Language Farm Reckenbühl
Finally, after three years, we were able to go on a trip to the Language Farm in Kammerforst again.
27 students from grades 9 and 10, accompanied by two teachers, went on tour to improve their English at the farm, to do workshops, to carry out various projects, to play sports and to have fun.
Learning English in an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable has been an inspiring experience for all. Young native speakers from England, Australia and Spain subtly taught English while the students were experiencing adventure and fun in a variety of activities. We also focused on creativity and coming together as a group.
Here is what happened at the Language Farm:
Monday: Day of arrival.
Our bus took around 3 hours to arrive at the farm in Kammerforst, Thuringia. When we first saw the house we'd stay in, we were all quite impressed of how well decorated it was. Next we were welcomed by Bill, one of our five counsellors. We were supposed to separate ourselves into groups of three. Inside, Hannah - another counsellor, awaited us. Everyone had to pick their name for the week. The theme was tools, which turned out to be very funny. Ali showed us our room and told us to wait there until everyone was put in one. The rooms were named after cities. For example: Mrs. Klausch stayed in "Washington D.C." during the week. Soon we all met downstairs for lunch and got to know the counsellors: Bill and Hannah from England, Jessie and Aaron from Australia and Ali from Spain. Bill explained to us the workshops we were supposed to have throughout the week. We could choose between music, whacky art and baking. After everyone had made their decision, we were put into small language groups for the duties and then had our first workshops. When we were done, we had a break, which we used to play games, until it was time for the evening circle. We held hands and listened to the nature. On Monday, it was Bill's turn to tell us a wise saying: "Every journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. "
We had dinner right after that and finished the day just perfectly with a campfire. We sang nice songs, Jessie played the guitar, we laughed and enjoyed the atmosphere until we all fell asleep very quickly after our first day at the language farm....
Paulina Ert, class 9/2
Tuesday: Cricket and Stars
On Tuesday, we woke up to the beautiful music that Aaron played on his music box. After we got ready for the day, we went out onto the field for the morning circle. The wise saying of the day was: “What matters is so live the question”.
What I interpreted from that is, that you should not search for answers in your life but concentrate more on the questions itself that it gives you. We also repeated the saying of yesterday: “Every journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
Five minutes later, after we washed our hands in the restroom, we got to our tables in the dining room and watched the meal presentation that was given to us by our counsellors Bill, Hannah, Aaron and Jessie. The breakfast meal were vegan pancakes which smelled and tasted very nice.
Later my small language group gathered together in the kitchen to wash the dishes and prepare lunch. For it we needed to cut several vegetables to make a salad. It was hard work for us all, but in the end, we rewarded ourselves with a self-made salad that tasted really good. To work with Jessie was also a great pleasure because she kept a cool head in the hectic environment of a kitchen and gave clear and clever orders to us, so that our group could work easily.
In the late morning around 12 am we were supposed to go out to the field again to play our first round of cricket. This gave me an all-new experience because I had never seen anything like cricket before. It was a mash up between golf, baseball and a little bit of tennis, to be honest. I myself was not the best at cricket but at least it gave me a little bit of fun.
Later, because we were the group who made the meal, we also had to do a small meal presentation like the counsellors did earlier in the morning. Our idea was to represent each of the ingredients as a person and made a show-like competition out of it as what of these vegetables were the best and healthiest while the final result a main message was that only all ingredients mashed together were the best option.
In the early afternoon, me and some of my friends discovered the mystery of the almighty Yoga-Room. A legendary place which would’ve later become the main meet-up place of almost everyone from the Language Farm. But on this day, it was only us four who first saw it. Even though we didn’t do much in there at first, it was very relaxing because there was a pretty comfortable couch in one of the corners.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to relax in this room because later we had to meet up again in our small language group to plan on how we do our theatre presentation on Thursday. We started with some ideas but couldn’t yet decide which one of it would have been the best.
But before getting to the evening circle, there was only one project left: baking. The day before we made brownies, but on this day Bill, our project manager gave us a very different recipe: a wet lemon drizzle cake. I think, we did a pretty good job with it. In the end, we were all exhausted but also amazed on what we did and excited for the next day when we could finally taste our own drizzle cake.
Then in the late evening, we finally met up again on the field to do the evening circle in which we repeated the wise saying of today and heard the relaxing nature sounds that came mainly from the forest around us. Talking about forests… the forest that existed all around the area of the Language Farm is a real national park that is called Hainich. If you wonder what that means now: in this forest, you were not allowed to leave any trash, crack up branches or do anything hurtful to the nature.
After the evening circle, we all sat down in the dining room to watch another meal presentation that was presented to us by another small language group. Today we got a Veggie Shephard Pie. Sounds weird, but tastes good.
In the evening after dinner, we had some free time which we used to play soccer outside. When it started to get dark our teachers called out to us that we now should get into some warmer and longer clothes, so that we can do our last project of the day: a night walk through the forest.
