An old Finnish saying says, “Men fear the end of the forests and women the end of the world.”
I am not sure what this Finnish saying is supposed to mean to tell you the truth, but I have been hearing so many old Finnish sayings lately I had to share. Because the Finnish language blends together many words to make a specific word, often times the humor is unfortunately lost in translation. I think the end of the forests very much would mean the end of the world, which is why events like the forestry skills contest that the exchange students attended with our host families, are so important.
We had a very nice walk in the woods following the contest sheet pictured below. The events were a bit difficult to translate but fun to try as we speedily worked to try to stay ahead of the serious competitors. This timed event includes a serious of contest stations that competitors complete, record and are later scored for accuracy. This event not only promotes practical technical skills, but also serves as a meeting place for friends, neighbors and forestry people, keeping a strong network alive.
The contest is put on by Metsakeskus, which I can best describe as the Finnish version of a USDA Forest Service/CAL FIRE hybrid. It is a governmental forestry organization that enforces the Forest Act and to promote sustainable forestry and forest-based livelihoods.
This contest seemed to really appeal to an older male generation, but both a younger age group and woman division of the contest have some representatives that I hope continue to keep up the practice of these valuable forest skills.
As a past Future Farmer’s of America forestry skill’s contest participant and Logging Team member it was interesting to see yet another variety of forestry contest. I am so grateful to one of our host families the Marttila’s for bringing us to this interesting event. If these forest “measuremen” have anything to do with it, the end of the forests is nowhere in sight.