There is something special and rather unique about the Torne Valley countryside, something that has persisted to today – the Torne Valley way of saying ”nobody home”, the Torne Valley lock.
When the broom was wedged in between the door and door handle or leaning up against a door, everyone knew that the door was unlocked but no one was home. The broom could be seen from a distance and the prospective visitor could turn around without having to go through the trouble of going all the way to the door.
Of course the doors had working locks, but for practical reasons they were rarely used if you were not going to be gone for very long. In the past, the people of the Torne Valley were richly blessed with children, but not with sources of income. Buying keys for everyone was therefore not an option, so the broom against the door was used instead when no one was home.
This tradition was used by almost everyone in the Torne Valley and was based on a deep sense of trust and respect for one another.
Still today you can see here and there a broom leaning up against a door, but it usually only means the owner is just in the back garden or visiting a neighbour. As a symbolic gesture honouring this deep-rooted sense of trust and respect in the Torne Valley, Camp Ripan also leans a broom against the cabin doors.
Everyone deserves to be met with trust and respect, at least until the opposite is proven.