“We live in the official hometown of Santa Claus”
Meet the K35 Scout Group, aged between 33-65 years and based in Finland.
We live in the official hometown of Santa Claus in the Artic Circle, called Rovaniemi. The center of our town is a point where two rivers join, in area Rovaniemi is also the largest town in Europe at 8016 square kilometres. We have about 63000 people living here, most live in the centre or surrounding districts. People are generally very nice, friendly and relaxed.
It’s generally a safe place to live, distances are short to the services, shops, hospital and also to nature. And we have no rush hours or traffic jams. Life here is also equal for girls. We have good education and social security, free schooling and free school lunches.
Our landscape is full of hills, rivers, valleys, spruce and pine forests. You could say nature is always near, almost in your backyard. It’s easy to find forests, hills, rivers, small lakes and swamps. Here in Lapland we have eight seasons. Over summer we enjoy midnight sun and in winter we have the Northern Lights and polar nights. Temperature varies by 60 degrees between seasons. We have some root vegetables farming and few reindeer farmers. In summer we can pick mushrooms and wild berries from the forest, these include blueberries, lingonberries and cloudberries from swamps.
Most of Rovaniemi´s people work in the tourism industry, education and industrial jobs. In our group, for example, we have teachers, nurses, social workers and office staff. Outside of work we enjoy family time, friends, doing crafts, watching movies and sport. In winter we do lots of outdoor sports like cross country skiing, slalom, snowboarding, snowshoe walking, ice swimming, snowmobiling and ice skating.
We are group of adults, who meet once a month, in different places, often outside. We are not a formal group and don´t follow a specific programme, but we do learn guiding skills and trying new things. We have been geo catching, canoeing, riding, bowling, made soap and chocolate, went to theatre and a sauna made of snow. We also fundraise and help other local groups with activities.
Many of us have been Guides all our lives, others joined K35 as adults, or through our children involved with the Movement. We enjoy spending time together and we have fun together. We are likeminded and guiding principles are a way of life for us.