May Newsletter


May 2009

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

Juhannus by Brian Pelto

Kokko during Juhannus in Finland, 1999 by Erick Leskinen Leskinen

Kokko during Juhannus in Seurasaari, Finland, 1999 by Erick Leskinen

Juhannus, as the summer solstice is called in Finnish, celebrates the birth of John the Baptist, or Johannes. Traditionally, in the towns and villages of Finland the building of a kokko, a huge bonfire, begins in the days leading up to Juhannus. Old boats and cast-off lumber are stacked up to create the distinct conical shape of the kokko. Customarily, the kokko is ignited on the eve of Juhannus, after entertainment and feasting by the celebrants. Folk songs, typically accompanied by the national Finnish musical instrument the kantele, a lutelike stringed device first mentioned in the Finnish national epic the Kalevala, are enjoyed by all. National costumes in regional variations bring life to the ethnic dances known as tanhut. Men, women and children alike participate in often-raucous polkas and waltzes.

Our Finn Camp celebration of Juhannus—equally exciting—is anticipated all year. Our own kokko can be three stories high and burn for many hours. Hundreds of members and guests arrive from all over to enjoy a full day of activities leading up to the lighting of the kokko as darkness settles across the grounds. We hope you and your family will be able to join us at the Finn Camp on Saturday, June 20, for our annual celebration of Juhannus.

Dance Hall Work Project

Much has been improved upon in the Dance Hall. I would like to give a thank you to Lauri Taipala, who helped so much in the initial stages. I would also love to thank Tammie King and Mary Burck, who put together a work group for Saturday, April 18. Projects included ripping up the nasty carpet in preparation for fixing up and resurfacing the floor, pulling staples and tacks from the beams, cleaning out underneath the stage and moving everything off the floor. I wish to thank everybody who helped in one way or another to improve our Dance Hall facilities: Sherry Franco, Pam and Dan Linick, Bob Burck, Sherry Kurin, Phoenix Honka, Mike and Rita Honka, Kevin and Luke Pelto, Erick Leskinen, Reino Mustonen, Eero Toivonen, Eric Solin, Bruce Foxworthy, Reino Solin, Dave Grogan, Laura Mazur, Mike Mazur, Dave Niemi, Robyn and Wayne Jokinen, Steve Melancon, Harry Kansman, Gavin Wing, Drew Pype, Larry Gooden and his brother, and Kim and Jim Ziegler. Hopefully, I remembered everyone; if not, I’m sorry.

Although much has been done, much still needs attention. A work group will be meeting every Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. for the next four weeks, May 1, 8, 15 and 22. Please join us and lend a hand—you receive work hours! Feel free to contact the following people for additional information:

Jodi Dernberger, 248-819-8964

Tammie King, 248-313-9334,

Mary Burck, 248-471-0144,

Again… Iso Kiitos (Big Thanks)! I couldn’t have gotten this much done without all the help.

—Jody Dernberger

Annual Meeting

Our annual meeting on April 26 was attended by 82 members out of 175, a great turnout. Thanks go to all the members who participated in the meeting, which lasted for more than four hours.

Board of Directors

The following officers were elected at the annual meeting:

President: Greg Pelto

Vice President: Patti Leppi

Treasurer: Dick Pype

Secretary: Millie Packard

Works Administrators: Ralph Heikkinen, Don Matt and Steve Melancon

New members elected to the board are Ralph Heikkinen, Don Matt and Steve Melancon. Alternates are Dave Niemi, Sherry Franco and Jeff Pype.

Hospitality House Donations

A big thanks to all members who donated to Hospitality House. Our total of food, personal items and cleaning products given amounted to 157 pounds. In addition, $15 in cash was donated. Hospitality House distributes more than 20,000 pounds of food to approximately 500 households every month. Unfortunately, with today’s economy the number of households needing assistance is increasing every month. The Finn Camp donation will certainly help. Thanks again. —Sharon Junnola


The new Finn Camp store in the Clubroom will be known as the kauppa (Finnish for “store”). Patti Leppi has been working hard to get it ready to open. Watch for the new business hours to be announced.

Garbage Dumpster Use

Clubroom dumpsters. For household refuse only. Latex paint in cans must be dried out. (For oil-based paints, see below under “Toxic waste materials.”) Dumpsters are emptied on Tuesday mornings. Please recycle items when possible. No one but campers should put anything in these dumpsters.

Tractor garage. Larger items such as mattresses, furniture, carpeting, barbecue grills, bikes and refrigerators are to be placed in the fenced area behind the tractor garage. Refrigerators’ doors must be removed for safety. Wood and carpeting must be cut into no more than three-foot-long sections, then rolled up and tied securely with twine. You are responsible for getting the items out to the street after 5 p.m. on Tuesday for pickup on Wednesday morning, or one day later if it is a holiday week. Ask a local member for assistance if you cannot be there to put your items out on the curb.

Sun Lake dumpster. For building materials only—no mattresses, carpeting, furniture or other large items.

Toxic waste materials. Items like car batteries, motor oil and oil-based paints should be saved for special hazardous-waste disposal days in your local municipality.


