The buses arrived, the tents were put up, and the participants and IST put on their Scout and Guide uniforms. Finally, it was time to welcome everyone to Zeewolde with our Opening Ceremony!
The crowd gathered at the main stage chatting and laughing, sharing stories from Paths and catching up with friends. Soon it was time for the Ceremony to begin. The Project Directors arrived to a cheering audience, but they were not the only VIPs. Next came a speech from the Mayor of Zeewolde welcoming us all to Zeewolde, wishing us a wonderful time for the days to come, and even giving out Zeewolde badges!
The ceremony continued with flashbacks to the paths. Watching Scouts and Guides doing all sorts of different activities across the Netherlands, it seems that everyone has had an incredible adventure, making new friends and trying lots of new things.
Then it was time for a game! Everyone got up on their feet, following the instructions from the stage. After the initial confusion, soon everyone knew what to do, and the crowd tried desperately in their teams to form the shapes up on the screen. What a great excuse to move around, chat with new friends, and actively be a part of the Opening Ceremony.
The Roverband serenaded us, and this time many people knew the words of the Rover song. Watching fellow scouts from around the world perform together reminded everyone in the audience that Scouting and Guiding truly is a global family. And lucky for us, the Roverband joined the party again later on, to great cheers of course!
Next came a speech from Martijn Aslander, a Dutch author and speaker. His captivating speech left the Roverway audience inspired and with much to think about. An excellent way to draw together many of the ideas that Roverway stands for - global thinking, working together, and striving for an even better future.
A video of the Zeewolde site showed all the hard work that our IST have put in over the last few days to make the camp ready for our Participants. With all that is on offer, it’s clear that the next few days of camp are set to be full of fun, adventure, and new experiences for all of our participants and IST.
The ceremony continued with a lovely personal touch, saying “Happy Birthday!”. An incredible 160 Scouts and Guides are celebrating their birthdays at Roverway, and having a crowd of 4,500 people singing Happy Birthday was certainly an unusual way to celebrate!
The Roverband joined the party once again, playing the Rover song and a some other hits to a cheering, singing, dancing crowd. After all the fun and excitement of the Opening Ceremony the whole campsite seems to buzz with excitement. The paths may have finished, but Zeewolde is full of good vibes, high spirits, and anticipation of all the adventures to come.