Welcome to a Finnish scout camp! We wish to make this a memorable experience for you and are very excited to have international participants. We are certain that together we will create an unforgettable adventure for everyone involved. So enjoy, explore and wonder. You will leave the camp many experiences richer.
For visitors it may seem that Finland has many laws and regulations, even for things you never thought would need any. However, Finns are used to these and tend to both follow them and expect others to do so as well. We hope that you understand this and are happy to act according to any guidelines and regulations we have. This way we can ensure that the camp will run smoothly and comfortably. It is also possible that in some instances the laws of your country are stricter than ours, if so, feel free to follow your own regulations instead.
Camping in the woods
Finland has numerous forests and lakes and Finnish scout camps mainly take place in the woods. The Evo campsite has been used previously for large camps, which means that the site is equipped with shelters, stages, and electricity amongst other things. As we are camping in the nature, it is important to take everything you bring with you to the woods away with you as you leave.
The weather can change quite a lot during one week at our camps. In the summer at night the woods are usually rather cool (+5 to +15 degrees Celsius) but during the day temperatures may rise to hot (+25 to +35 degrees Celsius) or stay cold (around +10 degrees Celcius). There may also be heavy thunderstorms or rain showers, which means that you need to bring waterproof clothing, including shoes. It is therefore advisable to pack clothes for ALL KINDS OF WEATHER CONDITIONS you may encounter in Finland. It is impossible to walk in high heels in our camps. Raingear needs to include fully waterproof clothes and wellies, not disposable raincoats or ponchos.
In Finnish summers the sun does set, but the twilight is long and it only gets dark for a couple of hours. So, if you know you have trouble sleeping if it’s daylight outside, prepare with a blindfold, sleeping mask or something else that keep the light of the nights away from your eyes.
Adults and children
The Scouts and Guides of Finland have a rule that for each group of ten under 10-year-old children, there should be at least one adult (age 18+) present. According to Finnish regulations, children and adults —both male and female —are allowed to sleep in the same tent. It is also recommended that younger children share a tent with an adult to feel safe.
There are several water points at the campsite where you can fill your water bottle. The drinking water comes from wells at the campsite so in most of the places it is suitable to drink straight from the tap. Drinking straight from the tap is prohibited, so make sure you have your bottle or a cup with you at all times. The summer can be hot, so remember to drink enough during the day! Please note that the water used for the showers is not suitable for drinking. Avoid wasting water at all times and remember to close the tap after filling up your bottle.
Silence will take place between 23.00 (11 pm) and 7.00 (7 am) in the subcamps and camp units. Otherwise, rest of the camp is silent between 24.00 (12 am) and 6.00 (6 am). Within the camp unit, people who want to sleep have the right to do so, please be considerate, and remember the only thing separating you from the people in the tents is a layer or two of fabric with no soundproofing – they can hear you, even when you can’t see them.
Waiting in line
During the camp we will need to wait in line, hopefully not a lot, but unavoidably some. So if there is a line when you arrive, just take your place at the end of the line and wait for your turn. Cutting the line to queue with your friend will earn you a lot of bad looks from those that get left behind you. If you want to wait with them, they will have to move to the end of the line with you. Getting in front of the line is only okay if you only have a minute to get lunch, and then you’re urgently needed back at your assignment. But don’t worry, Finns are very good at making systems that minimize your wait time, so the line will be gone before you know it!
Shops and cafes
Finnish camps usually have a shop and cafés, which you can visit in your spare time. For leaders, cafés are also open in the evening and/or night and may offer entertainment. You can check the program on the camp website or on the Kajo App. At a Finnish scout camp, you can usually pay with a credit card or cash. On Kajo you can also use your personal payment wristband: more information about it is coming later! Please note that there are no ATMs (cashpoints) for drawing out money inside the camping area so remember to get cash before entering the camp! In Finland, we use euros (€).
Take care of your own hygiene and regularly use the showers and handwashing facilities at the camp. Always wash your hands before eating and after visiting the toilet. Save water. Use seat covers in the camp sauna. Always remember to wash your dishes after eating. Rinse the dishes in hot water and dry them after washing. It helps to keep your cutlery clean and dry if you use a breathable bag (e.g. a fabric bag) to store them.