To Don and Elaine Jacobson on the passing of Don’s mother, Sylvia Jacobson.


Voima Boys’ Softball Games

Finn Camp is sponsoring the men’s softball team. Come cheer them on!

Friday, May 1, Finn Field, 6:15 p.m.

Friday, May 8, Park Field #1, 6:15 p.m.

Friday, May 8, Park Field #2, 7:25 p.m.

Friday, May 15, Park Field #2, 6:15 p.m.

Friday, May 15, Park Field #2, 7:25 p.m.

Friday, May 22, Finn Field, 7:25 p.m.

Friday, May 29, Finn Field, 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 will be open every Friday, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy a burger or hot dog while you watch the game.

Annual Spring Talkoo

Sunday, May 3, 10 a.m., meet at the Kentta

This gathering is Finn Camp’s annual tradition of members coming together and helping to prepare the grounds for the summer season. Please come out for this special event—all ages are encouraged to join in. Perennial flowers are needed as a donation; please bring them to the talkoo for planting near the Clubroom. Mojakka and beverages will be served to the workers. In case of rain, the makeup date is May 17.

Sun Lake Cleanup

Saturday, May 16, 11 a.m., Sun Lake

Sponsored by the Sisterhood

Put in some of your work hours on Saturday, May 16, starting at 11 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. If you cannot make it right at 11:00, feel free to come at any time. Please bring rakes, gardening implements, gloves and such for beach cleanup and flower planting. Come on out and help us ready the beach for summer. The board will provide flats of annuals, but donated perennials would be appreciated.

Fun and Games Night

Sponsored by the Sisterhood

Sunday, May 24, is part of a long weekend, and if you are free on Sunday evening, come on out to the Clubroom for fun and games. We will have a potluck dinner at 7:00 and a euchre tournament at 8:00 ($3 entrance fee). We also hope to learn how to play a card game called Hand & Foot, dice and assorted other board games. There may even be an outside activity, if the weather permits, so bring a flashlight. And yes, the Clubroom will be open.

Flag Ceremony at Loon Lake

Monday, May 25, Memorial Day, 10 a.m.

On Memorial Day the VFW post will perform a flag ceremony, with their rifle brigade and ladies’ auxiliary group, for our veterans. They are to be assisted by the Jokinen family, as the flagpole and flower area at Loon Lake is a memorial to Reino Jokinen.

Prom Night

June 6. Sponsored by the Sisterhood

Step back in time and enjoy the prom that got away!

Doors open at 5 p.m.; cash bar

Appetizers at 6 p.m.,

dinner at 7 p.m.

Dance the night away with music from Buck Nekkid. Dinner and dance tickets only $20 per person. Dance-only tickets $5 per person. Hurry—advance reservations are required, by May 31.

Call 248-313-9334 or email

Spring Classic Men’s Scramble Golf

Sunday, June 7, tee-off at 8 a.m.

River Bank Golf Course, South Lyon, 10 Mile at Currie. A shotgun start. Contact Dave Niemi.

Annual Fishing Derby

Sunday, June 14

Applications being accepted for volunteers. Duties include: Prepare buckets, Count and place worms in containers, Set up and clean up, Handle registration and welcoming, Run games (3), Count and measure fish, Scale fish, Filet fish, Cook french fries, Serve as photographer. Four work hours are given for each job listed. Fruits, salads and dessert donations to serve with lunch are needed.

Thanks bunches. —Sue Slaughter, Fishing Derby Chair. email:


Saturday, June 20, starts at noon

Plan to attend our annual Juhannus celebration. Some of the events are the t third annual car show, a raffle 50–50, music for dancing in the newly revamped dance hall, entertainment by Don Reinholm, the kitchen opening Saturday at noon and Sunday for breakfast, and of course our famous kokko at 10 p.m., with Finnish music by Don Reinholm.

Finn Fest Weekend

August 14–16


Future Planning Committee

Thursday, May 7, 7:30 p.m., Boardroom

Board Meeting

Sunday, May 17, Boardroom, 10 a.m.

Visitors are welcome at noon.

Sisterhood Committee

Wednesday, May 20, 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 5-speed manual transmission with a newer CD player. It has 23,000 miles and the frame is rusted.

Mail your bid with your name to:
2524 Loon Lake Rd.
Wixom, MI 48393-1654

Camp #118

Click here is see in gallery.

Located 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. A very nice camp for $4,600.

Call Eric Feldt, 248-926-6669 or cell, 734-320-2632.


New Bonus Here for Members: Free “Services Offered” Section

With the June newsletter, all members will be 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 plan to list 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,” below) 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.) See sample ad below. The deadline is the same as the date for newsletter copy: the fifteenth of each month.
Sample Ad:

Pest Management

Do you have grasshopper or frog problems? I will take care of them, day or night.

$25/hour or by the job; will exchange services for case of beer.

Name: Uno Urho.

Contact Information: Prefer phone, 248-555-1234, M–F 9:00–5:00;


Get the 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:

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: May 15

Email copy to:

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

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