DSFoundationUSA - 2018_Christmasletter1
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The Danube Swabian Foundation of the U.S.A., Inc.
Die Donauschwaebische Stiftung der USA, Inc

The Stiftung has helped sponsor the Jugendfreundschaftslagers for the past ten years. We are pleased to
share with you the report of the Annniversary year Lager in St. Louis. The St. Louis group hosted the
first Lager in 2008 and how fitting that ten years later, they again hosted our youth from across the continent
for an event not many will soon forget.

Jugendfreundschaftslager 2008-2018 - 10th Anniversary

This year’s Jugendfreundschaftslager was hosted in St Louis by the German Culture Society.  The goal of the
Jugendfreundschaftslager has always been to promote friendship and a better understanding of the Donauschwaben
heritage and traditions in an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie.  So, with that thought in mind, Christmas trees
were trimmed … lights & stockings were hung in the pavilion with care in hopes that the Christkindl soon would
be there!  There was no better time or place than ‘Weihnachten im Sommer” at a Jugendlager to share some
Donauschwaben Christmas traditions and history with our youth.  Thursday – Arrival & Welcome.  The Jugend-
freundschaftslager began after 2:00 when the Donauschwaben clubs from Chicago Aid, Chicago Donau, Cincinnati,
Cleveland, Detroit, Kitchener, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and St Louis mixed & mingled after arriving. Camp was
set up and ice breaker games were played. Dinner consisted of St Louis’ Bavarian Sliders (pretzel bun, bratwurst,
swiss/cheese & spicy mustard), potato salad and chips.  Wrist bands of 4 different colors were given out, one
color per person for whatever group they would belong to for the weekend. Each of the four groups were made up of
a few Jugend of each city to help promote new friendships. There was music entertainment and games in the
Friday - ‘Meet Me in St Louis’ tour day. Leaving at 8:30am, 93 of us (all wearing our red  
‘Weihnachten im Sommer” t-shirts) loaded up two coach buses that took us downtown to tour the Gateway
Arch. The Arch is 630 feet tall; making it the tallest man-made monument in the United States; 630 feet is also the
distance from leg to leg at ground level. We took tram rides up to the top, looking out the windows on a clear day the
view at the top can cover up to thirty miles in either direction. Lunch took us to the German Culture Society hall for a
‘Taste of St Louis’ – an all original St Louis cuisine - Imo’s pizza (St Louis’ original thin crust pizza), toasted ravioli,
Rich & Charlie’s Salad and a desert of ‘Gooey Butter’ cookies. After lunch we headed to another St Louis icon
the City Museum. The museum is for young and old, a playground & funhouse made out of unique found objects
such as old chimneys, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, miles of tile, and even two abandoned planes coming
all within St Louis’s municipal borders. After hours of fun the buses headed back to Donau Park where dinner also
hosted a few more St Louis originals: BBQ pork steaks and Ted Drewes’ frozen custard for desert. Many cooled
off on the slip ‘n slide (a Jugendlager tradition) after dinner and the rest of the evening was a mix of music, fun &
Saturday - Tag der Donauschwaben. The entire day was oriented towards learning Christmas culture and history.  
Each color group was assigned to one of 4 stations, which rotated throughout the day.  
1. The pavilion hosted dancing and everyone was taught a new friendship dance that was choreographed by
the St Louis Jugendgruppe.
2. The kitchen- every group that came in had their hands in making dinner for the evening. With recipes in   
handthey made…Chicken Paprikash  & Knödel. They chopped & browned onions, cut up chicken,   
added spices, stirred the Paprikash to perfection. Then the Knödel were made; measuring ingredients,
mixing the dough, dropping spoonsful of dough into boiling water, watching the Knödel as they rose to
the top, checking to make sure they were no longer doughy.
3. Our indoor lodge also hosted each group and they were shown how our ancestors made original Stroh-
sterne Christmas ornaments. Strohsterne once decked many Donauschwaben Weihnachtsbäume,     
along with Szaloncukor (salone-zucker) and candles.  Each Jugend made a Strohstern (straw star)    
ornament and hung it on the our Weihnachtsbaum.
4. The most loved station by all of the Jugend was our ‘Einmalige Wettlauf’ or Amazing Race (Donau-   
schwaben style). Again, with Weihnachten in mind our Amazing Race had passports, route info,    
road blocks, detours and speed bumps. The obstacle course was decorated with wrapped presents;
the vocabulary session blasted Donauschwaben words with a Vocab Scramble to get the next clue;
the coloring session had blind-folded Jugend coloring the Donauschwaben Wappen (coat of arms)  
and the German Food Taste Test was determined by a game of pong in empty beer steins!            
Winners of each race received various St Louis memorabilia . Lunch was served in the pavilion      
with Weihnachtsplätzchen (Christmas cookies), made by our Oma’s, as a desert.  Various stories   
were told about all of our Oma’s & Opa’s childhood Christmas memories. Many of them remem-  
bering similar things; Christmas church services and das Christkind, special meals such as ham      
baked in bread dough, Weihnachtsplätzchen, gifts of oranges and nuts, singing Weihnachtslieder    
beim Weihnachtsbaum etc.   
Christkindchen Zart                                             Dear sweet, tender Christkindchen,
Ich hab schon lang auf dich gewart'.                           I have waited a long time for you.
Sollst mir Äpfel und Nϋβe beschehren                           Please gift me apples and nuts
Und mich lehren Vater und Mutter Ehren.         And teach me to honor my father and mother.

