Kiljava leirikeskus Scout Trip April 2019
My son Nathan was super excited to have me come along on this trip with him and to be honest so was I! We met at his mother’s apartment both with backpacks full of the necessary equipment. We were to be staying in cabins so we didn’t need a tent but still we had some plates and knives and forks, clothes, towels, the usual basic necessities. It was time to head off to the meeting point in Matinkylä so off we walked with Nathan’s mother and our youngest son Leon. When we arrived I helped load the coach with some items. Being a have a go hero I carried a massive tent bag and bravely I staggered to the bus, fingers about to burst from the effort, tired beyond imagination, I hadn’t even got on the coach and I was starting to feel tired!
The bus was loaded so off we went… families stood by the road and waved goodbye to
their children as together we went to embark on the experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.
I sat next to Helinä (one of the scout leaders) or more accurately I was sitting down and she sat next to me. Anyway, we had a great chat as north we headed to our destination.
It didn’t take too long before it was clear we were entering Kiljava leirikeskus. The coach
went down a slight hill on the gravel track, through the trees and the lake came into view. It was magnificent it expanded far into the distance, lined by thick forest, a truly amazing sight.
Then came the camp buildings and my surprise that they were quite modern. “How hard
can this be?” I thought. Little did I know what was to come!
The coach was unloaded and the group were split up into two smaller groups. I helped my son sort out his bedding and then met the other adults on the trip. It was then that I met Heli Hekkala or who I would come to call “The boss”… for it was I who would be helping her in the kitchen, which I was more than happy to do!
To cut a long story short the following day the children made some play ‘swords’ that
resembled the battens used in the gladiators TV show… Sticks with padding tapped to the ends. It transpired that I must have made about 20 of them… I am sure the kids were supposed to make their own but having helped my son a long queue of children formed behind him so… what could I do, so I did my best and became a children’s toy
Later we went for a kind of treasure hunt in the forest behind the cabins. We had a map and we had to find 8 questions written on white pieces of paper that were hung on various trees in various locations on the map. I was in charge of the group that my son was in and I think there were about 6 other children. Anyway off we went so I decided it would be best to entertain the team with my Disney songs and jokes about “Karhu” running through the forest.
I soon thought that scaring the children was not a good idea so focused more on the silly voices and Disney songs… eventually we finished the course and headed back to the cabins.
The rest is a bit of a blur but I ended the day sleeping early and waking up far too early. It was the day to leave so it was breakfast and some games before the coach was due to take us all back to Matinkylä… The weather I recall was amazing and I look forward to the next time when I promise I will make more notes!
written by Stu Moore