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