Collecting thoughts about the Tunturi 2016 –project

Now I (Venla) am back to home and I have had time to think about the elapsed two weeks. Before camp I was so excited and sure that the camp will be awesome and it was! Preparing for camp started the reservation of stuffs and to check that I have all the necessary. It was nice to spend time preparing for the camp because I knew that the front is a great experience.

The camp went very nice. During the camp was a lot of different situations both good and worse but we were able to manage them together. The camping place was Tievatupa in Ivalo. We got to enjoy really good food and it was one of the best things in whole camp. As typical for Finnish people we got to go to sauna for several evenings. We were also able to go swimming to river.

In the beginning of the camp we were divided into subgroups where we spent lot of time. The best in camp had new people and new friendships. We did hiking in subgroups. Before hiking we had different activities and games and the reason for that we would know each other better.


Now I, Maiju, am going to tell my feelings concerning the time during and after our expedition. I agree everything Venla wrote. My own subgroup named Sopulit became close and tight: I felt that I could speak about anything with people in my subgroup. Subgroup was the most important motivator and helper during the expedition. We walked, cooked, slept, woke up and enjoyed our time between those together. We swam, crossed rivers and swamps, ate blueberries, used 3 rolls of toilet paper, sweat a lot, wet our shoes every day, dried them as many times and run the last 20 meters to finishing point! Our group had two cameras plus my pocket camera and Matej’s phone. We took many, many, many photos, only in Masa’s camera for example there were over 500 pics!

After long four days those four days didn’t seem as long as they felt during walking and sleeping in cold tent. I was happy to get a shower and clean clothes on. It was really important to fill all the forms that we had to, even though it wasn’t especially fun or inspiring to do them. I’m sorry Eliska, we were kind of awful to you, we were so done with explaining our routeplan to everyone and changing plans trying to fill leaders wishes. Luckily our group didn’t need any help from people outside but some other groups did. Important thing was also the  debriefing after the expedition. It helped us to handle all the experiences and feelings. Also sauna in the evening gave me time to think about all that had happened. Missing home, being tired, new friends, meeting people with different values, other people’s bad feelings, unbelievable landscapes, pain, sharing our deepest thoughts with each other…


In my opinion our expedition was definitely the best one I’ve ever had! Thank you all for that 🙂 During Tunturi 2016 I got to know people from other countries, other cultures and other environments. I also got to know Award –program which I found very useful to increase volunteering in different ways, to help youngsters to act goal-oriented and to improve youngsters’ possibilities to be more international. That all could help them to get work and make their own communities better. That is why I believe we should have more projects like this!

(Don’t be afraid to take some big jumps in your life :))

With love,
Venla & Maiju


Our expedition – Speechless

Our group, The Speechless, consists of Laura Viktorija from Latvia, Dovile from Lithuania, Tom and Seline from the Netherlands, Barbara from Czech Republic and Živa from Slovenia, along with our leaders Vilma and Ligita and our Finnish assessor Timo. We were very excited about the expedition and were happy when the planning finally started.

Our starting point was Tievatupa, the camp site, and we decided to go eastward to Luirojarvi. At half past eight on the 4th of August we left, equipped with our 15 kg or more heavy backpacks. Our path first led us through forest to Niilanpaa, where we had our first break, from where on we continued uphill over a bare hill, where we encountered a herd of reindeer, including youg ones. As this was our first meeting with these animals, especially on such a small distance, we were really happy to see them. We carried on and at the next stop we met another group, which had almost the same route as us, so we were looking forward to seeing each other often many times. Also, Barbara and Tom were making marks on the path for the other group to know the path.  Soon later, we had our first larger river crossing, where we had to take our shoes, which proved to be a lot of fun. We arrived to our sleeping place, where there was a small shelter and a fireplace, at around 5 pm. We cooked our dinner and put up the tents and spend the rest of the evening chatting, especially when the other group  arrived to sleep at the same point.

Next day we continued our journey over some hills which gave us a nice view on the surrounding landscape. As the distance we had to walk was much shorter than the previous day, we had a lot of breaks, giving us the chance to sleep and enjoy the warm sun and nice weather. We reached Luirojarvi in the late afternoon, which was really beautiful and surrounded by hills. There we made use of an open hut where we also cooked our dinner. After the dinner, we enjoyed swimming in the lake, which was of a nice temperature. Some people also made use of the sauna, which was available close by.


Next morning we started our way back to Kiilopaa, which was our final point. That was the most tiring leg of our expedition, as we were first following a path that did not exist, then it was raining strongly for two hours and our paths turned into muddy streams and we were completely wet. At the end on the day we also had to cross another river, this time a really deep one with a strong current. Tired, we finally came to our campsite, where we were really grateful for a warm and dry hut,where we dried our clothes and ate dinner. The last day it was also raining in the morning, but later on the weather got better, even sunny, which made us more motivated for hiking. We were all also looking forward to getting back to Tievatupa, where a sauna, delicious dinner, soft beds and a shower awaited us. Therefore, we were walking quickly and at last arrived to Kiilopaa at half past four, all of us very happy that we succeeded at the expedition. The bus picked us up at five o’clock and a nice reception and a delightful dinner awaited us.



