This Saturday, June 10, is the 10th annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day), which encourages healthy, active outdoor fun. What better way to take part in the spirit of the day than to embrace the Norwegian tradition of friluftsliv! Just what is friluftsliv? It is a uniquely Norwegian concept that celebrates outdoor life and recreation. Interestingly, it is Norway’s own Henrik Ibsen who first coined the term frilufstliv in an 1859 poem called “På Vidderne.” The term took on new life when explorer Fridtjof Nansen expanded the experiential philosophy of connection with nature to the greater Norwegian consciousness.

Inspired to get outside and spend some time in nature? Don’t forget that in addition to member offerings like our Cultural Skills Program, Sons of Norway also has a program that promotes healthy habits at every age, activity level and exercise preference that was inspired by friluftsliv.

The Sports Medal Program recognizes achievement in five categories and participants of all ages and abilities can acquire pins for meeting benchmarks in four levels (bronze, silver, gold and enamel). Have a love of swimming or biking? The program contains pins for each of those activities. Perhaps you enjoy soccer, golf or tennis. No problem, there is a category for general fitness that covers everything from aerobics to kayaking.

• Idrettsmerke – General Fitness

• Gangmerke – Walking

• Sykkelmerke – Biking

• Svømmermerke – Swimming

• Skimerke – Skiing

To get started, log in and visit the Sports Medal Program page on the Sons of Norway website. Have questions? Call Sons of Norway Headquarters at 800-945-8851 or email [email protected].

Don’t forget: Sons of Norway members have access to benefits like the Sports Medal Program, travel discounts and our award-winning monthly publication, Viking magazine. If you aren’t already a member, joining is easy!