We followed some of those traditions, singing German Christmas songs together with the accompaniment of Joey
Wendl’s accordion…in 97-degree heat of the summer:).  And yes, das Christkind and Knecht Ruprecht did make an
appearance bringing oranges and chocolate for everyone. They singled out many of the Jugend whom they knew had
not been so good all year. Each was brought to the front of the pavilion and their wrongs recited to everyone. Knecht
Ruprecht set them straight with threats of taking the switch to them if they didn’t change their ways! Low and behold
even our Jugendleiterin from Cincinnati was scolded for her ‘Zähneputzen’ ��...but was then rewarded with a gift
of a camping gnome in remembrance for attending every Jugendfreundschaftslager since it began in 2008!   
The afternoon continued by finishing our group rounds of each activity and then in lieu of the terrible hot weather
everyone went to a nearby pool to swim for a few hours. Dinner was ready when everyone returned and the
Chicken Paprikash and Knödel made by the Jugend, along with Gurkensalat and other various salads was
served to all who attended. The evening began with all of the Jugend dancing the new friendship dance that
they had learned and music from “Die Spitzbuam” band played afterwards for dancing & music entertainment.
The finale of our ‘Tag der Donauschwaben’ ended with a fireworks display enjoyed by everyone.
Sunday after breakfast, we broke down camp and said our ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to  new and old friends
with hopes of seeing each other the next Labor Day weekend.  It’s been exciting to see the great leaps and
bounds that the Jugendfreundschaftslager has made since it first started in St Louis in 2008.  Many thanks to the
support of the Stiftung, and to the Landesverband clubs for making this one of the best events for our Jugend.
Happy 10th Anniversary Jugendfreundschaftslager and Frohe Weihnachten!
Rosemarie Ficken, St. Louis

The Stiftung Officers and Directors are pleased to announce the results of the Pfennigkrieg fundraising competition
which was announced in Kitchener, Ontario during the annual Treffen.  The total amount pledged was $7531.69.
The Deutscher Kulturverein of St. Louis was the winner of the Ulmerschachtel trophy with their winning donation
of $2401.00. Cincinnati was a close second with $1613.00. We thank all the member clubs who participated in this
great fundraiser! With such great response, our President Ed Tullius has announced that we WILL continue this
fundraiser again this year and look forward to the Ulmerschachtel trophy being presented again at the Treffen on
Labor Day weekend 2019.

      Please send donations to :  DANUBE SWABIAN FOUNDATION, USA
             c/o William Kolbow, Treasurer     14678 Willamette Ave. , Chino, Ca. 91710                
Donations are fully tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.

  Frohe Weihnachten und ein Glückliches Neues Jahr
von uns allen in der Donauschwäbischen Stiftung.

Eddie Tullius,  Stiftungspräsident, USA
Please give an annual donation to your Danube Swabian Foundation USA, Inc.
  Frohe Weihnachten!           Merry Christmas!
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