Kamryn Harper has been selected as Lucia for 2019 by the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation and the Thule Lodge Children’s Club. Kamryn is the daughter of Matt & Julie Harper of Jamestown. Kamryn is 14 years old and is an Honor student in the 8th grade at Falconer Central School. Kamryn has participated in the Lucia program since she was old enough to join. She plays Junior Varsity Volleyball, Basketball and Softball. Her time outside school is spent either with a ball in her hands or on her 4-H projects which include Ceramics and Leathercraft. Kamryn loves animals and has been very successful showing sheep and pigs that are born and raised on her family’s farm. Kamryn is a very busy girl but doesn’t want to miss an opportunity to show her Swedish heritage.
The Lucia is a Swedish Christmas tradition that is celebrated all over Sweden. The candles and warmth of the pageant bring light into the dark of winter. Our local Lucia Pageant will be celebrated at Tree of Life Lutheran Church on Sunday, December 15, at 2:00 p.m. The pageant will be followed by coffee, Lucia buns (Lussekatter – made with saffron and topped with a few raisins) and cookies. During refreshments, the Thule Swedish Children Folk Dancers will share some ring dances. The entire program is free and open to the public.
At the December meeting of the Scandinavian Studies Program, Durand Peterson and Curt Westrom, chair and treasurer of the board, presented a $38,000 check to Jon O'Brian, director of the YMCA Onyahsa Camp, to renovate an existing building at the camp. The renovated building will be the "Scandinavian Studies Program Stuga" (stuga is Swedish for cottage). It will honor the local tradition of Scandinavian handcrafts, while serving as the center for the YMCA resident youth camp's craft activities. The building, which faces Chautauqua Lake, will incorporate Swedish architectural elements, re-use an extant building in an environmentally responsible manner, and will tie into the Camp's motif. Said O'Brian, "Thank you so very much for this very generous gift to our Fantastic Future funding initiative. It was a gift similar to this that started the camp back in 1897."
Camp Onyahsa serves about 160 meals at each serving over the summer, when 1,600 children enjoy the camp during the 9-week season. Camp Onyahsa has enjoyed the collaboration over the years with the Scandinavian Studies Program. Mr. Peterson and Mr. Westrom both expressed their excitement in being able to provide this long-term assistance to the youth at Camp Onyahsa. The Scandinavian Studies Program was started in 1986 and brought together the local Swedish organizations; such as Norden Club, Thule Lodge #127 VASA Order of America, Vikings Lodge IOV #65, American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, Salvation Army, and several Lutheran churches. It sponsors several events each year, as well as the culture day program held at JCC the first Saturday of the month. For more information on the Scandinavian Studies Program, you may call Don Sandy at (716) 665-0883.