Our Adventurous Journey – VITEMS

We started our adventurous journey on Thursday. Beforehand, of course, we prepared our backpacks and planned our route so we started our hike full of energy and motivation. First few clicks of walk were quite quiet because we needed some time to realize we were left of the chain after whole week of waiting. That spirit quickly turned to amazement and joy and we reached our first checking point chill and fresh as we just came from sauna. We ate baked, smoked expedition tuna and continued our trip unaware of future obstacles waiting to ruin our good mood. Soon we arrived to a huge swamp, bigger than anyone could imagine in their wildest dreams. We almost gave up trying to cross it when we excellent idea rushed through our mind. We rolled up our sleeves and built a magnificent bridge across the swamp. It resembled on Golden Gate Bridge in US. We were a little behind of our plan so we almost run to our camp. Then a great disaster occoured. Tabea’s shoes couldn’t follow our fast tempo so they were litteraly torn apart. At camp we cooked dinner which tasted as it was prepared by worlds best chefs. We learned how to throw knives and we set up a hammock.

We slept like in heaven and we woke up in even better mood as we went to sleep. We headed to the great lake of Rautulampi and even Tabeas shoes couldnt stop us to reach our destination. We ate a lunch there and continued our hike even quicker then before. We soon stumbled upon some really difficult terrain but our good physical preparation was paid out and we had no difficulties finishing our day two. At the camp we met our beloved friends, Anka’s angels. We had perfect evening together exchanging stories, singing songs and all that comes along.

Day three started well, we had good rest and leaved the camp at ten 30. Difficult path was in front of us, our navigation skills were on put on test. We dodged the swamp and picked the shortcut directly through the woods. We arrived to Rautulampi and took a nap for two hour because hail and rain started fall from the sky so we couldnt see two metres in front of us. Immediately after weather stabilazed we climbed the highest mountain we saw at the moment. There we saw tonns o reindeer and even more blueberries. We arrived at the camp just at the right time because few drops of rain fell again.


We started our last day in the early morning, at 6 oclock. In fog we climbed another huge mountain and quickly finished our journey at Kiilopaa. We there long before lunch at ten. By the way we jumped to the mountain of Kiilopää where we stumbled upon some really magnificent reindeer with horns bigger than our backpacks. When we came down the hill we realized that the whole trip was nothing so we didnt even waited for bus but just walked to our resorts. So we came back alive and healthy and it felt as we just finished a Sunday walk.

-VITEMS: Vid, Ieva,Tabea, Erkki, Mirna & Saulė


Our journey – Anka’s Angels

Anka's angels group photo aa ready to go

The journey of our curious fellowship, Anka’s Angels, began at Tievatupa Youth Center, from where we had set off to the settlement of Kiilopää. We were granted a good weather, and well maintained roads nearby Kiilopää provided the best environment to get used to walking with our heavy backpacks and hiking shoes. On the hills above Kiilopää, herds of reindeers started to accompany us, and, sadly, mosquitoes joined them once we got down the hill to the valley. The character of the landscape changed – swamps and rocks appeared soon after we entered the deeps of the Urho Kekkonen National Park. We spent our first night nearby a hikers’ hut of Laavu, we prepared our meal on a proper bonfire, we washed our faces in ice-cold and ice-clear river. During this very pleasant evening, some of us had undertaken an epic flip-flop journey over misty bogland and sharp rocks, just to greet our friends in another camping spot across the hill.

aa break

The next day started with a river crossing – done in all caution and safety. A romantic path through a river canyon unfortunately also caused a muscle injury of one of us: Ieva had no option but to leave us at another camping spot. We continued in four, map and compass in hand, raincoats always ready, songs on our lips. In the evening, after getting through another canyon, so silent that only our breath was being heard, we found a much-needed bridge over a large river of Suomujoki, and joined another group of travellers at camping spot of Kotaköngäs. What a pleasant evening – swimming in the river, a good meal, heath of bonfire and friends around.

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The good weather started to change the next day. After a little navigation problem in the forests near Kotaköngäs, heavy rain struck us on the road, and we were lucky to find shelter in Tuiskukuru, the eastest point of our expedition. Fortunatelly, the sun hurried to dry our things off soon after we came. Next, we climbed hills covered with young birch trees, and we headed to a beautiful lake area with some most romantic views and places. The sun shining through Anka’s hair confirmed that the name of our group, Anka’s Angels, was indeed chosen correctly. We left our leaders and assessors, who followed us in a distance, letters in every hut we passed by, and in the evening, we finally built our tents nearby another hikers’ shelter. Before we went to sleep, a national park ranger travelling aimlessly from hut to hut shared some good stories with us.

