The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth is welcoming 22 Russian visitors from its sister college for its 18th annual summer language camp.
The Russians are staying on campus through July 29 for the three-week camp, which is sponsored by St. Scholastica and its sister college in Petrozavodsk, Russia, the Karelian State Pedagogical University (KSPU). Petrozavodsk is Duluth's sister city in Russia. The camp, begun in 1990, features Russian students of English visiting Duluth and American students of Russian going to Petrozavodsk in alternating summers. Since its inception, about 500 students and faculty have participated in the program.
This year's group includes college students and faculty, and two sponsors. Six St. Scholastica faculty members are teaching this year's camp on the theme "What Does It Mean to be an American?"
Tom Morgan of the St. Scholastica faculty created the exchange program. Morgan teaches Russian at St. Scholastica and directs the College's Center for the Study of Peace and Justice. This year's group is led by Vadim Pavlov who is a professor of English at KSPU. Pavlov has visited the College five times including a semester as a visiting scholar. Accompanying the group this year are Russian businessman Vladislav Gaaze and his wife, Ella. The two were part of the 1991 summer program in Duluth and later married. They are helping to finance the trip.
The visitors will spend their mornings in courses that include Political and Social Issues, Native American Culture, Popular American Culture, American Literature and Language, and American Visual Arts. Afternoons, evenings and weekends will feature Duluth events and tours plus outdoor activities including a softball game at St. Scholastica (July 11), a day "Up North" at a cabin near Walker, MN (July 14), a tour of the Duluth Federal Prison (July 17), and a "Graffiti Graveyard" tour in downtown Duluth (July 24). The visitors will also spend the weekend of July 20-22 in the Twin Cities visiting the Capitol, Metrodome and Valleyfair.