Eesti Elu
Estonian camp songs in midtown Manhattan (+ PHOTOS) (4)
Archived Articles 03 Dec 2008 Eesti Elu
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It might seem hard to believe, but young Estonians from the US eastern seaboard are willing to drive hours to get together to sing their beloved campfire songs out of season. But laagrilaulude õhtu (camp song night) does not just mean Järvemetsa scout and guide camp in Lakewood NJ. The get-together, which has been held at the New York Estonian House every November for four years now, includes favourite songs from Long Islandi Eesti Laste Suvekodu and similar summer camps Jõekääru and Seedrioru on our side of the border, which have done their share in "keeping kids Estonian", by cementing identity and binding friendships lasting a lifetime.
 "Name that tune" and a competition for best rendition of all-time favourite camp songs were taken very seriously by old friends at the New York Estonian House on the evening of Nov. 1. From the left, proudly displaying their namesake käbid (pine cones) are: Jakob Kõiva, Leelo Linask, Liina Sarapik, Kristian Kõiva, Liisi Vanaselja, Merike Kangro (partially obstructed by her käbi), Tenno Andra, Siret Kork and Kaja-Kai Ojamaa. Photo: Rein Linask - pics/2008/12/21915_1_t.jpg
"Name that tune" and a competition for best rendition of all-time favourite camp songs were taken very seriously by old friends at the New York Estonian House on the evening of Nov. 1. From the left, proudly displaying their namesake käbid (pine cones) are: Jakob Kõiva, Leelo Linask, Liina Sarapik, Kristian Kõiva, Liisi Vanaselja, Merike Kangro (partially obstructed by her käbi), Tenno Andra, Siret Kork and Kaja-Kai Ojamaa. Photo: Rein Linask

Earlier still, our predecessors sang at a very different kind of camp, põgenikelaager or displaced persons camps in Germany and Sweden after WW II. Estonian songs brought from the homeland kept spirits up for the DPs, becoming favourites that continue to be sung in downtown NYC in 2008.

Naturally the repertoire has expanded over the years to include new songs written for annual scout/guide camps, with jamborees producing true classics written by infamous youth leaders and lõkkevanad (campfire leaders) extraordinaires. Estonia is now a great source for new songs, but the oldies are undoubtedly the goodies, even for the tiniest hellake (brownie).

What is particularly heartwarming about this event is that alongside the diehard contingent, now grandparents, who laid the foundations of summer camps a half century ago, is a new third generation of young people, whose enthusiasm and dedication for all things Estonian sets a fiery example for those younger still. Accompanists, sisters Liina and Aili Sarapik from Baltimore, Gunnar Tamm and Urmas Kärner of New York (on kitarr) and the evening's mastermind Kaie Põhi-Latterner from Florida (on akordion), are but a few who succeeded in making the evening a most spirited, participatory campfire(-like) event, since the fire code for New York allows for mock lõkked.

And the secret to getting kids to speak Estonian? Start singing! It turns out you don't need to speak the language well to dare to and love to sing in it. And that's a crucial firestarter.
Nii loodi laagri meeleolu.                     How camp ambiance was created. - pics/2008/12/21915_2_t.jpg
Nii loodi laagri meeleolu. How camp ambiance was created.

