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Price of confirmation camps varies across Finland

The Finnish confirmation camp is a rite of passage and a lifetime memory. Each summer tens of thousands of youngsters go to the countryside for a week of activities with other local youngsters, run by their local parish.

Rippileirillä laulellaan virsiä hieman rennommalla otteella luonnon rauhassa ja kitaran säestyksellä. Image: YLE

Some parishes provide confirmation camps free of charge, while some ask for hundreds of euros. Some parishes even wondered if the confirmation camp should be shortened to save money.

This summer more than 50,000 young people will attend a confirmation camp organized by a parish. Confirmation camps have remained popular, and four out of five 15-year-olds attend one.

The cost of attending a confirmation camp varies widely. Generally the cost is around 100 euros, but for example in Helsinki a normal week-long confirmation camp can cost up to 250 euros. In Turku, camps have been free for a couple of years.

In Siuntio, the camp costs a little over 100 euros, and campers believe it is good value.

“It’s not much,” said Siuntio confirmation camper Heikki Törrönen. “The camp lasts for a week, and there is a lot of food and bus travel included.”

Camps generally last for a week

After the 1990s recession, confirmation camps shortened. In eastern Finland a five-day confirmation camp has even been considered for budgetary reasons. In the spring the Church Council urged parishes to maintain at least a week-long camp.

Siuntio camper Karoliina Mustola also supports a week-long camp.

“You couldn’t make this any shorter,” said Mustola. “A week is just the right time because it takes a couple of days to get used to all of this.”

Mustola says on the contrary that many find the last evening of the camp difficult, when they realize that it will end the following day.

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