Friday, June 12, 2009

Norwegian Camp, Day 2

Camp Trollfjorden equals a half-day (last night), two full days, and a half-day (we'll be done before noon on Sunday). Here's the daily schedule for today and tomorrow:

  • 7:00 A.M. -- rise and shine (someone walks from one end of the resort to the other ringing a cow bell--is that what passes for a Norwegian alarm clock?!)

  • 7:30 A.M. -- health walk (led by the camp's sykepleier ["nurse"] along a walking trail decorated with trolls carved from wood and attached to various trees along the way--we are encouraged to be alert in order to find all 11 trolls)

  • 8:00 A.M. -- flag raising (of the Norwegian flag while we all sing Ja, Vi Elsker Dette Landet ["Yes, We Love This Country"], the Norwegian national anthem--I recommend your listening to this beautiful version)

  • 8:15 A.M. -- frokost ["breakfast"] and announcements for the day

  • 9:00 A.M. -- språk klassen ["language class"]

  • 10:00 A.M. -- Norsk håndverk ["Norwegian crafts"]

  • 12:00 P.M. -- middag og synge ["dinner and singing"]

  • 1:30 P.M. -- språk klassen

  • 2:30 P.M. -- Norsk håndverk

  • 4:00 P.M. -- butikk ["store"] (for us to buy camp T-shirts, imported Norwegian candy, and other souvenirs)

  • 4:30 P.M. -- ulike aktiviteter ["various activities"]

  • 6:00 P.M. -- kveldsmat

  • 7:30 P.M. -- kvelden program ["evening program"]

  • 10:30 P.M. -- stillhet ["quiet"]
Going for a walk along a wooded trail that peeks out over the lake in the early morning on a day with serenely beautiful weather would be pleasant enough, but it was added fun to be on the lookout for trolls along the path! Here are some highlights:

One of 11!

Don't you just want to crawl into the photograph and follow that trail?!

There's Lake Metigoshe partially hidden by the trees. Beautiful.

Because I'm all about the food, here's the menu from today's frukost: egg ["eggs"] (covered in individual warmers knit to look like chickens--and served in eggs cups), yoghurt ["yogurt"], frukt ["fruit"], brød og smør ["bread and butter"], bringebær syltetøy ["raspberry jam"], knekkebrød ["hardtack"], kjeks ["crackers"], Jarlsberg ost ["Jarlsberg cheese," similar to Swiss in flavor], brunost/gjetost ["brown cheese"/"goat cheese"--remember?], sardin ["canned sardines"], sursild ["pickled herring"], melk, kaffe, and saft ["juice"].

And here's the menu from today's middag: brennende kjærlighet ["burning love," basically a ring sausage cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces, and stirred into mashed potatoes], leftover lapskaus, salat, brød, flatbrød, lefse, melk, kaffe, lemonade, hardkokte egg ["hard-boiled eggs" from this morning, some sliced to eat as is, and some made into egg salad and served on dark bread--the egg salad had horseradish in it, which gave it a nice tang], cottage cheese ["cottage cheese"], sylteagurk ["pickles"], and gulrot kake ["carrot cake"] for dessert.

And my name was drawn for KP duty, so I burned my hands handling the directly-from-the-industrial-dishwasher plates and flatware. Good times.

And here's the menu from this evening's kveldsmat: kjøttkaker og brun saus ["meatballs and gravy"], potetmos ["mashed potatoes"], salat, erter og mais ["peas and corn"], boller, lefse, and iskrem ["ice cream"] for dessert.

As if that weren't enough food, in the afternoon they served kjeks og ost in the spisestua while we shopped in the butikk nearby. (We bought camp T-shirts for the girls and CDs of the Norwegian songs from last night's folk dancing.) Is it any wonder that they offered a second health walk after supper?! That was followed by a bonfire near the lake where the kids made s'mores (and served them to the adults) while we all sang Norsk sanger ["Norwegian songs"]--many of them with actions to go along with each verse, which the children really "got into"! We have the lyrics to about 20 songs; so when we get home, just stop by and we'll teach you a song or two!

