7 ways to get involved in Deutschland

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

While there are hundreds of ways to get involved in the German community, here are a few clubs and organized activities to consider:

1. Quilting

The Black Forest Quilt Guild provides a place for Stuttgart residents of all nationalities to socialize, quilt, and share their expertise with a needle and thread. Beginners are welcome providing an easy way for newcomers, and current experienced quilters in the Stuttgart military community to connect.

The guild meets on the fourth Friday of every month. Meetings include guest speakers, refreshments, “show and tell” and raffles. Guild members also visit quilting shows throughout Europe and go on retreats. Contact the club directly for the location.

For more information, visit www.blackforestquilters.com.

2. Public speaking

Studies show that the one thing people fear the most is public speaking.

For the rare breed who enjoys it — or for those who need to improve their oratory skills — the Stuttgart International Toastmasters Club may be the perfect venue.

The Toastmaster process aims to take the fear out of public speaking,

The club has about 40 members who meet every other week to practice for two hours. Meetings are conducted  in English. Members prepare and deliver speeches in front of the club, and receive almost-immediate feedback on how they can improve their presentation skills.

For more information, visit www.toastmasters-stuttgart.com.

3. ‘Happy Wanderer’

The Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club offers its members fresh air, fitness and friendship through walking events all over Europe.

The membership of the oldest continuously-operating German-American wandering club includes approximately 40 Germans and 60 Americans, according to club officials.

Members can participate in five, 10 and 20 kilometer walks all year long, if they desire.

The Stuttgart German-American Wandering Club meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Gaststätte Schwarzbach in Vaihingen.

For more information, visit the website at www.sgawc.org.

4. History, culture

Club 1948 Stuttgart allows Germans and Americans to meet and share their culture, history, language and customs. The club hosts a cultural outing each month.

Upcoming events include the Stuttgarter Volksfest and the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival. Dinners, wine tastings and visits to local points of interest are also on the calendar.

While the official language of the club is English, Reed said occasionally on an outing, a guide may speak only German, but someone in the club will serve as a translator. “We usually try to set up German and English tours so everyone can understand and participate.”

Annual dues are €60. Reed recommends interested parties attend a few outings before joining. “See if you like it, then join,” she said.

For more information, visit the German American Club 1948 Stuttgart website at www.gac1948.de.

5. Sports for youth and adults

Athletes will find German sports clubs offer just about every sport imaginable, including American football and baseball. To find out what sport clubs are available in your area, visit your city’s home page and search for “Vereine,” then “sport.”

6. Philanthropy

The German American Women’s Club of Stuttgart promotes friendship and cultural understanding with a mixture of Germans, Americans and international women making up their membership roster.

Through GAWC, women can become involved in special interest groups such as fitness, language, literature and culture. They can also be a part of the Stuttgart military community’s largest fundraiser, the Pfennig Bazaar, a giant flea market held each year in October. Funds benefit German and American community groups that can apply for grants at the beginning of each year.

A side benefit to belonging to a club is making connections with local Stuttgart women who are happy to explain how to use the train system or where to go for a good meal.

For more information visit www.gawc-stuttgart.org.

7. Social, cultural

If you are looking for a group that enjoys a wide variety of social and cultural activities, such as concerts, museums, cycling trips and potluck dinners, check out the Metropolitan Club Stuttgart.

The club, part of the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum/James F. Byrnes Institute, has members of all nationalities.

English is the official language, however, other languages are available to learn within the group.

Members don’t just show up for meetings, they help plan or co-sponsor them. In addition to the activities, the club holds a monthly meeting in downtown Stuttgart.

For more information, visit www.metclub.de.