The Forest Language Camps take place on our own terrain at Munay Forest Garden in Waldbröl. Our terrain consists of 4 hectares of land, which includes forest, garten and meadow.
Our participants will be lodged in the apartment, at the back of our recently ecologically renovated old German Fachwerkhaus, and in the Tiny House. Indoor activities take place in the Senegalese Room of the main house. Meals are served in the kitchen on cold and rainy days and outside when the weather allows us to. Inspired by Waldorf Education and Wilderness Pedagogy, we like the children to spend most of the time with us outside in nature.
While children may learn and practice to speak another language, it is also our goal to teach our participants about an ecological way of living, respecting all living beings on our Mother Earth. And, whenever it is possible, meditation and yoga exercises will be organised in our sessions.
Learning by Doing
We have created a place where children can learn and practice another language through immersion. Immersion is the concept of learning a foreign language more through hands-on use and less through instruction. Instead of cramming Grammar and vocabulary in a classroom, we organise role-plays in small groups, play forest games, take care of the animals and do other fun activities that strengthen conversational skills in English.
The teachers of the Forest Language Camps are native speakers. The Camp Guides might be native speakers or speak the language as good as a native speaker. We attach great importance to having a multi-faceted team and we receive volunteers from all over the world with countless talents and interests. We work with young camp teachers/guides who are full of positive energy, and manage to make our children/teenagers enthusiastic for all the activities at our Language Camps. Lastly, we expect our camp participants to try their best and only communicate in the camps’ language, while they are there.
We offer the opportunity to learn through nature in a beautiful environment, surrounded by a natural forest of which some trees are more than 300 years old. When it is not raining cats and dogs, most of our activities take place outdoors. During the Camp, we respect our ecological environment and minimise our ecological footprint as much as possible.
Interaction with Animals
Part of our Camp also involves interaction with animals. At the moment, we have three lovely cats, a Border-Collie-Mix dog, two cute Cashmere goats, five funny Bergische Schlotterkämme chickens and five alpacas (see our Alpaca Farm). We will teach the camp participants about the animals and in turn, they are invited to take care of them.
Organic Food and Permaculture Design
We find it very important to provide organic food to the children. It is our goal to become self-sufficient regarding herbs, fruits and vegetables in the future. However, at the moment we are still in our starting phase and are dependent on local, organic supermarkets. Nevertheless, what we already produce, will be shared with our participants. We are making our own sourdough bread and yoghurt and when our chickens are active, we will have fresh eggs! Our participants may in turns do some work in the vegetable garden and Food Forest and might help with the cultivation and the preparation of the food. Harvested and freshly processed, everything ends up in the cooking pot…
Central to permaculture are the three ethics: earth care, people care and fair share. These ethics will be interwoven in our daily practices wit the children/teenagers at our camps. While we learn while doing, I want to inspire child-friendly, sustainable education.
Yoga and Meditation
Whenever we have the opportunity to have a yoga teacher as a volunteer staying with us, we definitely will integrate some exercises during our day activities at the Forest Language Camps. I believe that it is easier to form healthy habits at an early age than trying to modify them later. Yoga definately has also a calming and relaxing effect over their minds as well, which we will benefit before we start another activity.
Small Groups of Participants
We only invite about 12 children to come and stay with us for an afternoon, a midweek or a weekend. We attach great importance to small groups as we want to take the needs of each participant into account. We make sure that everyone feels at ease and we create an atmosphere in which nobody is afraid to speak a foreign language.
Have a look at our Calendar when we are offering Forest Language Camps and register accordingly. When the dates do not suit you, feel free to ask and we might be able to set up one at another time of the year.