Children's Polish-Immersion Summer Camp

Polish National Alliance (PNA) Council 21, led by President Jim Mislak, offered a children's Polish language summer camp here at it's large, multi-functional building from June 20 to July 8, 2005. Attending the pilot program were 9 boys and girls ranging in age from 2 to 6 , most of whom had at least one Polish speaking parent at home. The focused cultural program was conceived, planned and implemented by PNA Polish language teacher Beata Moskala-Gallaher, assisted daily by Beata Szymonik and Andrzej Carnaggio.

Children and their teacher playing the Polish language play "Szewczyk Dratewka" (Dratewka the Cobbler)

The extensive Polish-immersion program (no English spoken) was very carefully designed to teach the children the Polish language and culture of Poland while they were having fun and enjoying themselves. The daily schedule (4.5 hours long) consisted of various learning and physical activities, such as very basic language and writing exercises, listening to Polish stories and amusing poetry, learning Polish songs and games, and much more. The children proved to be very enthusiastic participants and students, soaking-up and appreciating every new experience.

A delighted audience witnessed the program's crowning glory- the presentation of the fairy tale play "Szewczyk Dratewka" (Dratewka the Cobbler), performed in Polish, of course, in which each child had a role. The children, as part of their daily activities, rehearsed their lines and prepared all the scenery and their own costumes. In the happy ending of both the play and camp program, the young, itinerant cobbler wins the heart and hand of a beautiful girl whom he managed to free from the spell of an evil witch. Who could ask for anything more?

For more information about the PNA program and curriculum, please contact Beata Moskala-Gallaher by telephone at: 410-732-1100, Extension 6, or by e-mail: General information about Council 21 is available at it's website:

Baltimore, Md., July 8, 2005
text and photographs by Richard P. Poremski, contact the author by e-mail
This article was published originally in Polish American Journal, Buffalo, NY.

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