Mix and Match Information Bits in English

Muuttolinnut is firmly expanding outside solely Finnish speaking world. We have several children in the troop who speak something other than Finnish as their fist language and even more families who are multilingual in some way. Migrating birds migrate! True to our name, Muuttolinnut is happy to gather all sorts of travellers under our wing. We are very willing to be the linguistic training ground for newcomers learning Finnish. We also try to accommodate the not-yet-Finnish-speaking by occasionally opening things up in English. We are still a fairly small group of scouts and all our activity is based on unpaid volunteer work, as is the custom in scouts in Finland in general.

Sort of FAQ

Here I’ve gathered a few somewhat mismatched list of the things about our summer camp Byggis that might need explaining, if you’re not too familiar with scouting in Finland. Take this as a sort of frequently asked questions if you will. 😀

Camp Theme and Name Byggis

Our theme is camp building. The camp name Byggis comes from Swedish verb to build, ”bygga”.  We are going to teach everyone the basic camp building rope knots and build some campsite stuff. This requires a lot of adult supervision and guidance and most of all repetition. By the end of the camp everybody will know the basic building knots and roping and trusses (?). Maybe even I the writer will learn some of this vocabulary in English while we’re at this. 😀

Byggis Camp Dates

We have different length camps, smaller kids stay from Friday to Monday 14th – 17th June. For the young sudenpennut (cub scouts) this is most likely their first camp and possibly the first time they stay several nights away from home without family members. Exciting times! Older kids and some adult leaders with them stay until the next Wednesday, so older scouts get to spend 2 more nights in the camp.

What leaders and adults do

Before camp we have several occasions for gathering gear for the camp. We went collecting some building material with a bunch of leaders and family members. We cut down small trees (mostly birch) and took them to the camp site. The campsite is a city owned property and is used around the year for camping occasions – there are no trees to cut down there for building material and therefore we are bringing it from elsewhere.

We also fetched some planks from one leader’s grandparents’ summer cottage storage. Thanks for the donation!

The few days before camp some of the leaders drive around doing food shopping, checking camping gear at the troop’s storage space, updating the first aid pack,  acquiring maps, building instruction printouts… There is no organisation outside our own troop and it’s leaders to manage things for us. Taking care of logistics is what adults do in scouts.

Safety on Camp and in General

There could be a serious full length novel under this topic, but basics are: We have first aid trained people on board, we give guidance to children with tools, fire and such and all membership paying scouts are insured by our Finnish umbrella organisation Suomen Partiolaiset. Also non-member visitors who have signed up to the camp are insured, see below.

Social safety: we have turva-aikuinen (”safe adult”) in the troop and on the camp, who is especially tuned to dissolving any disputes and listening if anyone feels they are not treated fairly. All adults are dedicated to making scouts and this camp safe for everyone attending.

On the background in our organisation there is also an ongoing safety check system being onboarded by Suomen Partiolaiset, where adults volunteering long term with children are required to submit a police record report or to do leading in adult pairs.

All Scouts in Finland are also dedicated to no drugs or alcohol at scout events.

Scout Membership and Insurance

One can ”try out” or visit scouts at an event or two and the scout insurance covers them. After that we ask them to join as members and pay the yearly member subscription. Fees in 2019 are 63,50 € / year / person. Families with more than one member get discount on the second member living in the same household ( 53,50 €/ year).

Camp Costs and Troop’s Economy

We are equal between all participants, so on this camp and events in general we are charging all participants a fee. Fee goes towards funding the food, travel and renting the campsite. Participation fees barely cover the food alone, on summer camps we spend our troop’s money as well. On this camp kids and adults who participate the short camp pay 35 €, longer camp is 55 €. Adults and leaders who help build and or take apart the camp get a 5 € discount from  the full camp price.

We apply for an annual grant from the city of Espoo to cover activity costs and to get supplies and gear for the troop. Our Christmas time advent calendar sales are an essential part of our troops economy.

I want to know more!

If you are interested in scouts in Finland in general, check the national page of Finnish Scouts. If you read this and want to know more about our troop Muuttolinnut, feel free to contact me on WhatsApp! – Troop leader Elle

Britti ja partioturisti suomalaisella partioretkellä

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
manufacturer 😆

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

HyvisPahis trip participants basking in the daylight and glory

HyvisPahis crowd