Sons of Norway shares pieces of Poulsbo history

POULSBO — Dressed in a bright pink shirt and blue jean shorts, it was hard to miss 6-year-old Sophia Hagstromer as she took her first shot at making lefse Thursday morning.

“It’s fun and I like making lefse,” Hagstromer explained as she bit into the crepe-like Norwegian delicacy during the Sons of Norway’s Heritage Camp.

Fellow camper Laura Craswell, 9, agreed wholeheartedly after finishing her own batch.

“It’s been a lot of fun and I think making lefse is the best part of camp and I’m looking forward to Midsummer Fest as well,” she said.

Hagstromer and Craswell were two of 37 children attending the three-day camp designed to teach traditional Scandinavian culture as a prelude to today’s Midsummer Fest on Anderson Parkway.

One of Hagstromer’s instructors and longtime lefse maker, Jane Speer said this is her fifth year serving as an instructor at the camp.

“I like working (with) kids and in anything that includes kids,” Speer explained. “The kids also enjoy making lefse.”

The camp provides children an opportunity to learn about their culture and that’s the whole reason for heritage camp, she noted.

“It’s called heritage camp and this is definitely part of it,” Speer said.

In addition to making lefse, campers began working on their rosemaling project, heard traditional Norwegian stories and learned the Norwegian national anthem, which was taught by Sons of Norway President Bob Moseng.

The camp also brings a greater of understanding of things kids may have seen or heard either at home or during events like Viking Fest, Moseng explained.

“There are certain words they may have heard and we need to bring it all together,” he said.

The camp, Moseng said, exposes kids to a European culture that is often misunderstood by younger generations.

“Too many people view Europe as a big block, when actually each country has its own culture,” he noted.

While other instructors taught the various handicrafts of Norwegian culture, Moseng focused on Norwegian language and traditions.

“It’s always a joy to teach young people and watch them learn about a different culture,” Moseng remarked after leading campers in a couple of refrains of the national anthem.

Norwegian culture is great in that it is based on peace, adventure and cooperation, he explained.

“Those are traits I would hope we would continue in future generations,” he remarked.

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