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Norway’s largest outdoor event for children

Norway, 30th Jun 2018
Author: Bjørnstad Bjørn Helge, Forestry Extension Institute, Norway

F or pupils and teachers who enjoy outdoor activities, June is probably the favourite time of the year. In addition to explore Spring and Summer in their nearby forests, they are invited to join the event Forest and Freshwater. This is an event for children at the age five to twelve years old, were they may explore and enjoy the forests and freshwaters.

The event Forest and Freshwater takes place in the outdoor surroundings of The Norwegian Forest Museum. The museum is situated by Norway’s longest river, Glomma, so in addition to beautiful forests, the museum has access to both rivers and lakes. In these settings, children from kindergarten and throughout primary school, may join a wide range of activities: Fish for trout in a small lake, row in the river, make willow flute, make tar, make their own bow and arrow, learn safety rules on air guns and shoot, build a plank hut, make coloured garments from plant extracts, catch and identify benthic species, whittle, learn how to prepare food in Stone Age ovens, and lots more.

Being at the end of the school year, the event doesn’t have a strong focus on school curriculum. The focus is rather on presenting to the coming generations all the possibilities and joys of outdoor life. Usually the teacher does not guide the pupils around. Instead, the children are free to explore the area on their own, and to discover the activities themselves. Certainly, this does not mean that there will be no learning! It only means that the pupils themselves may choose which activity they want to join, and thereby learn something about.

All the activities have a guide, so there are no questions about safety or quality. Several organisations cooperate to make this annual event possible. Each year approximately 2000 kindergarten and school children participate, thereby making it Norway’s largest event on outdoor life for children.

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