Students Enhance German-Language and STEM Skills at Camp


November 8, 2016



Will Kimball, West High School Teacher

(907) 742-2500


Students enhance German-language and STEM skills at camp


Sixty-five Anchorage School District German-language students took part in the 44th annual Lager Nordlicht (Camp Northern Lights) at Birchwood Camp in Chugiak on Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5, 2016. The camp began 44 years ago as the brainchild of Jo Sanders, longtime Bartlett German Teacher and now curriculum director of Rilke Schule German Charter School.


This year's camp theme was German-speaking scientists and science in general. The camp combined elements of MINT education (Mathematik, Informatik, Naturwissenschaft, und Technik), known as STEM in English (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), with immersion in the German language.  


Friday evening’s singing and dancing festivities featured a special guest appearance by Lucie Woofter’s husband Bob Woofter, Esquire and their son, Hunter Woofter, a UAA German major. Campers arrived to a dinner featuring a delicious German Apfelkuchen (apple cake) and sang and danced the night away in German. Campers spent the night in the heated cabins of the camp and then participated in five academic mini-classes during the day which covered a range of subject areas which included art, physical education, history, German science and home economics, all taught in German. Students also launched hot-air balloons Saturday afternoon.


Students’ language levels ranged from first year through fourth year and Advanced Placement. The final event was a presentation of skits and song to the whole group.


Ten ASD German teachers helped run the camp:

  • Will Kimball of West High School, camp director
  • Fauna Reynvaan of Service High School,
  • Elizabeth Dick of South High School,
  • Kelly Hughes of Bartlett High School,
  • Kristi Senden of Chugiak High School,
  • Matt Spence of East High School,
  • Charles Beattie of Dimond High School,
  • Lucia Woofter of Northern Lights ABC School and Hanshew Middle School,
  • Jen Doerry of Eagle River High School,
  • Tom Honer of the Rilke Schule German Charter School, and 
  • Barbara Dubois of Benny Benson Secondary School.

ASD graduates and former German students, Molly and Emily Johnson, assisted with the camp.   


Next year's camp will be held Friday and Saturday, November 3-4, 2017 at Camp Birchwood and is open to ASD students of German.




Attached photos:

  • Dimond High Teacher Charles Beattie, aka Albert Einstein, teaching students about DNA
  • Eagle River High School student Kyla Potter attempting to catch her hot-air balloon after its launch
  • Benny Benson Secondary Student Mennatulah Ahmed working on her t-shirt design. 

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