Bemidji, Minnesota — The Concordia Language Village (CLV) Swedish program for adults offers a week packed with a variety of classes and activities that support language learning. The villages of Salolampi and Sjölunden, on Turtle River Lake near Bemidji, Minnesota, are used every autumn for both housing and programming. Teachers and learners come from around the country to create a community of learning for seven days. More images from the week at Sjölunden: Language camp for adults

Culture, morning gathering, raising and lowering the flag, and evening programs provide cultural structure to each day. There are language classes three times a day, and fika is an important part of the schedule, with gallons and gallons of Löfbergs Lilla coffee accompanied by rusks, cinnamon buns, and a variety of pastries put together during the baking class session. In addition, three delectible meals are offered, featuring culturally authentic menus.

Students are divided among five class groups according to Swedish language experience. This year, the range included novice to advanced experience, with some students having perfect attendance records for the past 15 years.

Daily free-choice activities incorporate the language in nature walks, weaving, baking, choir, crafts, language games, geography and even the bastu (sauna). Swedish films are available twice a day, and some people take advantage of the rural Minnesota location to enjoy star gazing and meteor showers.

There is always a final banquet on the night before departure. This year it was extra special because Elise Peters, dean of the year-round programs, celebrated her 25th year of service to the Concordia Language Swedish Village. Christine Schultze, vice president of Concordia Language Villages of Concordia College was in attendance to bestow the honors and the Evergreen Recognition Award.

At this significant quarter-century mark, CLV finds a unique way to appropriately acknowledge the individual and the work, and in this case Peters chose to have a scholarship fund established for adult learners in the Swedish program, the first scholarship of its kind for the mature population. An evergreen tree was also planted in her honor at the CLV headquarters and International Peace Site in Moorhead, plus Schultz announced that an anonymous donor gave Peters a trip to Sweden — containing some conditions: She must travel within the next 365 days, and she must blog and post photos on Facebook to show the places she goes. As a final gift, Peters was given a CLV jacket that she had noticed on another occasion, and had said, “That‘s what you can give me. That‘s what I‘d like.“

The banquet included language class group performances, presentations and skits. The group offered some toasts, sang songs and shared stories about Elise Peters. The evening came to a conclusion with everyone standing in a large circle, arms around each other, singing, “Hold my hand, my friend, hold my hand,“ in Swedish of course.

Next year‘s program includes the adult and family weekend on April 23-26, 2015, with the fall week-long adult program slated for October 18-24. For more information, visit