Friday, June 20th, marked the conclusion of Fort Wayne’s first German Language Kinder Camp at Park Edelweiss, 3355 Elmhurst Drive. This was the first year for the camp, sponsored by the Fort Wayne Maennerchor/Damenchor, which is a German singing society. Sixty four campers were enrolled for the camp, some coming from as far as Sarasota, FL, and North Carolina. The Florida campers were in Indiana to spend the week with their grandparents.
The children were treated to daily puppet shows in the style popular throughout Germany. The puppet show was presented using genuine German hand puppets. The children watched the action and listened to the dialogue in Both German and English.
In addition to learning the German language and music, children had the opportunity to meet with Bill Diedrichs, city arborist. Diedrichs has some 16 years experience with the city and over that time has been involved in all aspects of the arboricultural management of the city’s 61,000 plus street trees. One of the favorite activities was when Diedrichs taught the children how to climb a tree using a safety harness.
The highlight of the week came at noon on Friday when the campers planted a Linden tree (Basswood in English) on the grounds of Park Edelweiss. This tree is very popular in German folk songs. Diedrichs donated the tree and assisted with the planting. Each camper had the opportunity to use the shovels to add some dirt “for good luck.” The hole for the tree was dug by the older campers.
Camp directors were Marianne Klaffke and Carol Jackson.