that mission,
a villager should be able to:
• Meet his/her personal needs such as getting dressed, showering, and eating;
• Move independently from place to place; and
• Effectively interact in our group-based and community-living environment.
These developmental markers, especially the third marker, are critical to the villager experience. Villagers share a bedroom with several other people and are expected to effectively interact with others to accomplish all kinds of quests, from establishing cabin rules to creating skits to maintaining emotional resilience in our language immersion setting. Please contact our Summer Programs or Health Services office if you’d like to discuss concerns 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.
For villagers with any specific needs (medical conditions, the need for learning accommodations, special personal circumstances, dietary needs, etc.), please give us as much information as you can on the health form. The more information you give us, the easier it will be for us to help our villagers have a fun, educational, and healthy summer
What to pack? Please check our packing list for information on what to wear, what to bring, and what not to bring to your Lesnoe Ozero adventure.
What can people send to villagers? Letters and postcards are very important—we give out the village mail every day that there is US postal service, although it takes a bit longer, since it comes through our distribution center and then must be sorted at the village. If you send a fax or e-mail, it will be distributed at the following mail time. You can also send books or stories in Russian or about Russia, and gifts like small stuffed animals, photos from home, stickers, and other small novelty items. Encourage your villager to think about fun, culturally-appropriate, or non-English-language items that would be exciting to get at camp. If you would like to write something to your villager in Russian, try our list of useful phrases: http://lesnoeozero.villagepages.org/about/useful-phrases/ .
What not to send? Although we strongly encourage care packages and letters, we cannot pass along food (store bought, homemade, Russian or American) sent to villagers, as we live in the woods and do not wish to attract our woodland friends to our living spaces or inadvertently cause a harmful situation for our villagers with allergy concerns.
How can I communicate with my child? Our villagers are best served by time in program, making new friends, and being immersed in language. Thus, villagers cannot send or receive phone calls or send emails & faxes; however, we realize how important it is for you to know how your villager is doing, and we are always available to answer your questions and concerns (office telephone: 218-586-8430). We are often out in the program and may not be near the phone when you call, but our business manager or our voicemail will take your message, and a member of our leadership staff will return your phone calls promptly. Please note that the village phone will not be connected until our first day and that e-mail is the best way to reach us prior to that time. Families may e-mail their villagers using the link that came with the welcome email. These will be printed each day and delivered with the US mail. This service is for family members only.
Our address at the Russian Village is:
YOUR VILLAGER’S NAME IN ENGLISH
Russian Language Village, SESSION_____.
Concordia Language Villages
11380 Turtle River Lake Rd. NE
Bemidji, MN 56601
What if I still have questions? Our Dean Lara Ravitch is happy to answer any questions you have – before, during, or after the session – by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also contact the Moorhead office at 1-800-222-4750 or CLV@cord.edu