The Junior Youth Group is a dance and cultural group for children between 9 to 14 years of age. The group’s primary objective is to educate our children on, and promote an appreciation for, the cultural heritage of our Germanic and Danubeswabian (folk-German) ancestors. Formerly known as the Middle Group, it was founded in the 1980’s by the prompting of then ladies Auxiliary Honorary President, Mrs. Maria Rickert. Under the energetic and knowledgeable leadership of Mrs. Barbara Tonhaeuser, the original Middle Group Dancers grew to become one of the most entertaining and successful young performing groups at the GFS.
Today, our primary activity is still dancing, but the kids also learn traditional folk songs and poems for Christmas and Mother's Day. At the weekly meetings, our members learn about their heritage and culture, and practice lively German and Austrian folk dancers based on waltz and polka music. They also get a healthy dose of exercise, build self-confidence, and develop a sense of rhythm and balance. Along the way, the kids have fun and make many new friends.
The Jr. Youth Group primarily performs at GFS club functions, including the “Europeanfest/Bierfest" (typically held on the last weekend in June), the “Oktoberfest" (held on the weekend after Labor Day), the German-American Day commemoration dance, and the Mother’s Day and “Weihnacht” (Christmas) programs. We also entertain at nursing homes and other area “Oktoberfests” by request.
During Oktoberfest and Europeanfest/Bierfest, the Jr Youth Group dancers have fun running a carnival style games and glitter tattoo booth, and during Lent, the group hosts several Friday fish fries with the other GFS dance groups.
The Jr. Youth Group plans several parties and outings each year for fun. Recent destinations include: Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio Caverns, Munroe Falls Park, COSI, and KSU ice arena. The Jr. Youth Group typically meets on Sunday evenings from 5 to 6pm at the German Family Society, and anyone with an interest in joining is welcome to visit during that time. For more information you can contact the present group leaders, Carolyn Langenfeld and Lisa Blaser.
(Children must be 9 years old by Jan 1st to be in Jr Youth Group.)
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