Giants of the Earth Heritage Center in Spring Grove established a Fine and Folk Art School in 2010.

In 2012, it expanded to include Norwegian Ridge Language Camp (NRLC) - an opportunity for students of all ages to have a high-quality experience of learning Norwegian in an immersion atmosphere classroom, as well as in sports activities and traditional folk arts instruction.

The 2013 theme is "Join Us on a Journey to Norway."

For their inaugural year last year, 57 students came from Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Ohio for one week and learned traditional arts such as crocheting, rosemaling, folk dancing and folk songs, kolrosing, rune writing, hardangersøm, candle dipping and knot tying.

Campers departed the Immigrant Hall of the Ballard House after one week last year, leaving their impression on NRLC's collective heart, eager to return in 2013!

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.

The program will again be offering traditional arts experiences according to registration choices. Students will hear storytellers tell Norse stories, and they will learn Norwegian mythology. 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, students will choose and bring photos and pictures of words they want to know in Norwegian and those will go into their dictionaries as well.

NRLC has relied upon many local, national and international resources to create a great program that instills curiosity, awareness and understanding of history.

From June 17-21 (Session II), NRLC will host the 8-year-old through adult campers. This session will be divided into two age groups: 8-12 year olds and 13 and older.

For more information on sponsorships, contact Karen B. Gray, camp co-ordinator at (507) 450-1373.