2019 Featured Volunteers!

October 24, 2019

Marc Smith

Marc Smith

You’ve heard the expression Behind Every Great Man Is A Great Woman?  It’s dated and sexist, right?

But how about this one?  Behind Every Great Clair Nelson Center Staffperson Is A Great Partner.  A partner that “volunteers” their time to help with the Booya dishes, runs the kids’ booth at St Urho’s, helps with bingo, prepares the meal for a special event, fixes the heater, the ice machine and the…..  You get the idea!

Gary Olson

Gary Olson

This year’s Volunteer Thank you goes out to our staffpeople’s partners for the hours you have all put in helping us make the Clair Nelson Center the community jewel it is.

Jeffrey Mitchell Jr

Jeffrey Mitchell Jr

Thank you many times over to Marc Smith (Amy Gardner), Gary Olson (Nancy Anselment-Olson), Jeffrey Mitchell (Honor Schauland), Pamela Melby (Kaare Melby) and Kurt Mead (Betsey Mead).

We appreciate you! And so does our community!


Kurt Mead


Pamela Melby

Camp Finland 2019 Was a Huge Success!

August 15, 2019

This year, we put on the biggest and best Camp Finland we have ever had from June 17th through 21st! We hosted 29 kids ages 5-11 for the Day Camp and 23 teens ages 12-19 for the Teen Camp, so 52 youth total! This was the most elaborate Camp we have ever put on.

Camp 2019

Happy Campers, June 2019

Teen Camp was the biggest new addition, and the biggest logistical challenge, since the teens stayed overnight onsite all week, which required more meals, more oversight, more transportation, and a lot more planning. Day Camp of course was bigger and better in its own way as well!

As always, we had a great roster of Directors, Counselors, Counselors-In-Training, kitchen helpers, class instructors and volunteers, because we couldn’t do it without all of their help. We put a lot of work into it and really enjoyed our week with all of the amazing young people who attended.

Please donate to support this amazing program! Checks can be mailed to Friends of the Finland Community (with Camp Finland or Youth Program in the memo), PO Box 582, Finland, MN 55603, or donate online here: https://www.givemn.org/organization/Friends-Of-The-Finland-Community

Donations are tax-deductible.


Spanish Camp at the Clair Nelson Center

July 31, 2019

Due to unexpected staffing issues, we have made the hard decision to cancel Spanish Camp this year. We will plan to do it next summer. 

Friends of Finland is excited to announce our second ever Spanish Camp, which will be held at the Clair Nelson Center in mid-August of 2019. Spanish Camp is being planned as a day camp for children ages 5-13, with an emphasis on language, cultures and food in the many Spanish-speaking countries around the world. Spanish Camp will be Aug 12th, 13th and 14th. This year the camp will be focused on exploring the migrations of animals and people across the world. We will have assistance from local folks with firsthand experience in many Spanish speaking countries.

The food especially is going to be really fun. Many of the foods we take for granted, like corn and potatoes, and things like tacos have their origins in the indigenous cultures of the (now) Spanish-speaking countries of North and South America. Food is also a great starting point for learning a new vocabulary when it comes to learning a language like Spanish.

There will also be fun games and music, as well as cultural stories and legends from the various Spanish-speaking countries. Wednesday the 14th will wrap up with a skit performance from 2-3pm that is open to the public. Please come have a snack and hear what the group has learned from the 3-day experience.

Anyone interested in participating in Spanish Camp should fill out a Spanish Camp Finland 2019 Registration form and contact Honor Schauland at 218-353-0300 in order to sign up! Please sign up ASAP as there is limited space available. Cost for the camp is $25 per child, but there are hardship scholarships available.

Download the Spanish Camp Finland 2019 registration form here.

This new addition to our programming has been made possible by a grant from the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation’s Global Awareness Fund and North Shore Age to Age.


Teen Camp Finland is Almost Here!

June 12, 2019

June 11, 2019

Dear TEEN Camp Finland Parents/Guardians and TEENS,

Teen Camp Finland is almost here!  We’re so glad your teen(s) can attend!  The following is important information regarding Teen Camp:


  • 1 Large Backpack
  • 1 Smaller Daypack

All Items must fit into these two bags:

  • 1 Sleeping bag and/or blankets
  • 1 Air mattress or closed cell pad
  • 1 pair of real hiking boots
  • 1 pair of shoes that can be worn in water ie: crocs, old tennis shoes etc.
  • 5 pairs of socks and undies
  • 1 Sun hat and sunscreen
  • 1 Working flashlight and/or headlamp  with extra batteries
  • Weather appropriate outdoor clothing – Think mosquitoes and getting dirty
  • 1 pillow
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 1 towel
  • 1 water bottle with child’s name on it;
  • Toothbrush and paste
  • Mosquito repellent

Optional but recommended:

  • Musical instruments for playing around the campfire will be kept dry and safe.
  • Any personal toiletries. Non-toxic Dr.  Bronner’s soap will be provided.

