Newsletter July 2009

You can download a printable version of this month newsletter as a PDF file here or calendar here.

The Kalevala, Finland’s National Epic
By Carol Melancon

Finland’s national epic, The Kalevala, compiled by Elias Lönnrot, was first published in 1835 by the recently founded Finnish Literature Society and in its final form in 1849. Lönnrot spent almost ten years traveling throughout Karelia, gathering the ancient stories and poems that had been passed down from generation to generation with songs called runos, a cross between a poem and a song.   Lönnrot organized his collection of 50 runos into an adventurous tale about three legendary Finnish heroes: Väinämöinen, Ilmarinen and Lemminkäinen.  The bravery of these mythical Finns and their interwoven stories of magic and courage were the inspiration for the works of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, author  J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic Hiawatha.  Most importantly, Lönnrot’s work gave Finns a new pride and strength that eventually led to their independence from Russia in 1917.

Kalevala: Land of Heroes, a play by Paul Olson, is based on The Kalevala.  On Saturday, August 22, members of the Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council community theater group of Negaunee will perform Olson’s play in the Finn Camp Dance Hall.  The Finn Camp, along with the Knights and Ladies of the Kaleva and the Finnish Center Association, are jointly sponsoring this important Finnish cultural event.

This Year’s Annual Fishing Derby
Click on image to see in gallery.

Marty Boatman catches a bigmouth bass. Photo by Erick Leskinen

The Annual Fishing Derby was held on Sunday, June 14, at Sun Lake. Thanks to Sue Slaughter for chairing this event.


Click on image to see in gallery.


Mike Honka, the Kokko Master, at Juhannus 2009. Photo by Erick Leskinen.

Our annual Juhannus celebration and third annual car show was held on Saturday, June 20. Entertainment by Don Reinholm and friends was enjoyed by all. The Kokko took a while to blaze up, due to heavy rains the night before, but Kokko Master Mike Honka and his crew were eventually victorious. Thanks to the Wixom Fire Department for sending a truck and two firemen for safety. And thanks to Dick Pype for chairing the Juhannus committee and Marie and Mike Barie for organizing the car show.


We are sorry to announce the passing of 96-year-old former member Sylvia Leiviska Ketola, in Wollongong, Australia. She was born September 11, 1912, and died May 20, after a fall. A celebration of her long, eventful life was held on May 26, with a slide show, testimonials from family in Finland and America, and even a motorcycle escort to see her off!  She is survived by a daughter, Georgia Leiviska Phillips; a son-in-law, Peter; and grandchildren Elizabeth and David. One sister and one brother of her Stark family also survive. Sylvia contributed many hours to the Finn Camp and owned a house at 2175 Qualla, where Georgia was raised. Sylvia lived life to the full! —Georgia Leiviska Phillips


We are very fortunate to have Angie Wendolowski as the swim instructor again this year.
Registration for swimming lessons will be on Monday, July 6, at noon  at the beach. This day will include a swimming assessment (water test) to determine the placement of the children in classes and the establishment of class times. Swimming lessons will be held Mondays through Thursdays with Friday as a makeup day, if needed, due to inclement weather. Swimming lessons will run through Thursday, August 6. The annual Swim Meet will be held Saturday, August 8, at 1:00 p.m. This is a time for all swim lesson participants to display their swimming skills through friendly competition.
Cost of lessons
Members: $30/1 child            $50/2 children                $65/3 children
Nonmembers: $75/1 child            $130/2 children            $180/3 children
Saturday, August 8
1 p.m.
Swim Meet at the beach.
5–7 p.m.
Dinner: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Grilled Chicken Sandwiches and Salad Bar at the Ravintola (Kitchen).
8 p.m.
Children’s Program/Play at the Dance Hall. Bake Sale/Desserts available immediately   following the program.
Sunday, August 9
8–11 a.m.
Breakfast at the Ravintola, cooked by the dads.
11:30 a.m.
Track Meet Signup at the “A” Field.
Track Meet at the “A” Field.
The Recreation Committee appreciates your continued support of the
Finn Camp Children’s Weekend Traditions!
For more information please contact Jennifer Barrett at (248) 669-4674

Quote of the Month

“I like the Finn Camp because my daddy teaches me fishing. I am an expert at fishing.”

