In addition to the Camp menu (available from your local sub-camp kitchen), and Vilkku coffee docks, there are three big cafés at Kajo: Hohde, Majakka, and a leaders’ café (18+) called Lyhty. Our reporter took a stroll from café to café to sample each of the menus and the ambiances.

Majakka Café

Some customers at The Majakka Café

The Majakka (“Lighthouse”) is a big white rain shelter, which opens out into the Tori (“Market”) Triangle in the center of Kajo. You can hear the quality pop tunes emanating from its speakers before you see the structure. On offer are a selection of soft drinks (lemon, orange, cola, and the next thing in cola, Cola 2.0), sweets & candies, donuts, pastries and, from 17h – 22h, toasted sandwiches. A hot drinks island in the center of the Venues allows people to pour their own hot drinks (for a fee), of tea, coffee, or cacao.

With its central location, the Majakka is generally busy with both paying customers and participants taking advantage of the dry tables for card games and chats.

It being early in the day, Ger had a chilled meat pie. He thinks it was pork flavour, and it looked like a sausage roll. He also enjoyed a korvvapuusti, literally a  “Slapped Ear”, pastry, with a cinnamon filling.

With one side open to the elements, neither the music nor the chat from other patrons is too overwhelming at the Majakka. Seating is in two forms, collapsible benches, and seats crafted out of pallets. There’s tables for the sitters and repurposed cable spools for the standers.

Conclusion: Come for the music, stay because you’re bound to spot someone you know walking by.

Hohde Café

A busy Hohde Café

Located behind the Katos canopy stage, between Halo and Future Valley, lies the altogether more sedate Hohde (“Glimmer”) Café. It offers a similar selection of sodas and candies, as Majakka, with an additional selection of chilled pastries, and slices, including vegan and gluten-free options. From 18h each day the daily specials are available for about €5. Monday’s will be Burger and chips, and Tuesday’s, tortillas and pizza.

There are six sets of tables and benches, under Hohde’s prism shaped roof, and six outside. There is also a beanbag corner, and the Jeon Canopy offers an additional place to sit.

On the savoury side, from the options of Feta pie and Ham pie, Ger opted for the ham, as he doesn’t like feta. The slice was nicely moist, and the portion size was generous. He thought it might have been slightly more enjoyable if warmed before serving, but the chilled slice was nonetheless quite morish.

Conclusion: Beanbags and burgers. Nice.

Lyhty Café (and Beach Café) (18+)

Despite the joys that come from working with young people in scouting, sometimes it’s nice to take some down time, away from the questions, and complaints. The Lyhty (“Lantern”) Café offers a space just for adults. The tables are cable spools, the shorter ones are best suited to scouters who bring their own camp chairs.

There is a pizzeria, and ice-cream stall and a fryery at Lyhty. Make sure to order from the designated spots or you may get strange looks from the kitchen staff.

Ger tried the porilainen – a sausage patty between two slices of white bread – with french fries. He thought the fries were salted perfectly and the dressing of the sausage burger (onions and ketchup) worked great with the sausage flavours. There being not many seats, he opted to eat his selection by the Beach Café seating on the lake shore.

The Beach Café specialises in smoothies. To access it go through the Lyhty seating area, down the steps, past the secluded stage area, where live music is performed, and dancing is facilitated, and there you’ll find the Beach Café, with 10 sets of tables on a marina overlooking Ylinen Rautjärvi lake. Because it’s a bit harder to get to, the staff are extra pleased to see new faces.

Conclusion: Pizza + No young people = Treat yo self.

Text: Ger Hennessy

Photo: Julius Kuula