Showers and saunas
Finnish scout camps are famous for their high-quality facilities. We have excellent showers. Usually, the shower water comes straight from a lake because the water in Finnish lakes is very clean. If you’re lucky, you can also have a hot shower. There are separate showers for males and females, but children and adults share the showers. The dressing rooms are usually one big open space and the showers are an open space with several showerheads but there are always a few private showers as well. It is recommended to bring your own flip-flops or similar type of footwear as the wooden floor can be slippery. We urge you to use biodegradable shampoos and shower gels to preserve nature.
Usually, camps also have the famous Finnish sauna. You may not be able to bathe in the sauna every day, but you should be able to do so at least once during the camp. In Finland, people usually go to the sauna naked, but you don’t have to, a bathing suit or a towel works too. There are separate saunas for males and females, but there can also be a mixed sauna for everyone, so make sure you go to a sauna you’re comfortable with. Experiencing the sauna the proper Finnish way will make you into a genuine Finn (well, almost at least), so you might want to give it a go.
You can find unisex portable toilets around the campsite and there are also several urinals available. In order to keep the restrooms tidy, please sit down when using the toilet. Don’t put non-biodegradable materials into the toilet, for example, sanitary towels or tampons. Every toilet has a wash point or disinfectant nearby. You must use the toilets at all times even if it requires walking a distance. You are not allowed to relieve yourself anywhere else at the campsite.
There are wash points around the campsite including near designated eating areas and toilets. It is important to wash your hands regularly to ensure good hygiene.
Sort and dispose of all waste according to the instructions in the garbage bins. Every sub-unit has its own garbage bins (energy waste, bio waste, glass, metal, mixed and hazardous waste). Try to avoid producing unnecessary waste and, if possible, choose ecological products. Liquid sewage is disposed of at designated points; pouring liquid sewage (incl. lemonade, juice, and coffee) elsewhere on the ground is prohibited.
Food at the camp and cooking
For safety reasons cooking with your own stove/cooker is prohibited. All meals are served at the subcamp kitchens and are included in the camp fee. At Kajo food is served four times a day; at breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus an evening snack.
All subcamps will have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options provided. All food will be lactose-free and will not contain any fish or nuts. The food will be prepared offsite. Juice and water will be available at meals.
You can also buy snacks and drinks at the cafes if you like. During the day the temperature in your tent can be quite high, so do not store perishable food in your tent. Please don’t bring with you any food that needs to be refrigerated. It is not possible for the campers to use fridges.
Food Allergies or Dietary Restrictions
There will be two separate kitchens for more severe food allergies and dietary restrictions. The locations can be found on the camp map.
You can find the menus along with their ingredient lists at all camp kitchens’ notice boards so you can make sure if you can eat the normal food or not.
If a leader must accompany a scout, they will be provided with the regular food at these kitchens.
Your camp wristband will hold your dietary information as well and these will be used at the kitchens.
All kitchens will have lactose-free, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals, so for those you do not have to go to the special kitchens.
All food allergies and dietary restrictions will need to be reported on your registration info on Kuksa by 31.3.2022. After that, any changes will need to be reported by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that will might not be able to accommodate all changes as we get closer to the camp dates.
All participants will need to have their own dishes and utensils.
Always remember to wash the dishes after eating. The camp will offer dish soap and a brush, so you don’t have to carry them yourself. There are specific dishwashing lines near the camp kitchens, which might look complicated but following these steps washing your dishes will be an easy task (you can also just follow what the person in front of you is doing, the Finnish campers are very familiar with this system):
- Clean your plate from scraps
- Pre-wash your plate (in the first water)
- Wash your plate, cutlery, and mug carefully (in the second water)
- Rinse carefully –remember, the water is hot (in the third container)
- Keep your cutlery in a breathable bag and in your sub-unit
Alcohol, smoking, and illegal drugs
According to Finnish law, the consumption of alcohol and smoking is prohibited for anyone under the age of 18. Illegal drugs are strictly prohibited in Finland. Alcohol does not belong to the Finnish scouting tradition or camps. Therefore selling alcohol at the campsite or bringing your own drinks to the campsite is not allowed. Smoking is allowed for over 18-year-olds in designated areas. Intoxicated persons will be sent home at their own expense and, if necessary, by the police. In both cases, the camp fee will not be refunded.
