What is a “leirkjæreste”?

This Norwegian phenomenon is all about finding a camp sweetheart.

Avid guides and scouts are quite persistent at finding a significant other within the organization, or at least scout-like, so they can become a scout or guide later on. Before  a steady relationship, scouts find a «leirkjæreste». Some of these relationships last longer, but most stop by the end of camp or in the following weeks.

Tips for a camp sweetheart:

1. Find a person you like

2. Muster up enough courage to talk to them

3. Eliminate competition

4. Borrow things form your target, or steal things so they can chase you down

5. Show some affection

6. Give compliments

7. Go on a date

8. Are you clean? A bath in the river can do wonders

9. If all else fails, use a “FREE HUGS” sign. Or wait until next camp – there are plenty of new friends to find instead.

Text: Tonje Otnes. Photo: Trond Anders Nordby. Illustration: Sara Westergaard Karlsen.