The Alberta, Canada based language arts and culture camp celebrates its 40th birthday
The Alberta-based Trollhaugen Language Arts and Culture Camp will be celebrating its fortieth anniversary this upcoming August. Since 1973, the Norwegian culture camp has been promoting and preserving Norwegian heritage through history, crafts, traditional skills and culture classes.
Over the years, the camp has grown from 35 campers to over 150 participants annually. Camping accommodations have varied throughout the years and classes have evolved for each generation. However the original vision of founders has remained for four decades.
Norwegian youth in Alberta experience a wide variety of activities in a summer camp setting. Norsk language is taught in both classroom and choir styles. Traditional folk dancing is a popular class among children and adults alike. There is also an abundance of opportunity to learn artisan crafts such as rosemaling, chip carving and Hardangersøm embroidery. And finally, campers enjoy the scenic outdoors that surround the facility through sports, nature study and Nordic walking. There are over a dozen classes offered at Trollhaugen camp for adults and children alike. Furthermore, instructors enjoy the chance to pass on the same skills they learned from their own parents and grandparents.
The emphasis has been and continues to be on the family experience. Relatives are grouped at tables in order to eat together, “Family Time” is held for an hour each day and there is a Family Dance that traditionally occurs on the Friday night. Family and friends who do not attend camp are invited to the Saturday afternoon wind-up. There, arts and crafts are displayed, awards are allocated and dancers and choirs do a finale performance.
The multigenerational camp is entirely run on the work of volunteers as both operators and as instructors. A countless number of individuals have created a monument to the Norwegian community. In the past and going forward, this non-profit organization relies on this time proven formula for success: an emphasis on tradition, with an eye for relevance and a personal touch. The fortieth anniversary event is an opportunity to pause, reflect and look to the future.
In true Albertan fashion, an empire was created from the ground up to fill a need for Norwegians in Canada. Campers develop lifelong relationships with like-minded individuals. Each year is a celebration of culture and identity unlike anything else offered in our diverse nation.
This year’s week long camp will be held from August 12th-17th, 2013 at Deer Valley Meadows. The landmark celebration will include an exhibition of fjord horses, a viking feast and a keynote banquet event on Saturday. Forms are currently available on the Trollhaugen website: trollhaugenalberta.ca/
Hope to see you there!
This article originally appeared in the April 26, 2013 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.