Sven showed up at camp in the middle of one of our Spring Break sessions. With a handshake, a hello and a tour, he was whisked right into camp life. Sven would ask, “Vhy do you do zat?”, in his German accent and, with no real answer as to why we paint campers like zombies before heated games of dodgeball , we’d brush it off, “Just… Because, Sven. Because we do.” I wish I could count the times he’s shaken his characteristically blonde German head and muttered “Americans” at our antics. We love bacon, we put cheese on everything, we eat chicken and waffles for dinner; “Americans.” We’d never really thought twice about the logistics of a Philly Cheese Steak but, apparently, they’re incredibly American as well. Oh, Sven. It’s going to be a great summer.
We’ve learned a lot from our new intern thus far, too. “Headis”, as some of you learned in a previous post, is all the rage in Germany these days. It’s ping-pong played with one’s head… Exactly. If nothing else it’s highly entertaining. Sven handed it to me in a game of regular ping-pong. “I’m not that good.” Please. Germans. He’s decent on rollerblades and, if I’m not mistaken, he’s worn the same flannel for over a week now. He’s getting really good at weeding stickers and his taste in music is as European as you’d imagine. We might not agree on the appropriate neckline of your average men’s tee shirt, but we do agree on beer.
World, meet Sven. Sven, meet World.
Angela Swain: Let’s start at the beginning. Where are you from?
Sven Westermann: Cologne, Germany. Cologne is cool.
How old are you? Where’d you go to school?
I’m 24. School? Uh, University? I studied … (momentary pause to Google English translation) Sport Outdoor Education and Movement.
Right. Moving on. I heard you and Lee did some exploring around Oregon this week. How was that?
We went to Pacific City. We surfed with the Academy kids.
Sounds fun, glad I got the invite. So, tell me more about Headis. How many hours a week do you play Headis?
In a good week probably 10 hours. When it’s nice we play Headis all night. I was in a tournament once. Head Clash 2011. I lost to an old man.
Just wait, we’re going to make Headis happen this summer. What made you want to do an internship at Windells?
I looked it up in the internet. I knew Mt. Hood had snow all of the days around so I decided I would. I have skied since I was three years old but only on vacation because the Alps are seven hours from Cologne.
What are you looking forward to this summer?
That the rain stops and that people show up. Activities and games and things.
What’s your advice for the rest of the interns this summer?
Prepare yourself. Bring your own tweezers for sticker picking because we only have one pair and they are mine.