At Least…Seven Ways to Trick a Troll
The evening began with a slideshow and then a reading by Kari Vick from her and Lise Lunge-Larsen’s newly published book, Seven Ways to Trick a Troll. Kari is a renowned Troll Expert and helped the group with “getting our Troll Eyes on!” The slideshow showed photos of landscapes, moss, trees and rocks taken on a trip Kari made to Norway. Kari showed us how the photos evolved into her amazing illustrations in the book. Of course, the group also discussed how one DOES trick a troll! (Hints: Trolls don’t like sunlight, they can’t swim, and they POP if they get angry enough.)
THEN. . . . Lauri Olson-Hohman led a workshop on “How to Draw Trolls.” To the left are some drawings she made of the troll versions of herself (young and old). The group discussed how everyone has an “inner troll” – a part of yourself that is fearful and maybe a little mean or crabby. Participants were encouraged to try to illustrate what their inner trolls might look like – warts and all.
As you can imagine, the kids LOVED the evening’s activities. They paid utmost attention while Kari talked about how to spot trolls in the landscape, and then they went to work with gusto constructing their own trolls with Lauri. At the end of the evening, we created a display of trolls in the hallway of the Clair Nelson Center so that other community folks will get to see and enjoy the kids’ trolls. Stop out and see it if you have a chance!
There are many more fun photos of the evening here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/92oSBCOBsdip6Db82
Coming Soon: Laskiainen
Another exciting upcoming opportunity for our Youth Program kids and the whole community is that we will once again be making our outing to Palo, MN on February 3rd to the Laskiainen Finnish Sledding Festival! This community outing is sponsored by North Shore AGE to Age. 2 buses will be going, one from Finland and one from Silver Bay. All ages are welcome. Call 218-353-0300 to sign up!
Community Conversation 2018 was a little smaller crowd than some past years, but what a good conversation! The group was very engaged and floated some great ideas for project work in the next year.
- One group was interested in organizing a square dance.
- The group also discussed expanding the existing Sunday Painting Group to include any artists – just a creative work time where anyone could come and do art of some sort.
- Creating a Readers, Writers and Artists group was also an idea that was discussed.
- Another group proposed organizing a spring chore day to help older people in the community.
- Another group addressed outdoor beautification at the Clair Nelson Center, including sanding down and staining the concrete picnic tables and raising money for better outdoor lighting for the parking lot.
- The Housing group discussed the need for an official assessment of need which could help with procuring funding, and continuing to work with the County to identify possible locations.
- A community sauna project was discussed.
- The need for childcare and some research that has been done toward that end was discussed.
- A group with an interest in food and farming discussed a project to localize grain consumption in the local community.
- Another project discussed was a youth day camp for Finnish, Spanish and/or Ojibwe.
- Another group discussed recreation options at the Center and the possibility of acquiring a foosball table or a ping pong table.
These are all great ideas, and hopefully the discussion groups or others get together to work on these items. If you read this list and one of these projects strikes you as something you’d really enjoy working on or helping out with, please contact us using the form below and let us know. We can put you in contact with the group or committee of folks working that project. Thanks to everyone who participated! It’s looking like 2018 will be another great year!
By Honor Schauland
Right now it is easy for me to get stuck in negative thoughts and conflict. These are hard times, and more difficulty lies on the horizon. Seeing the fights and incivility online and at state, national and global levels, it feels as if our entire civilization is on the brink of sweeping changes – some good, some not so good.
Our isolated communities face many problems. Needed services are often far away. There is a lack of jobs, housing, and infrastructure. There is a lack of funding for everything. There are more leadership positions to fill than our sparse population allows, and our citizens often lack time or energy to participate. Our youth are at risk amid rising meth and opiate addiction. The cost of living rises steadily, as do land prices. We have healthcare issues for seniors trying to stay in their homes and community. In fact, there are healthcare issues of every sort, along with services and solutions that don’t always address the unique needs in our unique area.
It’s easy to feel downhearted since these issues are numerous and not so easy to resolve. Yet it also seems reasonable to distrust those who claim to have easy solutions. On a personal level, we have little or no control. But – on a community level – there is no question that, by working together, we can make headway on many of these issues. Getting the right people in the same room leads to amazing changes.
