When Erik was 12, his Norwegian father sent him to Camp Nidaros, a language camp at the Oregon Coast. That changed everything for him. For more than 30 summers since, he has attended, staffed or directed language camps in Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, Norway and Switzerland for both young people and adults. After high school, he spent a year at to Follo Folkehøyskole in Vestby, Norway. After graduating from Reed College, he taught Norwegian to Americans in Sandane, Norway, worked at a farm in Rakkestad, Norway, and spent a winter working at a Russian Orthodox monastery in Finland. He has run a general contracting business in Portland since 1998. In recent years he his main focus has been as a construction trainer for Tivnu: Building Justice, a social justice construction skills gap year program for Jewish young people. He and his charges work to make a difference by building shelter for people dealing with houselessness. He feels fortunate that sharing Norwegian language and culture with his children has been a source of connection and affirmation.
Why are you excited to be involved with Nordic Northwest?
Nordic Northwest's forward-thinking pan-Scandinavian approach gives it the opportunity to play an important role in furthering Nordic culture in Portland and beyond