Summer Camp 2013

The first Nordic Go Academy summer camp was held from 15-27 July 2013. The camp was a big success with 34 participants from four different countries, nine hailing from outside Finland. Many had reserved for themselves a one-month summer Go holiday, continuing from the camp to the European Go Congress 2013 in Poland. On Saturday, in the middle of the camp, a one-day tournament was held, with additional Finnish participants from outside the camp.

The camp was held at Luukki camping site, located a good twenty kilometres away from Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Foreign participants were provided a car ride to the venue, while Finnish participants could easily reach the place by a local bus. The camp building in itself was a large wooden building, with several rooms and capacity to hold a good forty people.

Backyard of the camp venue

Camp building, viewed from the backyard

The camp’s daily training regime consisted of a three-hour morning lecture (including several breaks), lunch, an afternoon league game and review, dinner, and free evening activity. In addition, there was a running tsumego competition throughout the camp, with a new tsumego set containing 15 problems being given out each day (and having to be returned by 9 PM in the evening).

As use of the Luukki camping centre is especially directed to youth-oriented organizations, we had great facilities for outside sports and games.

Afternoon games in progress

Table tennis at the front of the camp building

Volleyball was a popular pastime sport

In the middle of the camp, we got (unplanned) surprise visitors from Korea on a moment’s notice: Lee Young-Ju, 1 dan professional, came to teach at the camp for a few days, with Lee Jungyon coming along to help at translation. Together they e.g. held a lecture, commented students’ games, and Lee also played an exhibition game against Antti Törmänen 6 dan, one of the camp’s main teachers.

Lee Young-Ju playing a five-game simultaneous

The camp was maybe the most successful at turning one of its originally biggest problems into its greatest asset. As the camp venue was located in the woods, a good distance away from shops and restaurants, it was vital for the camp organization to provide for food for its participants. Three meals were served: a simple breakfast, a lunch and a dinner. In the feedback we received from the participants, the meals were one of the best parts of the camp, for which we teachers would like to specially thank Reino Karttunen, representative of Espoo Go club, for the help.

The cake wasn't a lie, either

In addition to playing Go and sports, we wanted to have the foreign participants get a taste of Finnish culture. Partly for this, we chose the camp venue so that we’d have access to a lake (they are a vital part of any Finnish landscape) and a sauna; the sauna was heated every evening, and the bathers often went on to take a dip in the lake in-between. One could of course argue that if the organizers expected to have people stay in a secluded area for almost two weeks, a sauna would be mandatory anyway (for Finns, that is).

The sauna building, just next to the lake

Lake view on a sunny day

In addition to experiencing Finnish nature, we also arranged for a sightseeing day to downtown Helsinki. We had a look at the most famous parts of the city, including the Helsinki cathedral and the Suomenlinna fortress, located on an island just a bit south from Helsinki. From there, we continued on to the Linnanmäki amusement park.

Suomenlinna tourist group posing

We hope to see you in the following years!