We have our own fire brigade at the campsite who will keep watch and help with fire safety. Making a fire at the camp is strictly prohibited.
Our medical team is prepared to take care of both minor health issues as well as emergencies. If you need help concerning health issues, please discuss with the person responsible for first aid in your camp unit. They will be able to help you with your concern. You may always seek help at the first aid station and if needed, you will be transferred to a public health care center. Please note, that you need insurance with full coverage of medical expenses. For European citizens, we recommend the European Health Insurance Card that you can get from your home country. With this card, you will receive medical treatment on the same terms as the local residents.
The national vaccination program covers a wide range of transmitted diseases. Make sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date. Especially remember to check that your tetanus vaccine is in effect. Read more about health security and Covid here.
Part of the Finnish scout tradition is learning how to use knives for camping purposes. Knives are therefore allowed when moving around the campsite but they need to be sheated and stored safely. The use of knives is allowed in a safe environment under adult supervision.
Leaving the campsite
You need a permit to leave the campsite; that is, you cannot leave the camp at your will. You will need to have a good and previously approved reason to do so. Note that the Evo campsite is in the middle of the forest, which means that there won’t be any kind of public transport available.
Swimming is allowed only at the official swimming beach. Swimming takes place only during the swimming hours of your camp unit and under the supervision of the leaders of your group. During the big evening programmes no one is allowed to go swimming. Swimming alone is prohibited, you have to always have a swimming partner and go into the lake together. You have to be sure that you see your swimming partner all the time. When swimming, use a swimming suit. You are not allowed to use shampoos or shower gels at the beach; washing should be done only in the showers.
Safely Together training
Everyone 15 years and older (Explorers, Rovers and Adults), including international participants, are required to complete the Finnish Safely Together training before Kajo begins. Safely Together is an online course aimed at all leaders working with children and youth in the Guides and Scouts of Finland to ensure a safe space for our children and youth, and give leaders tools to deal with possible problems.
If you were on Roihu, our previous finnjamboree, and had to complete the same training before that, you will need to do it again now, since the training is valid for 5 years.
Each recruiter (your “camp assignment boss”) is responsible for checking that their recruits have completed the course (such as a screenshot of the certificate). The camp unit leader checks the certificates of other camp unit staff members, and camp coaches check the certificates of camp unit leaders. The camp units can also check the certificates of their Explorers and Rovers (even though the recruiter also checks them). You could go through the safety course together with Explorers and Rovers before the camp during a discussion with a supporting leader.
The training takes a couple of hours to complete from beginning to end.
Please tell your group members to complete the course, and also do it yourself before arriving to Kajo.
Find the course here. Since international participants don’t have PartioID, which Finnish scouts can use to access the national systems, you will need to register to the system and sign in in order to do the course. Make sure to save the certificate or take a screenshot of it!
Your task as an IST is your responsibility. You are expected to perform your task according to the instructions you are given and at agreed times. If you for some reason are unable to perform your task, e.g. you fall ill, you need to tell your leader. You can always ask your leader for further instructions on how to perform your task or about anything else regarding the camp.
We follow a previously agreed timetable; that is, if your shift begins at 8 am, you need to arrive a little before that and be ready to start working at 8 am. Events in the program start promptly at advertised times. Finns appreciate that you arrive 5 minutes beforehand rather than 5 minutes late. Actually, Finns find it rude if you are late.
Youth as leaders
In Finland, the youngest scout leaders are about 15 years old. They have equal rights to lead and to instruct. Our rank conveys our responsibilities, not age or gender.
The Finnish Defence Forces
The Scouts and Guides of Finland have a history of working together with the Finnish Defense Forces and they usually loan some camp equipment to be used at the camp. There can also be a military band from the Finnish Defense Forces performing at the camp. You should not feel intimidated when you see people dressed in the military uniform at the camp, they are there to help us and to work with us.