—Ian Matt, age six

Handicapped Parking
Additional handicapped parking spots will soon be in place in the parking lots for the Clubhouse and at Sun Lake. Signs will designate the spots.
Dance Hall Thank You
On behalf of the renovation team, we would like to thank all of the Finn Campers who gave of their time, talent and tools to make our dance hall sparkle. All of your Friday night efforts were amazing; the result is a beautifully restored venue for future endeavors. Thanks so much for such important work!
—Tammie King, Jodi Dernberger, Mary Burck
Children’s Playground
Visit our much-improved children’s playground at Sun Lake, which now complies with the specifications from our insurance carrier.
Board Notes and Reminders
The board would like to invite all committees to run the kitchen for one weekend or day. This is a great way to help the association help you, to socialize with members and to enjoy a nice meal or breakfast. Please consider which weekend your committee might volunteer.
The onlyfires allowed in camp country are those contained in a caged fire pit or Chimenea unit.
Please observe the camp country quiet hours of 11 p.m. to 8 a.m.
No animals are permitted on the grounds unless they are properly leashed or under control, nor are animals permitted in public eating areas. Members are responsible for cleaning up after their own pets. Dogs shall not create a nuisance by barking or baying.
Members wishing to voice opinions, offer praise or raise issues of concern are always welcomed to do so, as this is a cooperative organization, these must be done in writing if action is expected.
Voima Boys Softball Games
Finn Camp is once again sponsoring the men’s softball team. Come cheer them on!
July 10, Park Field 2, 7:25 p.m.
July 17,  Finn Field, 6:15 p.m. & 7:25 p.m.
Note: There are makeup days in case of rain.
For the full Wixom “35 and Over” Softball League 2009 Schedule, download
Friday Night Grill at the Kentta every Friday, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy a chicken sandwich, burger or hot dog while you watch the game.
The Future Planning Committee will be serving breakfast at the Ravintola on Sunday, July 5, from 9 to 11 a.m.
Luau in the Dance Hall
Join us for a Luau in the dance hall, July 18 at 9 p.m., sponsored by the bar committee. Get out your grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts and bring your aloha spirit to the dance hall for fun, food and prizes!
Camp Crawl
Sponsored by the Sisterhood
Saturday, Aug. 1, 6–9 p.m.
Contact Sherry Kurin, at 248-535-6022 or for information or to sign up to participate in the camp crawl. Hors d’oeuvres or drinks are provided at the camps with a potluck dinner at the west side fire pit. Please bring a dish to pass.
Kalevala: Land of Heroes
This play will be performed in the Finn Camp dance hall on Saturday, August 22, at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $12 per adult and $8 per child (to 17 years old). Tickets at the door are $15 per adult and $10 per child. Pasties will be served between performances. To reserve tickets now, send an email to  Include the number of tickets and the performance time (matinee or evening).
Thirty-third Annual Finn Fest Weekend
Friday, Aug. 14: The kitchen and the beer truck open at 5 p.m. The Home Run Derby begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by entertainment and dancing in the Clubroom.
Saturday, Aug. 15: Kitchen opens for breakfast at 8 a.m., with food available all day in the kitchen and food tent. The softball tournament begins at 8 a.m. on our “A” field and the Gilbert Willis Park fields. Opening ceremonies are at 11 a.m. with a flag raising by the Wixom VFW post. There will be ongoing entertainment and music from the dance hall porch, plus 50/50 raffles, a pitching booth, horseshoes, bocce ball, kids’ activities, concessions and the sale of Finn Camp/Finn Fest wearables all day. Starting at 9 p.m. there will be live music for dancing in our newly renovated dance hall.
Sunday, Aug. 16: Kitchen opens for breakfast at 8 a.m. and food will be available all day. Softball will continue on all three fields with the championship game on the Finn Camp “A” field, late afternoon. Music, raffles, kids’ activities and more such events will be held.
Many workers are needed in all areas, all weekend, to help with the kitchen and food tent, concessions, raffles, setup/cleanup and security. Work hours signup sheets are posted at the Sun Lake Beach/Sauna. Please give a few hours to make our festival successful!
For further information or questions, contact Robyn Jokinen, Finn Fest Chairman: or call 810-287-4591.
Autumn Fest and Mojakka Cook-off
Saturday, October 3, at the Ravintola

Board of Directors
Visitors must sign in at the Clubroom at noon. New members can sign up at any meeting.
Wednesday, July 1, 7 p.m., closed
Sunday, July 19, 10 a.m., visitors at noon
Wednesday, August 12, 7 p.m., closed
Sunday, August 23, 10 a.m., visitors at noon
Future Planning Committee
Thursday, July 2, 7:30 p.m., Boardroom.
Sisterhood Committee
Wednesday, July 15, 6:30 p.m., Clubroom.