The språk klassen is very low-key. It's taught by a woman we knew from our previous church (remember?) . . . who talked throughout today about needing to speak Norwegian to us the next time she sees us in church. It soon became apparent that she didn't realize that we moved away almost three years ago! She's doing a fine job teaching a large class of mixed ages: from the youngest kids to youthful adults (such as Hilde and I) to grandparent-aged folks. Perhaps not surprisingly, the little kids are picking up on vocabulary and pronunciations far more quickly than their grandparents are. Susan and I, who have studied foreign languagues, are maybe too cerebral about it all; we would like to know more about grammar rules, whereas the teacher is keeping it simple: how to count to 20, the days of the week and the months of the year, parts of the body, common foods, parts of the house, how to tell time, how to greet one another, etc. That's probably for the best. Some of the senior citizens seated near Hilde and me look like their heads are going to explode as it is; imagine if we were to start discussing conjugating verbs!

I also enjoyed the Norsk håndverk sessions at which I learned karveskurd--or at which I taught myself karveskurd. We are chip carving square pieces of basswood which, when finished, we will stain, drill a hole into, and insert the workings for a clock. The instructor is an elderly man who showed us some of his work as well as a model for our project. He then handed out the wood and karveskurd knives, gave us each pencils, laid out one compass and one protractor on the table, and made himself scarce. The seven of us in the class looked at each other and realized that we were pretty much on our own. We had to use the compass and protractor to create the design on our pieces of wood, mark the portions to remove, and then figure out how to hold the knife at the proper angle and depth while chip carving. We helped each other through it and laughed a lot along the way. There are four total sessions reserved for our crafts, but I finished my project this afternoon, and the instructor applied a coat of stain. So, what will I do during tomorrow's Norsk håndverk sessions?

Sonja og Kaia had a good time during their Norsk håndverk classes; they are painting birdhouses and napkin rings and creating watercolor paintings. Hilde og Signe are now addicted to strikke. Ever since this morning's Norsk håndverk session, every time that I see them, they are furiously knitting, making excellent progress on the wool wintertime headbands that is their project. Hilde used to do counted cross stitch projects quite a bit, and Signe has done a little bit of embroidery; but this is their first time knitting, and they're liking it. A lot.

During ulike aktiviteter, Signe og Sonja joined Hilde for a cooking class, and Kaia joined me for a yam carving class. Yep, we each got a yam and a paring knife, and we carved trolls out of the vegetables. We'll take them home, and in about a month, they'll be completed dried out and hard. As they dry, they will shrivel and curve, accentuating the lines that we carved into them and adding "character" to the trolls' faces. We saw some samples of dried-out yam carvings, and they really do look like intricate wood carvings, the product of an artisan's expert hands--even though they're quick and easy to make!

Anyhoo, after the bonfire, we gathered for the lowering of the flag and went inside for more folk dancing. I was too pooped to dance, so I enjoyed reading a collection of Viking-related books set up in a nook at the resort. Here and there throughout the building, camp organizers have left books on Norwegian topics: Vikings, trolls, touring Norway, learning the Norwegian language, etc. At one of those areas, there are also several CDs of Norwegian music to which Hilde and I listened while relaxing before heading to bed.

P.S. Let's hope for no nighttime adventures tonight with the children. Last night, Kaia "felt queasy," so she hiked it from her second-story bedroom at one end of the resort down to the room of the sykepleier, who walked her down to the room where Hilde was sleeping. Kaia ended up spending the night in Mommy's bed, meaning that Hilde did not get a good's night sleep (on the bottom bunk with a plastic mattress in a sleeping bag with a little girl lying/breathing on her all night).

P.P.S. Happy birthday today to my sister Cathy!


  1. For the "various activities" portion of the day, Signe & I watched the camp director make a delicious dessert -- individual serving slices of jelly roll, smeared with homemade raspberry jam and topped with real whipped cream and sliced fresh fruit. She said it is what all of her grandchildren request for birthday cake -- yummy!

  2. This sounds so interesting....better than taking any class in school any day! (ahem, no offense!)