Viking Village Youth Camp - 2008
On Sunday, June 22, 2008, Midsummer was celebrated at Vasa Park, located in the beautiful hills above Agoura Canyon, California. Music, dancing, singing, good food, swimming, and the raising of the Maypole, the presentation of the Midsummer Court and dancers was enjoyed by all. This was also the gathering day for the youngster from District Lodge Pacific Southwest No. 15 for the much awaited beginning of the week long “Viking Village Camp”. This event is an annual event sponsored by the Vasa Park Association of Southern California.
Following the Midsummer celebration, families and campers met to get acquainted and for a Swedish meatball dinner. Following dinner, the children said farewell to their parents and settled in their tents for the week long camp. The Swedish portion of the camp was under the direction of Ann Heinstedt of Nordic Heritage Lodge, with assistance from Gary and Gunlog Spaberg, Rolf and Terri Jahn, Dorothy “Linnea” Burns, Laurie Taylor, Helene Kayem, Petra Anderson, Kristoffer and Hanna Dios, Maria Soderholm, Mattias Gunnarsson and Jonas Fornander. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all the parents that helped make this such a wonderful event.
During the day, the children participated in Camp Keystone’s day programs which include zip line rides, go-carts, paddle boats, rock climbing, horseback riding, waterslide/swimming, archery, fishing, working the new obstacle course and carnival type rides. In the late afternoon and evening, the children were exposed to the Swedish language, folk dancing, singing, crafts and other traditional activities.
Breakfast and dinner was prepared and served under the direction of Gary and Gunlog Spaberg and lunch was provided by Camp Keystone.
A special evening of Swedish of folk dancing and singing was followed by delicious Swedish Pancakes and waffles with all the trimmings by the pool that was truly enjoyed by the children and parent chaperons. The ever popular waterslide and swimming pool was opened each evening for our children.
During the last evening, the children were excited the have the choice of either riding horses in the hills above Vasa Park or the thrill of racing go-carts or doing both. The week concluded with a pizza party for the children and their families. There were lots of hugs and goodbyes, phone numbers and email addresses exchanged and all the children look forward to the opportunity to participate again next year.
The opportunity provided by the Vasa Park Association members has allowed the children to spend a week at Vasa Park, enjoy all the wonderful activities provided by Camp Keystone, learn Swedish traditions and continue to foster the relationships vital for the survival of the Vasa Order of America in Southern California. The Viking Village Camp will return again next year and everyone looks forward to renewing friendships and starting new ones.
Written by Ann Heinstedt and Thomas Jahn