So, we got inside, put on our outside clothes for hiking, got our flashlights ready and started our hike in the forest. After some walking over an open field, we reached the beginning of the forest. We walked in and it immediately got way darker than it was on the open field which meant that we now had to turn on our flashlights.
It did take some time but after a long walk, we finally reached the end of the forest which brought us to a wide opening into a big field. From here you had a good view onto the wide sky that was above us. We got some time to watch the stars and that was plenty enjoyable. Twenty minutes later, we got up again and walked back to the farm but not the same way through the forest. We came home safely, brushed our teeth and got in our bedrooms and had a pretty good sleep.
All in all, I can say that I really enjoyed the day. My highlight was the night-walk and the talks I had on the walk with the people around me.
Anton Hillger, class 10/2
Wednesday: Baseball and Narnia
On Wednesday, our third day at the Language Farm, we got up at 7:30 am with music. Then at 8:00 we had our morning circle. The wise saying of the day was: “Every cloud has a silver lining”. After that we had breakfast, and because it was UK day, we ate an English breakfast.
We prepared ourselves for the day at 8:45 and then we completed the duties. When we were finished, Bill and Hannah told us about England and where they‘re from. After that we spent time with our language group and prepared our theater play. At 11:30 we played baseball and had so much fun. For lunch we had a Buddha Bowl made by Hanna‘s language group. At 3:00 pm we got in our groups and either baked, did an art project or wrote a song.
For the rest of the afternoon, we were in our language groups again and played baseball.
Before dinner, we had our evening circle and repeated the wise sayings from the days before. At 8:15 we watched the fantasy movie „Narnia“ together. We got to bed at 10:30 pm.
Fiona Fahrig, class 9/2
Thursday: Flags and Feasts
Today we woke up at 7:30 am to music like the days before. We got ready for morning circle which started at 8:00 am. First we held hands like always and listened to the sound of the nature. Afterwards we got to hear the wise saying of the day: “Even the smallest pebble can make a ripple in the ocean”. I interpreted that as “No matter how small you are, you can still make a change in the world”. After we interpreted and translated it, we repeated the wise sayings of the days before.
Five minutes later, we were washing our hands for breakfast. To get the food we had to answer different questions. For breakfast we had porridge, which was very tasty.
Then we had a break and started hiking at 11:00 am. For the hiking trip each one of us got a lunch package with two bread rolls and an apple. We hiked through the forest that was next to the farm for about an hour and then stopped for the lunch break. Afterwards, we hiked for about another hour and a half, until we got to a spot where the counselors announced that we would play capture the flag.
Capture the flag is pretty easy: There are two teams (red and blue in our case). Each team had ribbons they had to stick into their pants, but the most of the ribbon had to hang out. There was a road that divided the forest into two parts, so each team had their own part of the forest. Every team got a flag they had to hide in that part. If the other team would find that flag and bring it to the road without being caught (=without getting their ribbon stolen), they would win. If someone’s ribbon would get stolen, they would have to go to the other team’s prison, where they could be freed if a teammate would give them a high five. We played two rounds and each team won once.
Afterwards, we went back to the farm, which was just a few minutes away, and had a two-hour break until 6:00 pm. At 6:00 pm, we needed to go outside for the evening circle, where we repeated every wise saying once again. Afterwards, we had feast for dinner. It was delicious.
Then we needed to get ready for our theater plays we had prepared in our small language groups the days before. My group was first. It was about an explorer, who was also an Influencer, who wanted to find a solution for the unhappy British people. In that search, he found paradise which was full of happy people because they had a special tea that made them happy. The explorer stole that recipe and opened a tea shop in Britain with it. The British people were very happy afterwards but the people on paradise island got unhappy because the explorer stole their recipe and made millions of pounds off it.
After the theater plays were over, we went out to the campfire where we sang the songs we had learned before. At the end, we even got marshmallows. We put the cooked marshmallows on top of chocolate on a biscuit so it would melt and on top of the marshmallow another biscuit. This is called “S’mores” and it was super tasty. After that, everyone had time to get ready for bed and we slept like babies.
Lina Majuntke, class 9/1
On Friday, we woke up with Aaron´s wake up music. After all of us got up and ready, we went outside to the morning circle. There we first listened to the sound of nature and then got the wise saying of today „Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.“ and then repeated the sayings of the other days.
After ten minutes, the morning circle ended and we went to the bathroom and washed our hands for breakfast. After we all sat down, the counsellors started with the last meal presentation and it was very funny. The food of today was muesli - not my favorite, but you can eat it. When all of us had finished their meal, all language groups got tasks. The task of my group was to find some wood in the forest for the evening’s campfire. After we did this, we packed our luggage for the bus trip home.
Then we said good bye to all of the counselors, got some insta or Spotify names of them and went to the bus. First all of us thought it will be a quiet bus trip, but we played music, sang and took crazy photos with friends. When the bus was in Wettin, all of us said goodbye and went home.
Tim Rösner, class 10/3