Second day of visiting the Paths - Part 2

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.”

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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.

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Second day of visiting the Paths - Part 1

Path #009: “Wie is de mol?”

Path 9 is based on the famous Dutch TV programme 'Wie is de mol?' in which participants need to identify the person (the mol) who tries to (secretly) sabotages/manipulates the games and challenges the have to play. The challenges can generate the Rovers and Rangers points to buy inflatable toys to decorate the camp. The 50 participants of the Path have been split up into 5 teams with 2 saboteurs each. Some participants might have the idea on who the saboteur in their team is, but some of them don't have a clue. Talking about tactics for games can be dangerous, as they might be talking to the saboteur!

On Wednesday the went out to do some community work instead. Three groups of children from nearby childcare organisations were invited to learn about the culture of the participants. Together with the participants from 7 countries they tasted cookies from Cyprus, painted flags on their faces and played games that belong to the participants’ countries. The Welsh participants had even brought an inflatable dragon and a station name which was so long, no one could pronounce it.

Despite the hot weather the children really enjoyed their time and communication with hands and feet seemed fluent. As a return gift, the Dutch scouts at the campsite also learned some new games to the international guests.

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Path #025: High rope course

In Tilburg, Path #025 battled the heat during a bike ride to a rope course in the forest. In two groups of 25 participants, they received instructions before starting on one of the routes in the forest. The Cyprian participants of the Path told each patrol has to cook an evening meal, so they already had eaten pork with honey-mustard dressing from France, a Portuguese dish and on the last day the Cyprian participants will serve souflaken.

The participants loved the first impression of the Netherlands, like the small brick houses, the clean and tidy roads and, of course, stroopwafels! They even brought stroopwafels for a snack. The French participants had already taken 1678 pictures to share as memories for when they are at home, but for the rope course the camera had to be put in the bag, so that could be fully enjoyed!

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Path #003: Andijviestampot

In a community park in Tilburg the Rovers and Rangers are enjoying their typically Dutch dinner in the park, tomato soup and andijviestamppot with peppers and ham. "We've been busy, with archery, paintball, visiting a farm and hugging a cow. We visited a chocolate factory which makes chocolate sprinkles and played farmers golf." She has been to The Hague before, but is impressed by the rural, flat country around Tilburg.

Lauren from the UK explains what she really likes about the Path:"I like things like sleeping in the chapel, because it's something I've never done before and I think I should always be open to new things and new experiences. I like how we do these spontaneous things and how we do them together. The Path is very well organised and that's really nice."

After dinner they went to the centre of Tilburg where they enjoyed several wild rides on the Tilburg Funfair, which is the biggest fair in the Netherlands.

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Finnish sauna in Zeewolde

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For some time the Finnish had trouble choosing between a foodhouse and a sauna, but finally the sauna won and we’re happy for it as we’ve missed one ever since Roverway in 2012.

The first plan was to get one big sauna tent, but as it turned out that was impossible as almost every Scouting group in Finland had already rented out their sauna for summer camps. The second one was building one on site until they decided to rent two saunas.

The Finnish sauna is actually two barrel saunas that are on wheels. Although they are rented here they do have Finnish stoves and are heated with local wood.

There is a reception where you get a bag for your clothes and you are guided to a changing room. So no worries you have to change into your swimsuit there. You can leave the bag with your clothes at the reception while you are enjoying the sauna. There will be separate turns for boys and girls in the mornings, but during the rest of the day boys and girls are mixed.

There is room for about four people in each sauna, so eight in total, but because there’s also a pool and not everybody will sit in the sauna at the same time, they are going to take in about 16 people at the same time.  

Of course, with the current heat, you probably don’t want to think of extra warmth in a sauna, but you will experience an extraordinary feeling when you leave the sauna and step in refreshing cool air …… or so it feels for a short while anyway.

There is the mentioning of mythical creatures that have secretly taken a little journey. Clear your schedule to experience this Finnish tradition and try to spot the sauna creatures.

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Polish Cafe - The Opening

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Entering the tent to the sounds of funky Polish music, you see the counter, table tops, and walls covered in Polish patterns and pictures cover almost every surface and handcrafted fabric tulips sit in pretty glass jars on every table. Along the walls there is a wealth of information about Polish traditions, legends, and the Polish Scout and Guide Association (ZHP).

A queue has formed at the counter and IST wait patiently to try the selection of traditional Polish food for sale. Stefania from Romania tries the Zurek (sausage soup), something she has been wanting to try for a long time - “I’m so lucky I found it here!” - “get a bit of a taste of the local culture of Poland.” A group of Lebanese IST believe that the grilled cheese is “the best!!” As well as eating, they had looked at the history written on the walls, and even taken a selfie in the polaroid photo frame.

The Café staff are busy behind the scenes, cooking and serving. A quick chat with one of the team revealed that this was not only the opening night at Roverway 2018, but the first Polish food house at Roverway ever. Hubert, a member of the Cafée team said that this year is an important one for Poland - “we celebrate officially 100 years of regained independency for the country and also 100 years of the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association.”

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First visit to the Paths

The participants of Path #45 visited “De Windhond”, a windmill in the city of Woerden. They were told about how the windmill works and the view from the top was worth climbing the steep steps. The mill is still used two times a week to make flour and there is a permanent miller.

The canoeing trip to Woerden took about two hours, which was challenging for some, as it was a first time. For all Rovers and Rangers canoeing on the canal in the middle of streets was something new. Some said the canoeing was a little tiring. Some said it was challenging with new people when you were also trying to get to know each other.

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The participants had some time off after visiting the windmill, so that they could prepare for the 15 km hike the next day.

The Rovers and Rangers of Path #050 stayed on the coast after leaving The Hague. After the first night on their Path they could wake up with a fantastic breakfast, which gave them the strength to continue where some VIPs had started on during the day of the Opening Ceremony; Cleaning the beach. It turned out that walking around in the sand doesn’t get much easier after a few days. Afterwards they had some time off at the beach and they could go for a swim or try and find interesting animals. Fortunately they didn’t see any sharks.

The participants of Paths #043 and #044 stayed in The Hague and the first night was all about getting to know each other. They had an international evening and they shared typical delicacies and learned new games and cultural stuff.

These paths included exploring the city and there were  guided tours on Dutch history. The participants felt welcome as everyone smiled to them and said hello. The government of the Netherlands sits in The Hague which made it a good place for activities concerning democracy. The participants visited political institutions and some thought it was impressive to be in the county’s political centre. They discussed many things they would like to change, for example that English should be available for everyone, everywhere. They also created agendas for political campaigns and talked about different views and opinions on different subjects with people from so many countries. Everyone could join in and the Rovers and Rangers felt they could freely express their thoughts without the fear of immediate judgment from others.

There was a lot of mixing and mingling going on in the evening. The atmosphere was very cheerful and it was clear everyone was very happy to meet new people and learn about each other. Some played cards and some got creative in acrobatics.

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Opposites Attract

This Roverway edition
will focus on the personal
development of the participating Rovers and Rangers as part of their role in society. The Roverway will provide the environment in which Rovers and Rangers can interchange experiences, knowledge and ideas. This exchange of experiences will be encouraged through the three educational objectives, which all centralize around society and intercultural learning.  

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