Greenies Explore Finland Over Thanksgiving Break
Reindeer are no longer reserved for just the imagination or storybooks. The Northern Lights are very much real to seven Christ School boys, too, now that they've seen the Aurora Borealis with their own eyes.
And how many people get to say they've sent mail postmarked from the official home of Santa Claus?
Greenies who took the "Exploring Lapland" student trip to the northernmost region of Finland experienced all this and more from Nov. 16-26.
Scott Brouse '23, Theo Pearson '20, Davis Warren '20, Jack Lee '21, James Treadaway '20, Kevin Zheng '21, and Robert Dong '21 were immersed in the culture of the Sami people over Thanksgiving Break. The group was supervised by Leigh Harris and Antton Wilbanks.
Each way, the travel to Finland required two days and five different airports.
"It was a great trip. We not only saw the beautiful nature, but it was also a trip that made me grow up," Jack said.
Upon arrival, the Greenies settled into a log cabin and were immediately surprised at what they didn't see. According to locals, it was the first time in six decades that Lapland hadn't been blanketed by snow in late-November. Still, a cloud cover lifted just in time for the Greenies to see the aurora on their first night. They watched the phenomenon aboard a barge on a frozen lake, eating sausages and campfire crepes in between sips of hot chocolate.
Thanksgiving dinner consisted of salmon, reindeer steak, reindeer ribs, and reindeer tongue. The Arctic Circle runs through the Santa Claus Village amusement park where the boys not only met Santa but wrote postcards to family and friends.
Even though there are only three hours of daylight this time of the year in Finland, the boys got to feed reindeer by hand on a farm. Wilbanks said that the Greenies also enjoyed their overall interaction with the Sami people, who are indigenous.
"The boys loved to try and use what little Finnish they learned beforehand," Wilbanks said. "The person teaching them was a Sami man whose family was showcased in the local museum. It was very personalized, very interesting."
Additional photos from the "Exploring Lapland" trip may be found at Facebook.com/ChristSchool.org.