The Rover Band

Scouting and music go hand-in-hand. Many campfires are accompanied by a tune on the guitar and there are quite a few songs that are only sang among Scouts. Who hasn’t walked across a camping field while all of sudden a song is set in and other voices join instantly?

Roverway 2018 wouldn’t be complete if music wasn’t available. Previous announcements about the Rover Band were about the possibility of organising a band and the possibility to audition for it. There was a lot of interest and meanwhile the Rover Band has been formed. With members from several countries their music is bound to cover musical inheritance from all over Europe and beyond.

Every Path is unique, but some are just a bit more unique than others. And one of those is the Rover Band. Unlike other Paths this one has 9 instead of 50 Rovers and Rangers and there are no patrols.

The members of the Rover Band had to sign up in October, although signing up doesn’t cover the process which they have gone through. There are 8 band members now, but there were 22 Rovers and Rangers who were seriously interested. They auditioned for a position in the band by playing, showing their talent, and write a motivation letter.

Then it was up to Marieke and Sam, the enthusiastic Path leaders, to form the band. Marieke was asked to organise a music-based Path while around the same time Sam, former Rover Band member, asked the organisation if his experience and enthusiasm towards music was would come in handy during Roverway 2018. Different backgrounds and nationalities doesn’t seem to bother this duo. It even lifts up their spirit.

Their main focus were the musical qualities, but they were looking for something more than a pretty voice or a well-constructed tune. What they kept in mind is that dynamics within the group is the base to interesting interplay. The combination of the instruments and voices should be both in harmony and challenging each other. They also agreed they would choose those that would bring something ‘extra’, to take the band to a higher level and create an own sound. Personality and character also played a role in the process; As the members will spend so much time together the group needs to feel like family, but also chemistry to keep them inventive.

roverband 2

It wasn’t an easy task as the applicants were all eager to join and all had more than sufficient musical background. But putting the band together was only half of the work. Providing feedback to those who couldn’t join the Rover Band was the other half. Sam and Marieke would love to see them improving and perhaps join the next Rover Band.

The eight Rover Band members are from Lebanon, Czech Republic, Ireland, France and Germany. There even might be a sixth nationality as Sam and Marieke are still looking for a drummer. Apart from vocals, (bass) guitarists and a pianist there will also be violinist.

Sam’s experience with the Rover Band was a big influence to the Path’s programme which is about balancing music and trips. “Music is our main focus, but you sometimes need a break from practising to find new motivation.” The biggest change to 2016 is that the band will have its own location during the Path and the members will travel to Zeewolde on the same day as the other Rovers and Rangers.

This Path covers all kinds of music and apart from playing together every day there will be master classes to improve skills and perhaps even uncover some hidden talents. The band will be staying in Soest, which is not far from beautiful nature and conveniently close to cities for some cultural experience and inspiration.

All members have influence on the band’s playlist, so they can make it something that is truly theirs. Therefore there is a limit to the amount of songs, which will still be enough to cover a night of entertainment. As Marieke and Sam put it so well: “Rather gold dust than sawdust”.

The biggest challenge for the Rover Band will be performing for all Rovers and Rangers at Scouting Landgoed Zeewolde, an exciting and nerve-wrecking moment. To make sure the performance runs smoothly the band will perform for a smaller crowd first. Which Path will be the lucky one to host this sneak preview hasn’t yet been determined. During the days at Scouting Landgoed Zeewolde there will plenty of possibilities to see them perform, in both smaller and bigger settings, so make sure you look them up.

roverband 1

Camping, sleeping and tents

Choosing a tent is all about personal preferences. Would you do everything to keep mosquitoes out? Do you prefer more space and feel like dancing in your tent? Does everyone in your contingent bring the same tent or can you choose your own?

Perhaps you feel like going back to basic and use a tent that is typical for your scout group. Or perhaps you feel like going ultra-light and buy a new tent. Whatever your preferences you know it’ll be your home during Roverway 2018, so balance your necessities and choose wisely.

During most Paths and at Scouting Landgoed Zeewolde you’ll be staying in tents. Bringing a spacious tent can give you a comfortable feeling during your stay, but they are often heavy and take up a lot of space in your backpack. Of course you can share a tent and divide the weight, but sharing personal space can also have some drawbacks.

Some might enjoy sleeping in a hammock. Unfortunately the woods surrounding the camping  fields are packed with frail, bendable trees and you are not allowed to put your hammock up.