To our surprise, the last day of our expedition was filled with energy. Looking forward to the shower and proper food, we had set off earlier than ever before and in incredibly fast pace, we crossed the rest of the hills and swamps to reach Kiilopää and our beloved youth center, Tievatupa.

-Anka’s Angels: Greta, Katarina, Anouk, Vojtěch & Ieva


Our adventure – UVB


We are international youth group. We are from Slovenia, Czech rebublic, Netherlands, Lithuania and Finland. We spent four days hiking in Urho Kekkonen National park.

We started in Kiilopää and we went to suomunlampi where we spent first night. On second day after 20 kilometres hiking we slept on Luirojärvi. There were many beautiful views that we could enjoy.  After good night we started walking to kataköngäs where we spent last night. Our stop point was also Kiilopää which offered challenging road.

Everyone learned a lot. Hiking in international group was challenging but memorable. We had some problems acrossing rivers and swamps. It was fun to walk barefoot. Environment was different than in our home countries so that was a new experience. We were happy to walk in silence and just think about everything.

Best wishes UVB


Our experience from the Tunturi 2016 adventure #TEAMSOPULIT

Moi, Sveiki, Hallo, Ahoi, Labas, Zdravo,

Today was the last day of our 4-day expedition in Lapland. We were a group of 6 people, who were all of different nationalities. Because we had such a diversity in our group, we had to communicate using english, suprisingly it wasn’t as difficult as we had thought. We had an amazing time together, sharing stories, making jokes all the time and helping each other complete our golden adventure.


At the beginning of our adventure, we didn’t know what to expect. Quickly we began sharing stories and getting to know each other. We were a really positive minded and helpful group and that’s what made our expedition to be extremely fun. We discoverd new things about each other and ourselves and we are very grateful to have participated in this program and to have met so many amazing people.

We hope that people all over the world will be encouraged to join the Award Program because we found to be an amazing experience and one that we will never forget.

Thank you all and we wish you all the best,

Goodbye, Houdoe, Heihei, Viso gero, Adijo, Na shledanou, Visu labu,



Back from the wilderness!

Three out of five groups have already arrived in Tievatupa. Surviving in the wilderness was a positive challenge for everyone and all of the hikers were enjoying their time in Urho Kekkonen National park. Participants were showing exemplary team work and I am sure that everyone learnt a lot in these multicultural groups. As a leader I was happy to follow my team’s working, great team spirit and how they helped each other in every situation.

We are waiting now the two last groups to arrive and will then have dinner together <3


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4th day – Getting prepared for the hiking adventure

Today we had a very informative day, everyone was preparing for our hike with their subgroup. We practised with navigation, packing our bags (without forgetting something), the basics about cooking and the very important first-aid lesson ;). After that we drew the routes we were going to walk during the expedition. After a very long meeting, everyone was finally finished making the routes. The groups are almost ready to go on the hike! But first we will have a very fun evening program!

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-Dutch team: Seline, Margriet, Anouk, Mirna, Paul & Tom


3rd day – Visit to Ivalo

Today was an exciting day for us. We finally left our beloved Tievatupa and drove for about an hour to Ivalo, a rainy town where we visited Inari radio and the public library. The radio is run by local youngsters who inspired us with thier creativity and talent. We also had the honour to be interviewed and talk about the camp and our lives in home countries. In the afternoon, we visited the library where we carried out the workshops planned the day before. There were some visitors and they all enjoyed our cup song, caricatures and interviews a lot, just as we did. Next on our plan was a visit to a supermarket, where we bought the needed food and clothes for the expedition. Due to the cold weather we were all buying gloves. On our way back to Tieavatupa we stopped in Saariselkä, where we saw our first moose and reindeer. We went to another outdoor shop, where many people bought sporks. We are looking forward to sauna and movie in the evening and we are excited about the coming day.

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-Živa and Katarina from Slovenia


2nd day – Cultural Market

Another amazing day has ended here in Tievatupa and it was as good as yesterday. Another day with interesting plans were introduced. Firstly let’s talk about a well known Youth pass&Erasmus+ topics. Surely we heard those names as well as the programs itself before but did we know enough? After this presentation we can strongly say YES. The appearance was well implied and shown to the participants. We were given interesting information which increased our knownledge. With that being said let’s move on to the next activity: Preparing the library visit. The workshops were really successful. The three part division: art, music, storytelling had team work, communication flew easy between participants and in the end the main goal was accomplished. Probably the most emotionaly challenging activity was the game between two different cultures: Durdians and Engineers. It showed us how to be acceptable, tolerant, patienant and communitative. The evening program had a lot to offer: starting with food and ending with traditional dances, culture and even history aspects. After a long day of learning and physical activities we finally managed to relax in the long waited sauna. Now we await what the future days has to offer.

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-Lithuanian team: Gabrielė, Greta, Dovilė, Saulė & Karolis