All food will be provided – No food or snacks from home please. We have a day camper w/ a severe peanut and shellfish allergy.

Also please leave your phones at home. If parents need to contact teens at camp they can call us at anytime @ 218-220-7215.

MONDAY, June 17th:   First day of camp! Camp starts at 8:30 am sharp. Parents/Guardians must drop teens off. Look for signs on the road in front of the community center – teens are to be dropped off with all of their gear in the parking lot on the far side of the ball field.

FRIDAY, June 21st:  Last day of camp. Family Members are invited to an ICE CREAM SOCIAL @ 3:00 to 4pm. Pick up for your teens will be after the social (4:15 pm), again, in the parking lot on the far side of the ball field.

For more info or questions before or during TEEN Camp call Andrew Norcross anytime @ (218) 220-7215 or the Clair Nelson Community Center @ (218) 353-0300

Teen Camp Counselors: Andrew Norcross, Kelsie Carlson, Honor Schauland and Margaret Sager

Guest Day Counselors: Steven George, Kurt Mead and Kaare Melby

Finland Community Youth Program Director:  Amy Gardner (218)353-7536

Camp Finland is Almost Here!

June 7, 2019

June 4, 2019

Dear Camp Finland Parents/Guardians,

Camp Finland will be here before we know it!    We’re so glad your child(ren) can attend!

Following is important information regarding camp:  

Light breakfast and hearty lunch provided every day, as well as dinner and snacks for the overnight.

What to Bring every day:  backpack with a water bottle;  sandals or flip flops and closed-toe shoes;  weather-appropriate outdoor clothing;; sun hat; sunscreen; change of clothing. NOTE:  We will provide insect repellant and be responsible for helping children put it on.   IMPORTANT!  One of our campers has a severe peanut and shellfish allergy!  PLEASE, NO SNACKS FROM HOME!  We will have plenty of snacks on hand.

MONDAY, June 17th:   First day of camp!  Our Camp day starts at 9 am and ends at 4 pm.

Arrowhead Transit Bus will be picking up Silver Bay kids at 8:30 am Mary MacDonald Center, Dilly Dally Door.   The bus will be stopping at the intersection of Hwy 61 and MN 1 (by Whispering Pines Motel) at 8:40 and Finland Co-op at 8:55 am for Finland Kids who want to ride the bus.

On the way home the bus will drop kids at Finland Co-op at 4:05 pm, Whispering Pines at 4:15 pm,  and Mary Mac at 4:30 pm.  ** Please note these times are approximate.

TUESDAY, June 18th:  same bus schedule

WEDNESDAY, June 19th:   same bus schedule

THURSDAY, June 20th  Field Trip to Flathorn Lake, Isabella AND   Overnight Camp-out at Clair Nelson Center!!!   Kids will have the same morning pick-up but there will be no afternoon bus service.   Spending the night is optional. What to Bring for  Field Trip and Overnight: same as every day plus: Swimsuit and towel, WARM sleeping bag and/or blankets; Air mattress or closed cell pad; pillow; toiletries. NOTE: We will be providing headlamps for kids to use and, once again, we will provide insect repellant.  Kids who aren’t spending the night need to be picked up no later than 9 pm and brought back to the center 9 am the following morning.

FRIDAY, June 21st: No am bus service.  Same pm bus service.   Family Members are invited to Talent Show/Award Ceremony 3:00 to 4 pm.  Children may take the bus home or go home with a family member(s) after the program.  

Looking forward to a fun and rewarding Camp Finland 2019!

Camp Finland Director/Coordinators:  Amy Gardner 218-353-7536    and Cindy Hanson   Clair Nelson Community Center     218-353-0300

Lead Counselors: Kenny Albrecht and Rebecca Larson.

Counselors-In-Training:  Alexa Harrison, MacKenzie Krech, Marlee Lehtinen, and Madison Sundvick

Special Needs Counselor:  Katherine Nelson