BELLVILLE — Combining one of summer’s most sought-after activities, camping, with what is for many young people one of its least, learning; the Ohio Foreign Language Association Camp gives campers a taste of the outdoors, with a healthy dose of education as well. The camp, set at the Templed Hills Campground in Bellville, features three foreign language camps each week, and runs through Saturday.
This is the 14th year of camp OFLA , explained camp director and co-founder Lori Winney. The National Language Association began a campaign in 2005 called “Discover Language,” and the Ohio association decided to do something different with it, she said. OFLA created a youth camp, for students in third-grade through eighth-grade, to discover and integrate foreign languages and cultures into their lives.
“The mission of OFLA is to provide language opportunities from early on,” Winney said. “And it’s so extremely important for kids to get an early start, when they’re eager, when they learn quickly and continue that on.”
With many elementary schools and junior high schools in Ohio without foreign language programs, or offering limited language choices, Winney said, this camp provides an opportunity to expand horizons for kids and to get them thinking about foreign languages they might like to study in high school.