If your Contingent makes tents available for you to use you probably won’t be very picky, but  if you’ve decided to buy a new one or if you want to figure out if your tent is suitable for Roverway 2018 you might want to pay attention to a few things.

You may want to see and sit in tents before ordering randomly on the Internet as tents are usually smaller on the inside than the description tells you. So before ordering that bargain online, you should visit some shops in the area. A 2-person tent can fit one person and luggage, but two will feel really crowded and two sleeping mats probably won’t even fit. The height can be difficult too as tents are mostly curved and are therefore always experienced lower than it says on the label. You usually sit on your sleeping mat which gives you even less height. It also is a big plus when a tent has some sort of vestibule where you can leave your boots and wet clothes.

Weight is always an issue. You want enough space for the weight you carry, but there are other aspects. Would you like glass fibre tent poles which are often light, but are less durable and can break more easily than aluminium ones? Would you like a light tent with fabric that could rip more easily or would you choose fabric that can withstand the travelling around better? Would you take a tent with a heavy-duty groundsheet, which keeps the water out, or do you believe in faith keeping your sleeping bag dry?

The Netherlands are known for the rain, from drizzle to torrential rain, but during summer it can be very dry and warm too. And especially on the coast there can be a lot of wind. These are just a few criteria you need to take into consideration. Apart from draught, heavy rain and wind you will be relocating a couple of times, so a tent that can be put up easily is a bonus. Knowing how to put up your tent before you get to the Netherlands can make all the difference as putting it up on the beach is quite challenging. The wind and the sandy surface require some developed skills. Also make sure you bring some long tent pegs so your tent doesn’t become a kite in the middle of the night.


King’s Day

King’s Day, known as Queen’s Day, is a national holiday in honour of the Head of State, but for most it’s about being dressed up in 100 shades of orange, getting up at the break of dawn to visit streets and flea markets during daytime and dance all night long.

During the last couple of years, lots of people turned up on 30 April, all dressed up in orange outfits and ready for all the festivities the Queen’s Day had to offer. They found out, a little too late, that their edition of Lonely Planet was a bit outdated, as the Dutch have celebrated King’s Day on 27 April since 2014.

the king

When Willem-Alexander became King of the and Queen’s Day became King’s Day, some things were introduced, like the King’s Day breakfast for primary school children followed by the King’s Day games. They were held in honour of the King’s inauguration by the National Committee Inauguration and they turned out to be a hit and recurring events. The games are usually on the Friday before King’s Day and of course the children are dressed up in orange as is common on this day.

Some of the traditions remained the same, like the street markets and musical festivities during the night prior to King’s Day, which is called King’s Night. The streets and flea markets start around 6 am and especially the flea markets are run by children, with some guarding parents in the back. They sell their family’s old furniture, tableware, old toys and curiosities. Sometimes you can find real gems, but often it’s just junk. The sport is to find that one unique piece of art that turned out to be created by one of the old masters. Looking for one-of-a-kind LPs and rare CDs is an occupation for many people too. Lots of children play a tune on a guitar, flute of violin to make a little money. Apart from children selling their belongings there are enough market traders who sell the most incredible and unthinkable stuff. You don’t have to get hungry or thirsty as there are more than enough food trucks around.

King’s Night in The Hague is very popular. It’s a big street festival with stages spread out all over city centre. Small and big bands, unknown and famous, you can find them everywhere. It’s mostly music, but you can find cabaret and other street artist too. Apart from entertainment you can also find culinary curiosities from all over the world.

It is important for this day to blend in, which means dress up in orange. All shades of orange are okay and if you mix them up with red, white and blue you are even more in tune for the nationwide street festival. Every city and village has its own atmosphere, so get in touch with some local people to find out if that city is right for you. Amsterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven and Utrecht are usually very busy and street markets have usually more traders than children, whereas there are smaller cities with smaller street markets that have a calmer atmosphere. Wherever you feel like joining in on the festivities, keep in mind that it’s only April and the weather can change suddenly, so wear layers and bring a raincoat, sunglasses and sun cream.

Easter egg hunt

Calculating the dates for Easter can be rather difficult, but roughly you can say it’s celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring, which means somewhere between 22 March and 25 April.

