Norway has recently completed its first national Forest Games. The Forest Games is a competition in forest knowledge and outdoor activities, where all fifth grade pupils are invited to participate. Hundred schools throughout the entire country signed up, involving 2550 pupils. The first rounds were performed in the forests nearby the participating schools. Pupils participated in various activities, solved riddles and submitted reports with documentation of what they have done, found and learned. Many of the reports were made in a very beautiful and creative way, showing that the nature had inspired the classes. Based on these reports, 17 county winners qualified for the final.
On June 14, the final competition was held at the National Forest Museum. Each team was formed by four pupils. Without assistance of any kind, they had to complete various tasks. The pupils were tested in their knowledge of tree species, flora, insects, birds and bird sounds, animal tracks, wooden products, and waste management. In addition, their practical skills were tested, as they for instance had to shoot with air guns, tie a fly for fly fishing, row a boat, and make a bonfire.
In other words, winning the Forest Games required versatile skills in forest knowledge and outdoor life. Becoming the best school also required good cooperation within the team, and creativity.
The Forest Games is a collaboration between Forestry Extension Institute, Hamar Nature School, National Forest Museum, and Norwegian Forestry Society. The purpose is to increase the knowledge about forests and forestry among both pupils and teachers. Further, the goal is to give teachers ideas and inspiration to increase outdoor learning at school.