The German Family Society’s Youth Group consists of teenagers and young adults ranging from 13 to 25 years of age that are interested in promoting their ethnic heritage by learning and performing traditional folk dances and songs. Meetings are typically held on Sunday evenings, and include time for socializing amongst friends as well as rehearsing for future performances presented at our clubhouse and at numerous other events throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
Some of our most beloved performances include “A Night in Vienna” (an annual dance held every January in our ballroom) with an elegant show of Strauss waltzes and Mozart minuets. We also perform at many other events such as at our own “Old European Days” festival, the “Kirchweihfest” (a traditional festival celebrated for over hundreds of years together with churches in many small towns of Europe inhabited by Danubeswabians – Folk Germans), and of-course at the famous “Oktoberfests”.
Each Labor Day weekend our youth group also travels to various cities throughout the U.S.A. and Canada for the National Danubeswabian “Trachtenfest” and “Tag der Donauschwaben” where youth groups from across the country have an opportunity to meet, make friends, and take pride in their German heritage by dancing for the festival. (Check out links to related German youth groups). Additionally, on every third year, the National Danubeswabian Organization sponsors a first-class and very elite folk-dance competition named after Dr. Awender, one of our founding fathers. Proudly, our own Akron GFS youth were the first dancers in over 25 years of very difficult competitions to win the coveted first place prize twice in a row, while also receiving the first “Cristine Burmeister - Most Congenial Group” award that very same year.
The authentic costumes such as the “Dirndls” and “Lederhosen” worn during many of our shows come directly from Europe and are very costly (as is traveling around the country and to Europe), so we often have fundraisers to help defray some of our expenses. Making and selling traditional homemade German sausage is by far our most successful fundraiser, and is another way that our young people have fun together while experiencing another piece of their culture and heritage. The Youth Group typically makes sausage twice a year. (Link to Sausage Information) Aside from rehearsing for performances, the GFS Youth Group also sponsors other social events such as camping trips, holiday parties, and field trips in order to promote friendships and family values. These have always been great ways to meet new people and make friends that last a lifetime! If you are interested in joining the Youth Group, feel free to contact our club leaders at any one of our events or by sending an inquiry through this website - ”Schüss!” (a friendly German way of saying…see you soon).