German Language Immersion in the Summer – German Summer Camps In California

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Summer Camp Crafts

Spring has just started and we are already talking summer! In fact now is the perfect time to think about a camp that your child will not only enjoy but that will help him/her strengthen his German language skills during summer!

Growing up in a multilingual family offers many advantages, but often it can also be challenging, especially in regards to the second language, the language that is not spoken as frequently. To help your child with this process experts recommend to find different ways to get him/her immersed into the non-dominant language as often as possible. This gives the child the opportunity to connect to that language and become more familiar with its usage as well as its particular culture.

In the case of many California Germans, this ‘second’ language is German. Once children are in school they speak English for most of the day. Back home again they might hear some German, and if lucky also speak some German with their mother or father.


Spend Summer in California Attending a German Immersion Camp

Many expat families plan on going back home to Germany, Austria or Switzerland during the summer months to visit family. This of course proves to be the perfect solution for giving your children a firsthand experience and immersion into the German language and culture. But that’s of course a perfect scenario.  What if work or other factors don’t allow for a European vacation?

Wouldn’t a German language camp in somewhat close vicinity to your home in California be a great alternative for your child to still benefit from speaking, hearing and learning German all day long for the duration of a fun summer camp?

That’s exactly what we thought and put together this compilation of German Language Immersion Summer Camps throughout California. We hope you find the perfect one for your child and would love to get your feedback on your experience.


German Immersion Summer Camps for Children in California.

Southern California offers camps in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Big Bear. Northern California has camps in Oakland, San Francisco, Menlo Park, Mountain View and Berkeley.

Summer Camp Outdoor Activity

Southern California:

Big Bear – 7 Days German Immersion Overnight Camp (offered through the German-American School Association of SoCal)

  • Dates: June 23-29, 2013
  • Minimum Age: 7 years
  • Activities: archery, swimming, rock climbing, nature hikes, baking & much more.
  • All activities are in German
  • Cost: $575.00
  • Location: Presbyterian Conference Center, Big Bear
  • Contact: Email for enrollment forms, [email protected]


Los Angeles – Spiel, Spass und Sommer-Aktivitäten” – (offered by Tivoli Rainbow Garden Preschool – Regenbogen Kindergarten)

  • Dates: July 1-31, 2013  (half-day 8:30am-1pm or full-day until 3pm optional)
  • Age Group: 2.5 – 5 years
  • Activities are in German & English
  • Cost: Call for info
  • Location: 4051 Tivoli Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066
  • Contact: [email protected] or phone (310)-301 9147
  • Website:


San Diego – (offered by Enrichment4Kids – 3 Sessions available )

  • Dates:  Session 1: July 29-Aug 2;  Session 2: Aug 5-9;  Session 3: Aug 19-23
  • Age Groups: Pre-K to Elementary Age
  • Activities: “Enrichment for the Head, Heart and Body”. Math & reading, both in German will be taught for the first 3 hours each day before activities like swimming, piano, field sports, tumbling, skateboarding, etc.
  • Cost: Call for info
  • Contact: [email protected]


Northern California:

Oakland – (Organized by BAKS plus – 2 Sessions available )

  • Dates:  Session 1: June 17-28; Session 2: July 1-12
  • Age Groups: 4-14 years
  • Activities: Session 1 – ”Wer waren die alten Germanen? – Who were the Germanic tribes?   Session 2  – “Klaus Stoertebeker & CO. – A Pirate’s Life for Me! “
  • The whole program is in German Immersion. Prior knowledge of German is advisable.
  • Hours: Sessions run from 9-1pm daily. Extended Care is available until 5pm
  • Cost: Session 1 – $400; Session 2 – $360 (Discounts available for siblings, Combination of session 1 & 2, and early bird sign ups )
  • Location: Archway Lower School, 250 41st Street, Oakland, CA 94611
  • Contact: [email protected]


Menlo Park – “Gedanken in den Wolken…Füsse im Matsch!” (organized by GASPA-German American School of Palo Alto)     One 4-week full immersion summer camp session

  • Dates:  June 24–July 19, 2013 (9am- 2pm Mo-Fri; extended time 2-6pm available)
  • Age Groups: 3-12 years ( no prior language knowledge required!)
  • Activities: music, art, cooking, crafts, sports games, dancing & much more
  • Cost: Early bird – $995 and Regular – $1095
  • Location: GAIS School Campus, 275 Elliot Drive, Menlo Park, CA 94303
  • Contact: [email protected];
  • Website:
  • Note: Earl Bird Tuition valid through March 31st & non-refundable $150 registration fee for all registrations per child!


GISSVGerman International School of Silicon Valley offers German Summer Camps in 3 different locations in NoCal: San Francisco, Berkeley & Mountain View

San Francisco – (Organized by GISSV – 4 one-week sessions available)

  • Dates: June 17–July 12th, 2013 (Four sessions)
  • Ages: 4.9 -7 years
  • Activities: Indoor & Outdoor Adventures. Per session children will discover one of the four elements, air, earth, fire & water.
  • Hours: 9am-4pm
  • Cost: $395/Full Day Session
  • Location: San Francisco Campus, 4 Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA94129
  • Contact: [email protected], phone: 650-254 0748

Berkeley – (Organized by GISSV – 5 one-week sessions available)

  • Dates: June 17–July 19th, 2013
  • Ages: 3-6 and 7-12
  • Activities: Explore the world with topics like Ocean, Circus, Space, and Fairy Tales from Around the World!
  • Hours: 9am-2pm
  • Cost: $247/Half Day Session
  • Location: Berkeley Campus, 1581 Le Roy Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708
  • Contact:  [email protected], phone: 650-254 0748,

Mountain View – (Organized by GISSV – 4 sessions available)

  • Dates: June 24-July 19, 2013
  • Ages: Ages 3-4, ages 5-14, and adult classes
  • Activities: Students will be exposed to German throughout the day. Music, Art, Art History, Soccer, Basketball and much more.
  • Hours: 9am–12pm/ Half day, Afternoon activities available from 12pm–4pm
  • Cost: $375 – $750
  • Location:  Mountain View Campus, 310 Easy Street, Mountain View, CA 94043
  • Contact:  [email protected], phone: 650-254 0748,
  • Website: or


Source: CaliforniaGermans
Photos by saritarobinson via flickr

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California Germans is a blog for Germans, Austrians, Swiss and everyone else who enjoys being part of the German speaking communities in all of California.