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Language camp starts soon, register today!

Thu, May 29th, 2014
Posted in All Education

Norwegian Ridge Language Camp began in 2012 as an opportunity for students of all ages to have a high quality experience of learning Norwegian language, culture and traditions, as well as participate in sports activities and traditional folk arts instruction. The 2014 theme is “Here and Back Again – Celebrating the Bicentenary of Norway’s Constitution.” Session One is June 9-13 and Session Two is June 16-20 in Spring Grove, Minn. The first week is for students 4-7, and the second is for all age 8 and older.

Upon registration each student is sent an authentic looking Norwegian passport. When they arrive at NRLC, they check their bags with a host family, have their passport stamped, and begin the process of exposure to the language.

We will be offering traditional arts experiences again according to registration choices. Students will hear storytellers tell Norse stories and they will learn Norwegian mythology, and there will be opportunities for role-playing favorite myths. They will also create their own Norwegian dictionaries expanding them daily as they learn words and phrases. In preparation for coming to camp they will choose and bring photos and pictures of words they want to know in Norwegian, and those will go into their dictionaries as well.

Daily Classroom Instructors


Kathrine hails from Kongsberg Norway, where she lived until emigration from Norway in 1994. While studying through an exchange program, Kathrine fell in love with a Norwegian American farmer and quickly decided to settle down in “little Norway,” Spring Grove. After graduating with an Art Degree from Winona State University, Kathrine started her own business as a graphic designer and photographer. She has taught Norwegian language classes around the Norwegian Ridge area and is the Lead Instructor at Norwegian Ridge Language Camp. Kathrine keeps busy with married life on her husband’s 150 year-old farmstead with three children aged 15, 13, and 10. She also keeps NRLC’s students spoiled daily with her freshly baked bread!


Originally from Caledonia, Rachel has been on a theoretical journey to Norway since she was born! Having parents who both volunteered as Youth For Understanding coordinators kept a Scandinavian brother or sister in her life annually. As a high school student given the solo option of studying Spanish, Rachel decided to instead attend Skogfjorden’s intensive summer credit program. She fell in love, and returned a second year for the remaining portion of her high school foreign language credits. An operatically trained classical singer, Rachel keeps up her relationships with elder foreign siblings and utilizes their knowledge frequently as she performs and teaches music as a career at her home studio. If paired with Rachel in class, you will learn a lot about Norwegian language and culture through song and story, and can help her carry out a personal goal of 2014: successful performance of the “weaving” dance!


We are especially pleased to offer an advanced language option this year. Frida is a Norwegian citizen from Drammen who was an exchange student this past year in Spring Grove. She will teach advanced language classes to those who are ready for that option.


Although she grew up not far from Spring Grove, Cherise and her family have lived in Norway for 20 years. She is an educator now working on her PhD.

Specialty Instructors

KARI TAURING is a Nordic Roots scholar and performance artist blending the ancient, immigrant, and modern with Nordic song, dance and storytelling. She was awarded a Legacy and Heritage grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2011 to create and implement curriculum combining rune postures, old Norse myths, and Immigrant Era dances. With a Master of Arts in teaching and over 20 years of experience, Kari’s classes reach all levels of understanding and all learning styles!

BETTY DOWE began taking classes in Rosemaling in 1978 with Ruth Green, through a continuing education class in Decorah Iowa. In 1980, she began teaching classes and continued to explore the different styles and patterns, while taking advantage of Rosemaling classes at the Vesterheim Museum. Mrs. Dowe quickly rose to Editor of the Vesterheim Rosemaling Letter and for eight years met and studied with many Master Rosemalers. Editor of “Rosemalers’ Recipes” Cookbook, member of The Society of Decorative Painters and Florida Suncoast Decorative Artists Chapter, and a member of Sons of Norway for over 15 years, Mrs. Dowe is excited to share her time and talents with our campers!

Support Staff and Volunteers

Brit Eddy from Åfjord Norway, current Norwegian affairs; Dean Johnson, stargazing; Dr. Jim Gray; “ Gå på tur” (with trees and other flora identified by their Norwegian names) Betty Dowe, rosemaling strokes; Sharon Wiste, goat cheese making; Karen and Kjersti Fried, knitting club; Amanda Wiste, Hardanger Embroidery; Lee Grippen, Trolls, Nisse, Ygdrasil, and Norsk mythology; Howard Burtness, Vikings; Jane Bjerke, sports activities.

Their bios and photos are on our web site: www.norwegianridge.org

The technological aspect of NRLC is blessed by the fact that Spring Grove Communications and the Spring Grove Public Schools have partnered with us to make an iPad available to every student in camp.

Instilling a curiosity, awareness, and understanding of the history of their forbears is just as important as what happens now and in the future for NRLC participants. By exposing them to Norwegian language, culture, tradition, and current life via technology and hands-on learning, NRLC helps to ensure that campers become global-minded citizens who are more eager to travel to Norway, participate in the living history of their communities and families, and shape the future while passing along and respecting important cultural ties.

Two new immigrant traditions made their way into this year’s curriculum: weaving and felting. Dr. Gray designed and built 15 cricket looms for students to use. In addition camp purchased 15 peg looms for weaving. Students will also learn how to make a small felt container.

In addition to our web site, NRLC also has its own FB page (www.facebook.com/pages/NorwegianRidgeLanguageCamp/407618335996261?fref=ts), and also is linked through the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center website.

Students from a distance can be connected with a host family in Spring Grove for their week of language camp. Please indicate that option when registering.

In summation NRLC is a strong backbone for the Norwegian Ridge area’s cultural scene, eager to share its immigrant history and eager for a future of furthered Norwegian exchange. NRLC is a viable, sustainable entity that continues to provide high quality programming. Presently NRLC is seeking students who wish to enroll in this fantastic 2014 Summer Language Camp. The website norwegianridge.org has a registration blank and the option of registering online. Additional information is available by calling 507.450.1373.

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