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Summer camp for kids

July 2, 2010

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Böðvar Gunnarson, a Viking re-enactor that lives here in Reykjanesbær and specializes in blacksmithing, has been at the museum this week, holding a course on Viking age arts and crafts. On Monday he taught the kids about Viking age open air cooking techniques, and they tried their hands at baking their own bread. On Tuesday they made themselves belts and coin purses, which the kids have since proudly worn each day. On Wednesday we went to two Viking Age ruins here in Reykjanes, and talked about how the Vikings selected their homesites and utilizes the resources in the area. It was especially fitting that one site, which the lead archaeologist claims was selected because of its proximity to marine mammal beaching areas, had a dead beached whale for the kids to look at! Böðvar told the kids what each whale bone could be used for. The largest national paper came and took pictures of the kids that day, so we are looking forward to seeing the article with everyone’s names.

Yesterday a colleague and I took over, and taught the kids about Viking runic script and Viking Age poetry. We then let the kids carve their names in runes and compose their own kenning-riddled poems about sailing over the sea and raiding!

Today is our last day, and we plan to raise a tent, build a fire, do some wool working, make some necklaces, and grill some meat. Should be good fun.

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