KONE’s Global Youth Camp

Every year, KONE invites employees’ children to apply for a fun summer experience in southern Finland. This year the camp, organized for the 39th time, took place July 28 – August 6.

The experience includes a homestay with a Finnish family in the Helsinki-Hyvinkää area and camping by a lake with excellent recreational facilities. Around 120 teenagers from over 30 different countries travel to Finland to gain this unique experience year after year.

This year the son of our own Charles Banks participated in KONE’s Global Youth Camp.  We caught up with his son, Calvin, to ask him a few questions about his trip.

Q: Why did you choose to participate in KONE’s Global Youth Camp?

A: (Calvin Banks): It seemed like a great opportunity. I got to travel across the ocean, and meet teens from all different backgrounds. 

Q: What was the most interesting part of your trip?

A: All the culture, language, and differences from America. I had a great time with my host family. Plus, we got to sauna every day. I liked to travel around the area and play a game of “spot the differences” with myself. 

All of the signs were in Finnish and the metric system, and since we did a lot of walking rather than driving, I liked to translate the signs to English.

Q: Do you have any advice for future participants of this program?

A: Make as many friends that aren’t from the U.S. as possible and stay in touch. It’s great to have connections if you ever have the opportunity to travel abroad again. Plus it could open-up opportunities that you never knew were there. Make sure to pack the right clothing and remember that you’re representing KONE America.

Q: Did you learn any Finnish for his trip?

A: I learned how to say hello and thank you. Plus I had some Finns teach me to count to ten. Everyone spoke English (some worse than others), so it was cool to hear most of them switch from English to their native language. 

Many thanks to Charlie and Calvin for sharing this experience with us!

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