My Story - Ivar Nergaard
Published: September 2, 2017
I ended up at Skogfjorden because I spent a year in the US with YfU (Youth for Understanding). Somebody there knew Kari Fischer – an old timer at Skog- so I applied, and got accepted. This was back in 1986, I had just spent two years in the army (going to officers’ school of all things)! I was the worst student they had had for decades, but I got in. And out! I had saved up money to travel the US for half a year. Starting off in Bemidji seemed like a good idea!
I came to Skogfjorden ‘86, ‘87, ‘88 and ‘90 (if I remember correctly). I got obsessed. Hooked right away. An addict!
As I grew up I was shy. By all means! At the same time, I was a creative kid. I could make people laugh. I am good at impersonations and imitating languages and dialects. I had half an ear for music. All of this finally became USEFULL. AT SKOGFJORDEN!
I must share a short story. My first year I was a counselor, and I guess Tove wanted to see what I could do. To see what I brought to the marketplace??? (Ancient Norwegian idiom- Hva jeg bragte til torgs). Anyway, one of my first main tasks, the first day at camp, was to teach the kids the difficult sounds of Norwegian vowels (or ‘wovels’ as a lot of us natives say). What to do? Well, I have always been a good burper. Really good burper. So, I thought what the heck. I WILL BURP THE VOWELS. And luckily, we have nine of ‘em! A E I O U Y Æ Ø Å. In one burp. Or one at a time. This burping session of ‘86 somehow became famous… at camp… at least among staff and villagers in the late ‘80ies… And I realized that METHOD, how you teach things, is an important asset. And it doesn’t hurt to have fun doing it. And to get people to laugh on top of that… I think that the burping moment partly changed my life. I was a playwright, I was an actor, I was a stand-up comedian (even if that word didn’t exist in my mind at the time) AND I was a good teacher. And a weirdo!
And that brings me to the next thing. BEING WEIRD AND AWKWARD AND DIFFERENT IS OK! So Skogfjorden was the opposite of being in the army. Even though I dealt with “welfare” in the army (VELFERDSBEFAL- ALLE SAMMEN! VELFERDSBEFAL). Skogfjorden was a big relief. I found a hat the first or second day at camp, a kind of a rallarhatt (used by the railroad workers back in the 1800s). This hat became my first love. And I looked so goofy in that hat! But everybody loved it. The kids got to borrow it every now and then. And they too, liked being goofy! What a treat! The year after was just as good, still a counselor. The next year, I was staff counselor and my last year I taught the credits kids!
Skogfjorden has made great impact on me. Great impact. (Do I sound like Donald T when I repeat phrases like that…?)
I worked as a teacher for a while, before acting and comedy got me. And music. And writing. I have been a self-supported actor, comedian, radio host, tv-host (programleder), sit-com actor, playwright, impersonator, imitator, MC, voiceover actor, audiobook reader, songwriter, etc... A lot of what I do today professionally, I did for the first time at Skogfjorden. Skogfjorden definitely got me going.
99 out of a 100 will have a good time at Skogfjorden. It is a safe place to be experimental with your own limits and your own comfort zone. It is a safe place, a fun place. So safe... so fun… so creative.