Working on a confirmation camp in Flen, Sweden

I almost never write about my home country, Sweden. I thought I should do that too, in case someone is interested in what we have to offer here. ;)

Last weeks I’ve been in Flen, in Södermanland. A small town with about 6000 habitants. It’s just about 2 hours drive from Stockholm.

I’ve been actually working in the kitchen on a confirmation camp with the Swedish Church. And not any confirmation camp at all. One that is open to all kind of people, they don’t care about chromosomes as they say. So there are people with some kind of handicap, like autism, downs syndrome, adhd, or just nothing at all.

” Confirmation is a rite of initiation in several Christian denominations,[1] normally carried out through anointing, the laying on of hands, and prayer, for the purpose of bestowing the Gift of the Holy Spirit. (…) In Christianity, confirmation is seen as the sealing of the covenant created in Holy Baptism

 

On our way down, we stopped to buy some food. We had a very small car, and very much food… So started our 2 hour roadtrip like this:

How the heck are we supposed to get this into the car???

How the heck are we supposed to get this into the car???

Fully packed car!!

Like this! Fully packed car!! And we even had to go a second time!

The leaders having our first meal together before the confirmands arrived to the camp

The leaders having our first meal together before the confirmands arrived to the camp

 

I’m myself not confirmated, not even baptised. But if I had been, I would have liked to attend to this camp when I was about 14 years old. It is beautiful, they do many fun activities (like their own t-shirts, cups, bookmarks,  go kayaking, hiking etc) and they sing a lot. It’s very cozy.

 

Worshipping at the beach, and singing songs

Worshipping at the beach and singing songs on the reunion weekend

Singing songs around the fire "Lägerbål"

Singing songs around the fire ”Lägerbål”

They put a tarp on the grass, sprayed it with water and soap, put on their rain clothes and voilá!

They put a tarp on the sloping grass, sprayed it with water and soap, put on their rain clothes and voilá!

Gålötryckaren - "gålö-cheek to cheek-dance" - at the end of the disco

Gålötryckaren – ”gålö-cheek to cheek-dance” – at the end of the disco at reunion-weekend


Here in Sweden they are protestants
, and I’ve learned a lot about ”our” religion during this time. I don’t consider myself of any religion though, but I think this one is the fairest inside the christianity. Our priest at the camp is for example a homosexual woman, married to the bishop of Stockholm. So yes, in this religion, it is ok to be who you are. It’s fantastic. I grew up in Spain where they are catholics, where women can’t be priests, where priests can’t get married, where the church think being homosexuality is not ok.

I am proud of Sweden.  

I got the job through a friend of mine, and I worked together in the kitchen with my boyfriend Duilio and a girl named Alva. We worked two weekends here during spring, and now 3 weeks during summer, then 1 more weekend in autumn. It’s a big sort of ”conference center” in Flen. Quite an outdated center, but on a nice location, just by a lake and with surrounding green forest and horse pastures.

 

I love alleys.

I love alleys.

Horses

Horses

Beautiful sunset by the other side of the lake, close to Yxtaholm

Beautiful sunset by the other side of the lake, close to Yxtaholm

Beautiful sunset!!!! Also by the other side of the lake, in april on our first weekend.

Beautiful sunset!!!! Also by the other side of the lake, in april on our first weekend.

Finally some time of between lunch and dinner - out and enjoying the sun!

Finally some time of between lunch and dinner – out and enjoying the sun!

Jose fishing

Jose and Duilio fishing

After 2 weeks my cousin Jose from Barcelona came to visit, his first time in Sweden. He helped us in the kitchen too. He was quite serious in the beginning, everything must have been so new and weird for him. Not only to come to Sweden, which has another culture then Spain, but also to this camp, with this religion, all kind of different people and different rules. We eat early compared to Spain, breakfast at 8.30, lunch at 12, and dinner at 17.30. He eats dinner about 11-12pm! Haha. Total change!

On our way back from picking up Jose at the airport :)

On our way back from picking up Jose at the airport :)

Ready to serve the food

Ready to serve the food

What a lovely dish-team!