1994 F150 Ford Pickup Truck
The board is currently accepting sealed bids for the old association pickup. It has a five-speed manual transmission with a newer CD player. It has 23,000 miles; the frame is rusted.
Mail your bid with your name to:
2524 Loon Lake Rd.
Wixom, MI 48393-1654
This is the last notice for bids.

Camp #18
This very nice camp is on the west side. It has a large deck for barbecues and built-in beds that sleep four people comfortably. A new roof was installed in 2008. Price reduced to $4,200.
Call Eric Feldt, 248-926-6669 or cell, 734-320-2632.
Located on the west side; in great shape. Newly painted and new roof. Spacious interior with sleeping loft. $2,500. Kevin Pelto, 248-767-3577.

Wanted to Buy: Elliptical Trainer

Rey Mustonen, 248-624-1679 or email

Get Your Newsletter by Email
To sign up to receive newsletters via email only, send us an email giving your first and last names, saying “Subscribe to Newsletters” in the subject line, to: The emailed version is now the only way to see your newsletter in color.
Newsletter Items
Finn Camp members are welcome to submit items of news to be published in the newsletter. Calendar items should include a brief description of an upcoming event or meeting and contact information.
Items for the next newsletter are due by July 15.
Or mail it to:
Newsletter Editor
2524 Loon Lake Rd.
Wixom, MI 48393-1654
Or place items in the Clubroom mailbox.
Newsletter committee members are:
David Hall, Sherry Kurin, Erick Leskinen, Brian Pelto, Jeff Pype
Board of Directors
President: Greg Pelto
Vice President: Patti Leppi
Treasurer: Dick Pype
Secretary: Millie Packard
Works Administrators: Ralph Heikkinen, Don Matt, Steve Melancon

Detroit Excellent Adventures
Email any requests, comments or suggestions to, Call us at 248-767-3577.
Kevin Pelto Real Estate
Today’s real estate market takes a new approach to make things happen.  Kevin Pelto utilizes the latest technologies, market research and business strategies to meet your expectations. However, more importantly, we listen— and this means we find solutions that are tailored to you.
Calnen Construction
Mossy roof? Rotting wood? Need a deck? I can fix your camp, inside or out! Price is determined by the job. A licensed and insured builder. Call Bryan Calnen, 231-242-0401, any time.
Erick Leskinen— Photographer
Would you like a portrait of your family, photograph of your children at the beach or playing ball? I am up to the challenge of getting photographs you will cherish for a lifetime. Email or call 248-624-6188.
Affordable Windows and Siding Corporation
Where quality product, installation and service make the difference. Eric Feldt, owner.
7005 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103, 734-662-5551,
Beverly Jokinen—Graphic Artist
Web sites and Print Graphics— creative ideas, personalized attention and reasonable rates. Many years of experience: Please go to to view my portfolio. Contact me at or call 248-207-1850.
David R. Hall Editorial Services
Writing, Editing, Proofreading
Just Wh@ You Need
Are your marketing materials just not reaching your targets? Maybe you’re underserved editorially, which is undeserved! For an analysis and estimate, chargeable to your first job, contact me at davidrandallhall or 917.204.6494.

Free “Services Offered” Section

All members are invited to list here any services—for pay or barter—that they would like to advertise. Whether it’s a service such as handyman or seamstress or pet care, or seasonal activities like garage sales, we will be listing these in upcoming newsletters. All you have to do is provide—via your business card or information you supply by mail or email to the newsletter editor (see“Newsletter Items,” page 4) the following information: The Type of Service Offered; A Description of Just What You Do as the Service Provider; Your Price (Hourly Rate, Job Rate, To Be Negotiated, or whatever); Your Name; and Your Contact Information (Preferred Method and Times: Phone, Email, etc.). Total length, including spaces, should not exceed 50 words, not counting the headings. (Overlength copy will be edited for fit.) The deadline is the same as the date for newsletter copy: the fifteenth of each month.

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