Going for long excursions into the woods is basically mandatory in Norwegian schools, and we all have a relationship to these trips. In my case it is bad, and I thus felt slightly guilty for taking the kids out to do everything I disliked when I was their age. However, taking them all into the woods was a great way for us to show the kids at the refugee centres a quintessential part of Norwegian culture and nature. In Norway (and the Nordic countries) we exercise Allemannsretten ( = “Freedom to Roam”), meaning that no uncultivated land is off-limits, and that “anyone has the right to hike across or camp on another’s land (e.g. in Sweden for one or two nights), boating on someone else’s waters, picking wildflowers, mushrooms and berries etc”. Personally I think it is a great rule, nobody should have the right to claim nature for oneself. However, with these great privileges also come responsibilities, such as to not harm or disturb the nature or wildlife. We wanted to teach the kids how we in can freely make use of the nature in Norway, but also that we have a responsibility to leave it the way we found it.

Carmen and Nora playing with the younger kids:

For lunch we fried eggs in home made frying pans made from sticks and aluminium foil! It was a lot of fun, however seeing that we are not allowed to light a proper fire during the summer months, the eggs took ages to cook, and the kids got really hungry…

Funny thing how I am actually enjoying walks in the woods now that I am older! However, it looked as if the kids really enjoyed it too – especially when they discovered blueberries that had come out early this year!

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