From arrival to departure, efforts are made to immerse the youngsters in a “little Denmark.” Upon arrival, campers go through Danish “customs”, and things that are specifically American are “confiscated,” such as books, magazines, English audiotapes, chewing gum, etc. American dollars are exchanged for Danish “kroner” and can be spent in the Danish “butik.” Upon departure, campers go through U.S. “customs” again to “go back” to the U.S.A.
The campers participate in activities with themes that pertain to Danish history, people, culture, and traditions. They have three lessons of Danish a day, in which they learn elementary vocabulary and useful phrases. Through crafts campers can learn about Danish history or architecture, or traditions connected with certain holidays like Christmas or “Fastelavn” (the celebration before Lent). Time is set aside for singing and Danish folk dancing. A native Danish cook helps ensure that the food is made as Danish as possible.
Several of the counselors are Danish speaking and some are professional teachers. Some were born in Denmark and moved to the US later in their lives.
The Himmelbjerget experience provides young people with the opportunity to acquire an appreciation of Danish language and culture as well as leadership skills that can be used for the benefit of the Danish American community and the preservation of Danish culture in the US.