A spring festivity means typical spring items like early blooming trees, eggs and young animals like lambs and chicks. Around the Netherlands one can find vases with branches of the tortuosa willow or forsythia decorated with ribbons, miniature chicks and colourful eggs. Everything seems just a bit brighter as everything is decorated in different shades of yellow and supermarket shelves are stacked with pre-coloured hard-boiled eggs and chocolate eggs in all kinds of flavours and fillings. It also seems there are never enough chocolate figurines of the Easter bunny.

In the week preceding Easter many children paint eggs, decorate them with stickers and colourful shrinking wrap. One of the tales is that the Easter bunny is very fond of the colourful eggs and wants everybody to see them so that’s why they are collected in one place and left at another. As the bunny is so busy, it just leaves the eggs in the garden. Another tale, probably an older one, tells us that the Easter bunny surprises families with eggs so they have enough energy for the heavy agricultural work again. But as the bunny’s basket is so full, it loses eggs while going from house to house so everyone finds some.

Whatever the origin, it’s tradition for children to go outside on Easter morning to find the chocolate and real eggs. The eggs are all hidden and it may take some time to find the ones hidden in weird and illogical  places.

Some villages and cities organise an Easter egg hunt in a park or in city centre. It’s more competitive initiated and sometimes there is a price for the child that collects the most eggs.

Even Paleis Soestdijk, which has housed members of the royal family until 2004, has had its own yearly Easter egg hunt for nearly a decade and the ultimate goal is finding the gold egg.

If this has inspired to organise your own Easter egg hunt make sure you use chocolate or boiled eggs and compose a map of where you’ve put them. You don’t want to come out at Whitsun  and breath in the awful smell from unfound Easter eggs.

Interview: Edwin from Services The Hague and Logistics

In our team there are hundreds of staff members and the same number of different perspectives, all united by the same dream: Roverway 2018. Who are these people working everyday for this big event and what do they do to put this great event together? We will introduce you to a few of these Planning Team members, just to make sure you see how normal and extraordinary they are at the same time…

Edwin is member of the Steering Committee of Roverway 2018, coordinating Team Services The Hague and Logistics. His team is taking care of all the services that are needed during the start of Roverway 2018 and the logistic department which they will do in close cooperation with Team Services - Main Camp. As you know, we will spend the first night in The Hague and they will take care of all the facilities you might need. They are also responsible for the logistics, to make sure you arrive safe and sound at the starting point of your Path, while avoiding long queues and possible confusions.


Reporter: Who are you and what do you do outside of scouting?

Edwin: I study Logistics Engineering and I have only one year left to go. My free time is filled with horse riding and running.  

Reporter: Who got you interested in joining Roverway 2018?

Edwin: More than one and a half year ago, Geeske, the supporter of Program Opposites, convinced me to join Roverway 2018. We are both from the same Scout group and we have known each other for a few years. Sometimes I wonder why she is not part of Human Resources team, as she is that good in convincing people.

Reporter: Why did you choose to be a part of this team?

Edwin: Logistics is my field of study and I think it was therefore not that hard to choose which team I felt like joining. Also I like to consider myself a person that likes to make things happen... like this big event for thousands of Rovers and Rangers from all over the world.

Reporter: What were your first thoughts when you heard the opening would be on the beach?

Edwin: No matter how many times you repeat an experience, there's simply nothing like doing it for the very first time. When I joined the Planning Team it had already been decided the Opening Ceremony would be on the beach. All I have to do is to make sure this happens. We know there are people for who Roverway 2018 isn’t the first one, so we would like to offer them this new experience: an Opening Ceremony on the beach of Scheveningen with 4000 international friends.

Reporter: What is your biggest challenge around organising the opening on the beach?

Edwin: For me, until not long ago, Scouting was only working with children and young people like playing games, camping and having fun. Joining Roverway 2018 made me change the perspective. Here we face bigger and bigger challenges every day. A few years ago I had no idea that Scouting could mean a lot of paperwork and having contact with the municipality of The Hague.

Reporter: What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?

Edwin: From the very beginning Roverway 2018 has focussed on Youth Empowerment to give responsibility to young people at an early stage in life. My greatest accomplishment is to be here right now, to see that people believe in our generation.

Reporter: What’s your #OppositeAttract?

Edwin: I really like running, but most of my time I spend in my car.

Reporter: How would life be like after Roverway 2018?

Edwin: I hope as active as it is right now. I’ll continue my studies and hopefully I’ll help in organising other scouting events where I can make use of my experience.


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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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