2012 Journey to Germany Underway

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Published on June 13 2012 4:45 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

31 students from four area high schools, including some recent graduates, are in Germany as part of the 2012 Kelheim Exchange.

The exchange was the brainchild of Ralph Ruppel of Evansville, Indiana, who had friends in Kelheim, Germany who wanted to experience America.  Ruppel came up with the exchange program with Effingham County due to this area's German heritage.

The exchange is an annual experience, but one year students will travel to Effingham County from Germany and the next year students from our area will head to Kelheim.

Students participating include Morgan Bergbower, Erica Earnest, Amanda Fugate, Draver Houser, Britton Quick, Nichole Schackmann, and Chazz Woodard of Newton; Chelsea Bingham, Shannon Daugherty, Travis Fulk, Madisson Haake, Jessica Miller, Jaclyn Mueller, and Brittany Worman of Effingham; David Bushue, Melissa Davis, Levi Lidy, Katilyn Meinhart, Hanna Moffitt, Candace Niemerg, Katherine Stephansen, Neil Thoele, and Brandon Westjohn of Dieterich; and Michael Goldstein, Jesse Haarmann, Faith Hook, Lauren Horn, Jonathan Spraul, Morgan Thompson, Anna Utz, and Joshua Wall of St. Anthony.  There are four chaperones this year: Kipp Johnson of Dieterich, Erica Sotelo of Newton, Kenneth Thies of St. Anthony, and Shae Westendorf of Effingham.

The group left Monday and arrived in Munich, Germany Tuesday morning.  Wednesday involved a trip to the Alps and to Salzburg, Austria.  It's back to Munich Thursday along with a stop at the Dachau Concentration Camp.  Time will be spent in Kelheim on Friday, Saturday and Sunday although a soccer match between Germany and Denmark is scheduled Sunday.  The next week will involve a trip to Nuremberg, Weltenburg Monastery, and a two-day trip to a medieval market.  After a visit to an Audi museum and a farewell dinner, the group will head for home on June 27.