Bringing skyr and soccer team across the ocean

An Icelandic summer camp for children and teenagers is operated outside Gimli, Manitoba, Canada, every summer in late July, or the week prior to Merchants’ Weekend. The camp has been operated for close to half a century, and for the past decade, Guðmundur Hafliðason has been one of the camp leaders. He was interviewed by Morgunblaðið.

“This is always equally enjoyable, and we try something new every year, for example a Viking theme, a soccer theme and a national team theme,” he relates.

Guðmundur was first introduced to the camp when he attended English classes in Winnipeg in 2009. He was asked to volunteer there before classes began, and has done so every year since.

Guðmundur, an accomplished soccer player, who has twice competed at the Special Olympics, decided to bring his soccer team along to the camp this year. The team played with the locals in Gimli, the day before the Icelandic Festival.

“I found it depressing to see the soccer field in Gimli deserted at all times, so after talking to Grant Stefanson, head of the Icelandic Festival Committee, we decided I’d bring the team along and that we’d play during the Icelandic Festival,” Guðmundur relates. “Fifteen of us arrived in the camp and split up into two mixed teams with the locals.”

He is pleased with the result and states that the children loved getting to know an Icelandic soccer team. He never arrives empty-handed, because various companies provide him with their products to bring along. This year, he brought skyr from MS, soccer shirts from the Icelandic Football Association, and sometimes, he has brought candy from Nói Siríus.

Some years, he brings the campers Icelandic music, which they then learn to sing. Everyone is already excited about next year’s camp, he states.

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