What a lovely dish-team!

For example, before and every meal, we sing a song (something to thank the lord for the food or alike). If someone wants to say something, they raise their hand, and when you see someone with their hand up, you stop talking and raise your hand too, until everyone has their hand raised and is quiet. First time it happened with Jose he exclaimed ”Que pasa?!” (What is happening?!) haha.

Singin song after eating

Singin song after eating

We had to prepare breakfast, lunch, fruit-time, dinner and afternoon snack for about 40 people everyday. We worked from 8am to 8pm, and every 2-3 days went to the supermarket after that to buy lot’s of food. (About two supermarket trolleys full every 2-3 days).

Cooking and dishing..

Cooking and dishing..

One of our sunday-meals

One of our sunday-meals

Pyttipanna!

Pyttipanna!


We only got two days vacation in 3 weeks
, on the 17th and 18th day. We were completely exhausted. Both me, Alva, Jose and Duilio. We got a small cabin just about 100 metres away from the camp, lovely cabin, where we really enjoooooooyed our time off. SO MUCH!!!!

We have arrived at our cabin!!! :)

We have arrived at our cabin!!! :)

When we finished of dinner we went to the supermarket to buy some food, alcoholfree beer (not allowed with alcohol on the camp, but really wanted a beer), chips and chocolate. We went down to the lake for a fika, and then when the mosquitoes were eating us to much, back to the cabin where we played cards and kept eating unhealthy things until late, and next morning we slept until 11am. HEHE!

Lovely evening - our first of! Icecream, chokladbollar, chocolate, coffee.... :)

Lovely evening – our first of! Icecream, chokladbollar, chocolate, coffee…. :)

Enjoying our first evening of in the cabin :)

Enjoying our first evening of in the cabin :)


Next day, after a good nights sleep we went on a small trip to Katrineholm
(a close-by city with about 60.000 habitants).

We visited super cool and super big antique shop, had some ice-cream in town and went to a nice bathing area where I took my first swim in the Swedish water since like 5 years back. Then went back to town for a nice meal (I had veggie nachos) and then back to the camp, just doing nothing.

Visiting a huge antique shop in Katrineholm. Love this room!

Visiting a huge antique shop in Katrineholm. Love this room!

And the other room in the antique shop, you could get lost there!

And the other room in the antique shop, you could get lost there!

First swim in sweden for years!!!

First swim in sweden for years!!!

The gang who didn't take a swim.

The gang who didn’t take a swim.


Our last day (and second day) of vacation
, we went to another bathing area just about 5 minutes drive from the camp, supernice! Me, Jose AND Duilio jumped in the water, and even from the diving tower! Had a blast, ate pie and had a whole day of just sun and swedish summer.

At the beach in Flen on our day off :)

At the beach in Flen on our day off :)

Joses first swim in sweden!!

Joses first swim in sweden!!

When we got back it was time to pack our things up to move back to our small rooms by the kitchen, and go to the supermarket to shop for the remaining days of the camp.

The last 4 days passed by quickly and easily, we had a big buffet on the confirmation day for 130 people, but we got catering from the supermarket so we could manage that. That day I walked over 14km just inside our walls!! Not strange I felt so tired in my legs in the evening, haha.

Ready for buffét!

Ready for fika!

The buffet for 130 people!

The buffet for 130 people!

Last evening, gathering with all the parents

Last evening, gathering with all the parents


Our last day was this sunday,
we cleared out all the food that was left, cleaned the kitchen, or rooms, and left around 15. Then in the evening we were invited over to the priest Gunilla for some drinks and a great dinner. Sweet end of the camp!

Team picture after the camp at Gunillas home

Team picture after the camp at Gunillas home

 

Anyhow, now I’m back to my regular job at Ljud och bildmedia. Working 8am to 5pm and since it’s summer and vacation time, we barely have any customers,  it is very cool. But in a little bit then one week – then I have vacation – and I’m going to Spaaaain!!!! I haven’t been there in 2 years, so I’m really looking forward to it now!!

 

A few more pictures:

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