German Club offers immersive opportunities for students


Published with permission from Craig Kohl

Students from West High School stand by the German Christmas tree at the Christmas trees around the world exhibit at the Science and Industry Museum in Chicago.

Tyler Newman, Reporter

German Club at West High offers opportunities to explore the world of German culture and heritage while allowing students to partake in a variety of activities such as studying language, throwing cultural parties and playing board games. The club meets every Monday in Room 209 and is run entirely by a student elected office of qualified leaders.

One notable trip that the students go on is to the Science and Industry Museum and the Christkindlmarket in Chicago. In the past, students have also been to the Mercury Theater in Chicago to see “The Christmas Schooner, a play about a Great Lakes schooner, a type of sailing vessel with two or more masts, whose captain risks his life in order to transport fir trees from Michigan to german immigrants in Chicago.

Although this was his fifteenth time attending this type of field trip, German teacher Craig Kohl continues to thoroughly enjoy his day-long tour with his students.  

“My favorite part at the museum is always the submarine and the Stuka dive bomber [because] the history behind it and getting to see the real thing,” Kohl said. “When you read about those types of things in history, you have a better idea in your head about what things are like.”  

A few of the German board games that students play are games like Rate-Garten. Player one will pull a random card with a depiction on it, such as an animal, building, or a character. The rival players then try to guess on the playing-board what is on their card. Another game is called Deutschlandreise and Europareise. The playing styles of the two games are similar, however one takes place in Germany and the other in Europe. The goal of these board games is to try to be the first to tour all around Germany or Europe. Manufactured in Ravensburger, Germany, these games depict an example of true German culture.  

The initiation of German Club arrived in the 2017-2018 school year. Sophomore Rene Casad is the standing president and has plans for future activities as the school year progresses.

“I think it would be cool if we checked out some German restaurants in the area, or go to the German Cultural Society downtown, mainly exploring German culture in Davenport,” Casad said. “We usually have some parties throughout the year. Last year we did one for Mardi Gras.”

Sophomore Orion Gardner would like to see more amusing and exciting activities in the future for German Club.

“My favorite part about German Club has been the trips so far. It’s nice to hang out with a bunch of people,” Gardner said. “We get to organize a bunch of events. I hope to see more fun and exciting things.”