Järvemetsa laagri ajal tegutseb piprapood (pepper shop); sel õhtul oli avatud soolapood (salt shop). - pics/2008/12/21915_3_t.jpg
Järvemetsa laagri ajal tegutseb piprapood (pepper shop); sel õhtul oli avatud soolapood (salt shop).
Meened.                     Souvenirs. - pics/2008/12/21915_4_t.jpg
Meened. Souvenirs.
Siseneti läbi traditsioonilise laagri värava, üle mälestuste silla.                     Entrance was through a camp gate, over a bridge of memories... - pics/2008/12/21915_5_t.jpg
Siseneti läbi traditsioonilise laagri värava, üle mälestuste silla. Entrance was through a camp gate, over a bridge of memories...
Laulikud.                    Song books. - pics/2008/12/21915_6_t.jpg
Laulikud. Song books.
Auväärt laudkond: gdr. Urve Põhi, Harold Põhi, gdr. Epp Vinkman, skm. Endel Reinpõld, skm. Madis Linask, nskm. Ivi Tamm ja ngdr. Selma Reinpõld. - pics/2008/12/21915_7_t.jpg
Auväärt laudkond: gdr. Urve Põhi, Harold Põhi, gdr. Epp Vinkman, skm. Endel Reinpõld, skm. Madis Linask, nskm. Ivi Tamm ja ngdr. Selma Reinpõld.
Süüdati peaaegu ehtne lõke.                    The almost bonafide campfire was lit. - pics/2008/12/21915_8_t.jpg
Süüdati peaaegu ehtne lõke. The almost bonafide campfire was lit.
Õed Aili ja Liina Sarapik ja Gunnar Tamm. - pics/2008/12/21915_9_t.jpg
Õed Aili ja Liina Sarapik ja Gunnar Tamm.
Urmas Kärner ja 1970date ansambel TUUL (nüüd "Vana tuul"!): Tiiu (Jaigma) Messner, Tina (Karm) Kõiva, Kaie Põhi-Latterner ja Anneliis (Elmend) Kuusik. - pics/2008/12/21915_10_t.jpg
Urmas Kärner ja 1970date ansambel TUUL (nüüd "Vana tuul"!): Tiiu (Jaigma) Messner, Tina (Karm) Kõiva, Kaie Põhi-Latterner ja Anneliis (Elmend) Kuusik.
New Yorgi Eesti Haridusseltsi esimees Toomas Sõrra. - pics/2008/12/21915_11_t.jpg
New Yorgi Eesti Haridusseltsi esimees Toomas Sõrra.
Mängiti mänge. Games were played: Ell Tabur, külaline Eestist, Leelo Linask, Merike Kangro, Katrin Laube. - pics/2008/12/21915_12_t.jpg
Mängiti mänge. Games were played: Ell Tabur, külaline Eestist, Leelo Linask, Merike Kangro, Katrin Laube.

Laul "Paks pagar", tehke järgi! "The Fat Baker", follow the leaders: Aili Sarapik, Helvi Sarapik, Magnus Skonberg, Liina Sarapik, Silver Laur. - pics/2008/12/21915_36_t.jpg
Laul "Paks pagar", tehke järgi! "The Fat Baker", follow the leaders: Aili Sarapik, Helvi Sarapik, Magnus Skonberg, Liina Sarapik, Silver Laur.

Ja leilis rahvas tegi järgi.                  And the enthusiastic crowd followed. - pics/2008/12/21915_14_t.jpg
Ja leilis rahvas tegi järgi. And the enthusiastic crowd followed.
Siret Kork ja Kaja-Kai Ojamaa. - pics/2008/12/21915_15_t.jpg
Siret Kork ja Kaja-Kai Ojamaa.
Poeg Aleksander ja isa Uku Peets. - pics/2008/12/21915_16_t.jpg
Poeg Aleksander ja isa Uku Peets.
Ameerika eesti gaidide-skautide esindusüksus, kes käis möödunud suvel Muskoka 2008 suurlaagris Kotkajärvel. Vasakult: Erik Wichman, Irene Kuhn, Magnus Skonberg, Casey Wichman, Gunnar Tamm, Helvi Sarapik, Aili Puskar, Leelo Linask, Jakob Kõiva, Aili Sarapik, Madis Linask.  - pics/2008/12/21915_17_t.jpg
Ameerika eesti gaidide-skautide esindusüksus, kes käis möödunud suvel Muskoka 2008 suurlaagris Kotkajärvel. Vasakult: Erik Wichman, Irene Kuhn, Magnus Skonberg, Casey Wichman, Gunnar Tamm, Helvi Sarapik, Aili Puskar, Leelo Linask, Jakob Kõiva, Aili Sarapik, Madis Linask.
Gunnaril on hoog sees.             Gunnar's found his groove. - pics/2008/12/21915_18_t.jpg
Gunnaril on hoog sees. Gunnar's found his groove.

