Path #012: Nursing home
After an afternoon of playing games from each other’s local countries and cooking traditional dishes the Path kicked off at Daelhoven and Molenschot nursing homes, making pancakes and sharing stories with the elderly residents - a perfect opportunity to explore two of the themes of Roverway 2018 - “I am involved in the world around me” and “I am open to others”. Beth explains that “it is really important that we all get some social interaction with the world around us”.
After a start with stroopwafels and coffee the Rovers and Rangers split up into small groups and headed out to the apartment rooms of the residents. The instructions were simple – “listen, smile, and just be friendly – they like to laugh and make jokes!”.
Soon Rovers, Rangers and residents sat together for their pancake lunch. The language barrier was a little difficult, but soon the Scouts were explaining all about their Scouting life, traditions and Roverway 2018!
It was clear that they were enjoying having the scouts around. One particularly chatty resident exclaimed “We enjoyed, yes! It’s nice.” Another resident enjoyed more than just pancakes, playing his guitar alongside a Portuguese scout as other residents and scouts clapped along to the music. Everyone had felt very welcome - “the nurses told us to come back next week!”.
The trip had a strong effect on the scouts too: “I always thought that youth is hard, but if you’re here I think you see that age is much harder. They struggle with ordinary things that we take for granted. I hope that somebody someday will do that for me so I think it’s important that we visit places like this so that we can give, and then receive afterwards when you’re older.”
Path #015: imaginary campfire
After travelling to the campsite they played some games to introduce themselves and to find out about the differences between nationalities among the participants. The weather was very hot, so they sang camp songs around a pretend campfire circle and spent the night under tarpaulin shelters.
After a morning with very Dutch activities, cycling and swimming, they cooked a meal in traditional dutch ovens over coals, which they then shared together. The Path members later sang some songs and had a go at some climbing. For Florian, from Austria, “a particular highlight was wading waist deep into a swamp and having a ‘mud ball’ fight. It is also great to meet people from different countries and find out how we have lots of similarities.”
The Path Leaders help their Path to become a tight-knit group. They are encouraging them to talk only in English and to share what they find important and what similarities they could find.
It is easy to see that it is already working – Italian and Spanish scouts singing songs, Dutch and Portuguese scouts cooking together. Claudia, one of the Path Leaders, says “you see them starting to mingle more and more.” Language is still difficult sometimes, but “they are really patient with each other. They go ‘oh, just explain it’ or ‘what’s the word in your language, maybe I could understand’ and that’s really nice to see.” The Path leaders hope to deliver them back to main camp as one big family, and it is wonderful to see that they are well on their way already.