Most people are under the misconception that Germany is a Christian country. Unfortunately, they are mistaken. Even though 65% of the German population claims to be christian, the actual percentage is lower. A majority of the population only join a church because they get a tax reduction. The harsh reality is that it is extremely difficult for a teenager to live out a Christian life. Sprachcamp is a place for high school students that are Christians and even non-Christians to come and build new relationships. High school students come from all over Germany to grow at Sprachcamp. The students look forward to constructing new friendships with other kids their age who are going through the same challenges in life. Sprachcamp provides the campers with counselors who always create a welcoming enviroment. There are two separate groups of campers. After one week of camp the second group arrives. Each camp is a week long and invites a hundred kids to come and share the Sprachcamp experiences with us.
Another benefit to Sprachcamp is that these German kids are given the opportunity to improve their English. The staff at Sprachcamp is filled with both Germans and Americans. The teenagers love hanging out with the Americans and getting to know more about the culture. The campers get to experience cohabiting with the American staff. English classes provide an understanding of grammar and an exploration of the language to the students. Each student is placed in a language group with their level of efficiency in English. These groups play games in English and opens up different conversations which develops their vocabulary. At the same time, conversing with the Americans helps their accents and fluency. We teach them song lyrics and create music videos for each language group, which allows the German campers to think in english in a fun and unique way. The fascinating fact about Sprachcamp is that not every camper that attends knows English. We are communicating with these students by breaking the language barriers. They understand our love, friendship, and compassion and it reachs out to them.
At Sprachcamp there is such an intimate bond between the Germans and Americans. Camp is a truly remarkable concept, because it reaches out to these kids to such a great extent. Most of these teenagers have had a hard life, some of them have lost their parents in the last couple of years. This camp means so much to them, because they know that they will always have friends across the world and a place where they are accepted for who they are. Sprachcamp is really somewhere where these German students find comfort. A majority of them have a difficult time scraping up the money to go, the price for a week of camp is only one hundred euros. However, one hundred euros for one family can be a couple weeks worth of food, or money saved up for gasoline. For families to be willing to give up their money to send one child to camp for a week, that just demonstrates how much this camp is worth.
I have an intense passion for this camp. I am aware that I am merely a teenager, but I have huge ambitions. I am compelled to expand Sprachcamp and reach out to more teenagers. My first time at Sprachcamp I was suprisingly embraced. I am half African American and half Chinese. I was absolutely terrified about attending Sprachcamp, because of Neo-Nazis and being persecuted. Then I realized this is so much bigger than me. These kids taught me self humility and the importance of serving and loving others. My heritage helps me see the camp at a different perspective from the rest of the staff. I can see how accepting these students are by the way they embraced me. A couple campers told me that I was the only African American person that they had ever seen in person, and that they loved the fact that I was there. I have a burning love for this country and it's people and I want to do anything and everything that I can to give more teenagers the oppurtunities they deserve.