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Visiting Apeldoorn students help out at Dutch Summer Camp

Burlington children learn Oma’s language

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BURLINGTON, Ontario - Four young people from the central Dutch community of Apeldoorn, have found a summer job at Burlington’s Dutch Summer Camp. The annual summer holiday program which ended July 30 is part of the schedule of Halton’s Catholic District School Board. The board offers a range of similar heritage language-driven programs of which Dutch is the largest.

The Dutch Summer Camp, led by Libby Brolmann, targets children of Dutch Canadian families who do not master the language. The - very enthusiastic - Apeldoorn youths helped Duch Canadian teachers to playfully (re)introduce the children to their roots and (re)develop their language skills, in part by using modern children’s songs and games.

The four Apeldoorn youngsters stayed with Dutch Canadian guest families while in Ontario, which gave them the opportunity to enhance their English-language skills and get to know a part of Canada. The student exchange could be repeated next summer.

Burlington which could be described as the toe or centre forward of the (Golden) horseshoe around Lake Ontario, is a sprawling city between Toronto and Hamilton and home to a significant number of people who could claim Dutch ancestry. It is part of the Halton Region.

The Ontario city and Apeldoorn last Fall initialled an agreement which should lead to a Twin City relationship in the near future. The friendship ties were forged largely through the remembrances of the Canadian effort in the Liberation of the Netherlands, and the local participation of Canadian war veterans in recent Liberation festivities in and around Apeldoorn. A local band was instrumental in the earliest high school student exchanges.

A local group headed by clothier Jack Vander Laan has done much to cheer on this development.