Going Dutch!Wednesday 20th February 2019
Eilidh, a Young Leader with a guide unit in Colinton, headed to Holland last summer to take part in Roverway, an international camp organised by the European Region of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) for Scouts and Girl Guides aged 16-22. In this blog post Eilidh tells us all about her international adventure...
"During the summer, of 2018 I took part in a massive international camp in the Netherlands called Roverway. It was ten days of camping and various fun activities, as well as making new friends from all over the world. I was part of the Scottish patrol, which had been put together by INTOPS and was made up of members from all over Scotland.
We all met up at Edinburgh airport early in the morning. After dropping our massive rucksacks with all of our tents and sleeping bags in them, we headed through security and boarded the plane ready for the adventure to begin. Once we arrived, we wandered around the sunny streets of Amsterdam and went on the hop on hop off boat and bus tours, which was a great way to explore the city. Next, we headed to the Anne Frank House. This was a very emotional experience, but also a real highlight of the trip.
The next day was the first proper day of Roverway. We travelled to a massive beach in The Haugh, where all the nations were introduced. This was the first time we got a real feel for just how big the camp actually was. There were thousands of people! That night, after the opening ceremony, we camped on the beach under the stars. It was so hot that we didn’t need our tents, which was a surreal experience. The next day, we embarked on our ‘Path,’ which consisted of five days of activities in different parts of the country. Our path was based in the city of Rotterdam, which was a great place to visit and learn more about the Dutch culture.
One of the things I enjoyed most was getting to become friends with Scouts from all over the world. On our Path, we had people from Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Germany, and France. It was amazing. One night, we all shared traditions from our country around a campfire. My group from Scotland taught them all ceilidh dancing. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and had a great laugh giving it a go.
We also took part in community service. We packed ‘birthday boxes’ for children who don’t have enough money to celebrate their birthday. Our boxes contained cake mix, balloons and everything you would need to have a great birthday. It was a great idea and something in which I am so pleased I got to take part.
Once our Path was over, we travelled to the main camp in Zeewolde. This was another five days and everyone joined back together. Here we all cooked together on open fires, built rafts and kayaked on the lake. We also cycled to the local town and spent time at the beach jumping off the pier. Each evening, everyone on our Path would come together at our sub-camp and help cook dinner. This was a huge task and involved a lot of chopping vegetables. However, it was also a great way to talk and spend time with new friends.
On our last day, there was a massive closing ceremony and we started to say goodbye to the amazing friends we had made over the past weeks. We also reflected on all the great times we had shared together. As a way to remember the memories we shared together, we swapped our badges and neckies.
As sad as we were to be leaving our Roverway adventure, part of us was glad to be heading back home to our comfy beds and nice showers. By the end, we were all starting to feel the effects of ten days camping! However, we would all miss the people we had spent this trip with and the great memories we had made together.
I loved my time at Roverway and would definitely recommend anyone thinking of applying to an INTOPs to do so!"
If Eilidh's story has inspired you to think about an international adventure - bookings for the next Girlguiding Edinburgh's Girls INTOPS event in June 2019 are now open. Find out more at: http://members.girlguiding-edinburgh.org.uk/opportunities/going-away-with/international-opportunities.html