Here is what we are doing right and what more we can do.
The good news is: as a community, we are working on our issues – sometimes without even realizing it. One example that stands out is the Finland Community Youth Program. It is awesome and magical to watch kids growing up and learning to be leaders through their participation in Youth Night and the many other activities the Youth Program provides. Strengthening the Youth Program is about creating the future citizens our community needs. Youth development IS economic development. We want to build pathways to help young people return here, move here, or stay here.
Furthermore, Finland’s Youth Program is a good strategy to prevent our young folks from falling into drug and alcohol abuse. We’ve always known this, but perhaps we need to emphasize even more how crucial it is that we have the participation of every caring, functional citizen possible in order to overcome all the daunting problems listed earlier! If we’re going to build the better world that our hearts know is possible, we need all of us.
With that in mind, the Clair Nelson Center is putting out a call for adults, young and old, to lead evening activities on weeknights, like volleyball, basketball or even an open gym night for ages 15 and up. We have had strong, active leaders over the years, but things always change with time. More recently, these activities have not been happening consistently. We need a leader or a couple co-leaders to be the “buck-stops-here” people who will be in charge of opening up the building, monitoring activities, filling out a use sheet for the Community Center’s records, and making sure things are clean and closed up afterwards. Essentially, you would be helping us provide a safe and fun space available for the young people who really need it.
If you are interested in being part of this, please let us know. You would be meeting a huge need!
Another project in progress is expanding our summer day camp for school age kids, Camp Finland, to more than one week. We are also thinking about trying out a one or two day language and culture camp for both Finnish and Spanish. If you are interested in helping out with any of these activities, please contact us at 218-353-0300 or use the form below.
As always, your donations for these activities are so appreciated. Donate here. Thanks for all of your support!
The Finland Community Youth Program is invited to the Finland MN Historical Society’s Pikku Joulua (Finnish Christmas) on December 7th! Please send your child to Youth Night hungry as we’ll be going through the buffet line. Joulu Pukki (Finnish Santa) will be paying a visit! The musical group, “Fish Soup” will be performing. Kids are free to participate in the festivities as much as they’d like to. The gym will be open to them as well.
The Finland Community Youth Program is also invited to Finland Cooperative’s Christmas Party on Thursday, December 14th! Once again, send them hungry, as Co-op is providing dinner. American Santa will be paying a visit and Bonnie Warner will be leading a Christmas craft project to young and old alike. As usual, the gym will also be open.
After 3 years of service as Youth Program’s favorite Grandma, taxi service, and food and beverage provider, Sherry Anderson is taking a well-deserved break! We’ll still see her often as she’ll be bringing her grandkids to Youth Night (except on icy roads!) Thank you Sherry! You’re the Best!
We are pleased to welcome Sheryl Hoff as a new Youth Program employee. Sheryl loves kids and crafts, already has tons of grandkids herself and will be a fabulous addition to our program!
We’ve also bid good bye to Peer Supervisors Kenny Albrecht and Kyler Knaffla. They are pursuing full time jobs and schooling. We heartily thank them for 3 years of service to our area children.
Our former substitute Peer Supervisors Oliver Smith and Abram Lattin have been hired as our new Peer Supervisors. We’re fortunate to have them as they’re great with the kids! Sully Tikkanen and Emma Todd have stepped up to be our new subs. It is so rewarding to watch all of these young folks mature and grow as they go from participants in these programs to becoming our next generation of leaders.
More Fun Upcoming Events for Winter/Spring 2018
An exciting upcoming opportunity for our Youth Program kids and the whole community is that we will once again be making our outing to Palo, MN on February 3rd to the Laskiainen Finnish Sledding Festival! This community outing is sponsored by North Shore AGE to Age. at least 2 buses will be going and all ages are welcome. Call 218-353-0300 to sign up!
Similarly, AGE to Age will also be sponsoring an intergenerational outing to the Duluth Playhouse this coming spring. Look for more information on that event in late March.