A group of Junior National Team members, Izzy, Thomas, Michael, Julia, and Colin, all left from Izzy’s house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They were shuttled to the train station which took them to the bus station that leads directly to the airport.
The team got through check-in and security in a decent time leaving them plenty of time to hang around and get something to eat. The boarding was a little late and slow as well, but once on the plane they were relaxed and choosing from the limited amount of movies
After approximately five hours the group landed in Reykjavik, Iceland. They did not have much time to go through customs and get to their gate, but they managed to find hotdogs, which were recommended by one of Colin’s friends who happens to be from Iceland. Soon after, they boarded the plane and headed to Helsinki, Finland.
The flight was only about 3 hours to Finland. They hopped off the plane and headed towards baggage pickup. This year’s baggage pickup went better than last year’s when the entire group’s luggage was not there. This year Julia’s baggage got lost somewhere, but she received the luggage the next day.
Waiting for us at the airport was Tuulikki Salmenkylä along with a man from the rental car company. We quickly figured out a plan and headed to Tuulikki’s house so Julia could borrow clothes for the night. The team then continued on to Salvalla. The team is staying at a glorious training facility with acres upon acres of maps, unlike many places in the United States.
After getting settled in to their camping and resting from the flight the team went out for a course set by Anton Salmenkylä. A couple members who had not experienced terrain like Finland decided to walk most of the course. The focus was to read all of the detail on the map to get an understanding of what it looks like. After the course, the team went on the turf field and did some core. They all survived and made their way back to the cabin to take showers and prepare dinner which was a delicious pasta with meat sauce and a salad.
The cabin is very large and consists of 5 double rooms, 2 single rooms, three shower rooms with two stalls in each, two bathrooms, kitchen, large dining room which seats about 12 people, a living room with a TV, and the best part of all…roof access. The cabin is on a hill which goes down to a large lake, which is just a little on the cold side. Down near the lake there is a small building with saunas.
The training facility consists of an outdoor track with a turf field in the center, a main building with basketball courts, indoor soccer, and a workout room. The facility then continues down the hill with two large buildings which look like apartments. The team has been seeing many teenage kids come out of the buildings and can only guess that it is a summer camp. A little bit further down is the cabin, and then the lake.