|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (November 2008)|
Sjölunden (Swedish: sjö: lake, lund: grove) is the Swedish camp site associated with Concordia Language Villages and is located at the Concordia site at Turtle River Lake, near Bemidji, Minnesota. After 30 years without an architecturally authentic Swedish site, the first step towards a village was taken on August 11, 2006 when groundbreaking for the new site took place. Sjölunden can house approximately 85 people at a time.
Sjölunden is a village for language immersion where American villagers come to live and experience Swedish language and culture.
The Swedish language was added to Concordia Language Villages in 1975 as the sixth language, following German (1961), French (1962) Spanish, Norwegian (both 1963) and Russian (1966). Notably is that the relatively small Nordic languages were added early, probably because of the high amount of Nordic descendants living in Minnesota.
Sjölunden moved to Salolampi, the Finnish site, shortly after it was built in the early 1990s.
The new site
Groundbreaking for the new Sjölunden site took place on August 11, 2006. Architectural inspiration has been taken from Swedish fishing villages, of which there are a lot on the Swedish west coast. In the first step a villager cabin and a weaving studio will be built. Depending on economic flow, there are several other buildings planned: a boat house, two additional cabins, staff housing and the main building, planned for the third phase. The main building will contain a dining hall, classrooms, library, staff office and a traditional Swedish fireplace. Sjölunden is planned to be readily built in 2010.
The new Sjölunden is located right next to the Finnish site at Turtle River Lake. Rather than being a village on its own, it is designed to complement the Finnish site. Some facilities will be missing, as a soccer field and a camp store, and the three cabins will not be sufficient to house all villagers.
Former dean Linda Wallenberg just received her 25-Year "Evergreen" Award, and is the 5th person to receive this award. The Evergreen Award is received by contributing 25 years spent at Concordia Language Villages. To commemorate this amazing achievement, the Sjölunden students, villagers, and staff members dedicated the new pathway to the Sjölunden building site to Linda, naming it "Lindas Stig" meaning "Linda's Path."
Sjölunden offers three different major language immersion programs, held in late summer: Family Week, Two-week program and Four-week High School Credit program, of which the 2 Week program is the most popular. There is also a range of different language courses and activities throughout the year.
For the family week, normally held in middle of August, families with children aged 4–10 can come to Sjölunden. They may, if they like, also bring older children.
The two-week program is aimed at children aged 7–18. They come to camp to live and learn Swedish, and are divided into cabins with about 16-20 inhabitants. The children get language classes as well as different activities they can choose from. Recently, Sjölunden has added a sailing program for their Two and Four week sessions.
The four-week program offers one years worth of Swedish language training at High School level. The four-week program takes place at the same time as two two-week sessions, and even though it contains more language class they do many activities together, most notably the evening programs.
CLV also offers a Swedish Credit Abroad program where students travel to Scandinavia and mostly Sweden for four weeks. Two of the weeks they are given language classes in the town of Trosa by Stensund Folk High School. There is also usually a family stay and of course time is spent in the capital, Stockholm. The program originated in 2006 with 4 participants.
These are some of the deans of Sjölunden, with their Sjölunden name in italics.
- Roland Roland and Edi Edi Thorstensson 1975-1977
- Linda Linda Wallenberg 1977-1991
- Chad Torsten Bergman 1988, 1992–1995
- Patricia Pia Johnson 1996-2000
- Allison Magda Spenader 2001-2013
- Emily Kajsa Pyenson 2014
Credit Abroad program
- Patricia Pia Johnson, 2006-current