Laudkond "Viimane eksam". Members of the table "The Last Exam": Riina Sõrra, Mari Teedla, Toomas Sõrra, Linda Linask, Peeter Teedla, Katrin Laube, Tiina Järver, Mariann Kõiva, Urmas Kärner. - pics/2008/12/21915_37_t.jpg
Laudkond "Viimane eksam". Members of the table "The Last Exam": Riina Sõrra, Mari Teedla, Toomas Sõrra, Linda Linask, Peeter Teedla, Katrin Laube, Tiina Järver, Mariann Kõiva, Urmas Kärner.

Harold Põhi, Epp Vinkman ja Endel Reinpõld. - pics/2008/12/21915_20_t.jpg
Harold Põhi, Epp Vinkman ja Endel Reinpõld.
Andres Raudsepp oli laagrilaulude õhtu idee üks algatajatest 4 aastat tagasi.            Toronto's Andres Raudsepp still visits the event he helped start 4 years ago. - pics/2008/12/21915_21_t.jpg
Andres Raudsepp oli laagrilaulude õhtu idee üks algatajatest 4 aastat tagasi. Toronto's Andres Raudsepp still visits the event he helped start 4 years ago.

Aili Puskar, Casey Wichman, Braien Otsla, Magnus Skonberg, Ivan Kavoleff, Christiina Sokk ja Silver Laur. - pics/2008/12/21915_38_t.jpg
Aili Puskar, Casey Wichman, Braien Otsla, Magnus Skonberg, Ivan Kavoleff, Christiina Sokk ja Silver Laur.

 - pics/2008/12/21915_23_t.jpg

 - pics/2008/12/21915_39_t.jpg

Mõned lauljad olid paremad kui teised...        Some singers were better than others and therefore doubled as judges: Anneliis Kuusik, Tina Kõiva and Tiiu Messner. - pics/2008/12/21915_34_t.jpg
Mõned lauljad olid paremad kui teised... Some singers were better than others and therefore doubled as judges: Anneliis Kuusik, Tina Kõiva and Tiiu Messner.

Liina ja tema kitarr. - pics/2008/12/21915_24_t.jpg
Liina ja tema kitarr.
Ametlik lõpp, sõprusring.            The official ending, the "friendship circle". - pics/2008/12/21915_25_t.jpg
Ametlik lõpp, sõprusring. The official ending, the "friendship circle".
 - pics/2008/12/21915_26_t.jpg
Aga all kohvik-restos lauldi edasi.          But the singing continued in the cafe downstairs: Linda Linask, Leelo Linask, Kaja-Kai Ojamaa, Liina Sarapik, Silver Laur. - pics/2008/12/21915_27_t.jpg
Aga all kohvik-restos lauldi edasi. But the singing continued in the cafe downstairs: Linda Linask, Leelo Linask, Kaja-Kai Ojamaa, Liina Sarapik, Silver Laur.
Lauldi..          They sang...(Aili Sarapik, Merike Kangro, Liisi Vanaselja). - pics/2008/12/21915_28_t.jpg
Lauldi.. They sang...(Aili Sarapik, Merike Kangro, Liisi Vanaselja).
ja nad einestasid...          and they dined (Tenno Andra, Aili Sarapik, Jason Menser). - pics/2008/12/21915_29_t.jpg
ja nad einestasid... and they dined (Tenno Andra, Aili Sarapik, Jason Menser).
Siret Kork, Irene Kuhn, Mari Teedla, Katrin Laube. - pics/2008/12/21915_30_t.jpg
Siret Kork, Irene Kuhn, Mari Teedla, Katrin Laube.
Markus Maasikas ja Taivo Ets. - pics/2008/12/21915_31_t.jpg
Markus Maasikas ja Taivo Ets.
Südamest!          From the heart: Silver Laur ja Magnus Skonberg. - pics/2008/12/21915_32_t.jpg
Südamest! From the heart: Silver Laur ja Magnus Skonberg.
Fotod: Leelo Linask, Liina Sarapik, Rein Linask, Urve Põhi. - pics/2008/12/21915_33_t.jpg
Fotod: Leelo Linask, Liina Sarapik, Rein Linask, Urve Põhi.
 
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