Many children will be immersing themselves in the Norwegian language and traditions this summer as they attend the inaugural year of the Norwegian Ridge Language Camp.

This language camp is being launched by the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center in Spring Grove and is open to all children ages 4 to 15.

"A high-quality camp like this where the children are immersed in another language and culture helps them to expand their understanding of another culture as well as opens their minds to the larger world that they live in," explained Giant's president Karen Gray, one of the organizers of the camp.

The Norwegian Ridge Language Camp is Monday, June 18, through Friday, June 22. Children age 8 to 15 will attend from 9 a.m. to dusk and the younger group age 4 to 7 will attend from 9 a.m. to noon. Language immersion and activities are planned all day for the children attending.

The children will be learning conversational Norwegian. Each day they will also help prepare their lunch and dinner meals, learning about traditional Norwegian foods and recipes.

They will learn traditional crafts such as rosemaling, knot tying, rune writing, crocheting or knitting, goat-cheese making and hand-dipped candle making.

They will also learn traditional Norwegian folk dances and songs, as well as the Happy Birthday song in Norwegian.

At the end of each day, they will spend a little time writing in their journals, recording their activities and what they learned that day.

There will also be excursions to the Spring Grove Soda Pop Factory, the Trinity Lutheran cemetery where they can look for old family names, a star gazing visit, the Spring Grove SWIM Center, the Gå På Tur nature walk, and a Midsømmer bonfire, when the telling of Norwegian myths and folklore is sure to keep the children entertained.

"We are dedicated to the vision that this language camp will be fun for the children as well as a high-quality experience that will give them the basis to build on year after year," added Gray.

Instructors during the language camp include: Kathrine Myrah, who grew up in Norway, along with her children, Stine and Maria; Cherise Kristofferson, who grew up in the area, but is now living in Norway, and her children, Niclas and Saundra; Dave Susag from Lanesboro who is well-versed in Norwegian crafts and all things Norwegian; and Rachel Storlie who attended who attended Concordia language camps as a teen.

There will also be many volunteers helping to make the camp experience possible.

For children attending the language camp from outside of the area, there will be host families. The children will stay with and be part of the host families while they are in Spring Grove.

Ideally, the host families will also speak Norwegian so that the children can practice what they have learned each day.

There is a limit to 20 children in each age category, 4 to 7 years old, 8 to 11 years old and 12 to 15 years old. The youngest group attends only half-days, and the tuition is $100. The other two age groups are full days, and tuition is $200.

Registration forms are available on the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center's website at www.springgrovemnheritagecenter.org or by calling (507) 498-5070.

Adults interested in learning Norwegian so that they converse with their children that attend the camp, can attend the Beginning Norwegian classes on Sundays. Check the Heritage Center's website for dates and details.