Monday, June 26, 2006

Skogfjorden, 2006

(Text and photos by Ben)
This summer was my fourth time at Norwegian Camp - Skogfjorden. I was there for one week. This is one of the cabins the students stay in. I stayed in this one my first two years (it's called Oslo, after the capital of Norway) but this year I was in the cabin called Hamar, another city in Norway.

Each day, we got up at 7:30, (my bed is pictured below) then had half an hour before breakfast. During that time we would generally finish waking up, take showers, get dressed and do morning stuff. For breakfast, we had things like smorbrod (Norwegian open-faced sandwiches), or a rice & oat cereal (kind of like Rice Krispies and oat clusters, but with a brown sugar flavor), and on the final day we had 'horns' - a Norwegian pastry that looks like croissants, but are more dense. I didn't think they were very good.

After breakfast, we would go directly to Streng Grupper (string groups - we were divided by the color of the strings holding our name tags). Usually we would learn Norwegian words and play games to help enforce the learning.

Mid-morning, we would have 'mat pakke' -- a small packaged snack of fruit, sandwiches or granola bars. After that, we had 'Krets'. Everyone at the camp was divided into three groups, randomly. Each group would go off on their own and learn some aspect of Norwegian history and culture. We learned about immigrants TO Norway, and go to pretend to be people moving to Norway. I pretended to be a Swede, wanting to move to Norway to be a blacksmith or silversmith. Another Krets activity was kind of like a treasure hunt. We were supposed to find Norwegian artifacts. The shield pictured below was one of them. Another one was a horseshoe, but my friends and I discovered it wasn't real as it was engraved with the words "MADE IN MANHATTAN"!

Then we would have lunch, and after lunch we had another session of 'Streng Gruppe' to learn more Norwegian words and phrases. Then we had 45 minutes of free time. Usually I would buy a candy bar and can of Sprite and then go back to the cabin and draw, while snacking away!

Every day we also had time called 'Kosetime' which means "cozy time" but I wouldn't call Dodge Ball very cozy! It really was time to do fun things. The first kosetime you could do Dodge Ball, do a fun music thing, or do "girl stuff" like make jewelry. After lunch in the second kosetime the options were soccer (fotbal), chess (sjakk), or painting (rosmaling).

Dinner was a bigger meal. We had homemade bread sometimes, which I loved, and other days had knekkebrod (a rye cracker bread) that I do NOT like.

Every day we would sing songs in Norwegian at the time called 'Alle Sangen' -- the "everyone song" time. The last night we had a party with a dance. You didn't have to dance if you didn't want to. I found it more fun just to run and run and run around in the gym area.

Here is a picture of one of my favorite parts of Skogfjorden - the Stavkirken, or Stave Church, a replica of many churches in Norway. There are dragon heads on the church to scare off evil spirits. The last picture is some of the 'Gruppeledere' or group leaders. Some of them are from Norway and others are Americans who have studied Norwegian a lot. I'm hoping to be a 'Gruppeleder' when I am old enough.

1 comment:

Mark and Carla said...

hmmmm, Ben...do I remember your mom saying once that you didn't like to write? Great post! I can really tell you are not a newbie at camp--you know your Norwegian (at least your foods--and that's what's really important)!

I love the pic of the Stavkirken (Ok, I looked at the spelling before I clicked over to here, but now I'm blanking!)--how cool that they have that onsite there!

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