MUNSTER | Munster resident Lynda Smith received the Distinguished Service Award from VASA Order of America, District Lodge Lake Michigan 8, at its annual convention in Rockford, Ill.
She was honored for her commitment and dedication to bringing Scandinavian culture to children of Northwest Indiana and Vasa Children’s Clubs throughout the U.S. and Canada through song, dance, language and crafts.
Smith founded Nordikids of Northwest Indiana in 2001 to share her love of all things Scandinavian. Under VASA Order of America, the national, Swedish-American fraternal organization, she has risen in rank from the local to the district level, and became the Grand Lodge Youth Director at the national level in2006. She continues to supervise Nordikids as well as educate and encourage other Vasa lodges across the U.S. and Canada to start their own youth clubs using a curriculum she wrote.
Nordikids Children’s Club meets weekly in Munster, September through June, to learn songs, dances, language and the culture of Scandinavia. Children 4 to 18 are welcome.
A local lodge, Nordik Folk 761, was chartered in 2006 by the parents of Nordikids and has grown to include 60 members. The adults meet monthly to learn culture, language and genealogy. All adults interested in Scandinavian culture are welcome.
Both groups take field trips and organize yearly Scandinavian Festivals for the public. Nordikids perform all year long at cultural events throughout Northwest Indiana and Chicago.
Smith has also been instrumental in encouraging and advocating at all levels the support of Vasa Scholarships for college and Language Summer Camp at the Concordia Language Villages in Bemidji, Minn.
For information about Nordikids, Nordik Folk Lodge 761, and scholarship eligibility, contact Smith at (219) 923-8777 or visit www.thevasaorder.com.