Whatever the temperature and weather conditions, from New Year’s Eve on, people get ready for the next big party: the Carnival. This multiple day event is full of traditions and is celebrated all over the world. Comparing the Brazilian Carnival with the Burgundian in Germany may be difficult, but all types of Carnival involve dressing up, colourful parades and joyous dancing.

Carnival is a feast that is at least 2000 years old and it was the Romans who set the date at 40 days before Easter. Therefore Carnival is celebrated somewhere between the first weekend of February and the second weekend of March. So it can be a real winter celebration or an almost spring festivity.

Carnival was originally a 3-day celebration, but now the weekend is included to make it a 5-day event which brings people together, young and old. Celebrating Carnival comes with many traditions, often local, and they are passed on from generation to generation. Wherever you go, whatever the country or region, there are similarities, like the parades and the presence of the prince and the fool. There are clubs that build enormous, colourful floats with moving and turning parts. They are often theme-based and accompanied by music and dressed-up dancers. While some groups decide to stick to folkloric costumes, some have new costumes every year.

Within the Netherlands there are several traditions that differ from city to city and area to area. In the province of Noord-Brabant cities and villages have different names during Carnival and there is a different motto every year, which is often expressed in 11 letters. Most costumes will do, but if you don’t know what to wear you’ll get away with only wearing a blue smock and giant red handkerchief. Bergen op Zoom however is an exception; all men and women arrive with a lace or net curtain wrapped around their your shoulders.

In the province of Limburg there are very different traditions. They tend to dress up extensively and you can’t leave your house without an enormous hat and artistically applied face-paint. They also have themed days, which means that you need multiple costumes when celebrating Carnival the Limburgian way.

For many people the festivities start on 11 November. From this day on there are parties, from formal dress soirees in which princes are announced to parties in which songs are promoted. Most preparations for the parade start on this date on too. Carnival itself is a complete outburst after months of intense preparations. After Carnival, on Ash Wednesday, many people feel deprived from energy. A perfect day for sharing some pickled herring; one of those traditions that some appreciate and some not so much.



On the website you can find the Pathfinder. It can help everyone to compare the differences between the Paths and look for one that will fit your Patrol the best. There is a map of the Netherlands that shows where the Paths are located. When you click on a Path it’ll show you a description of what the Path offers. The Pathfinder has several components that will help you to find your ultimate Path. Think of the physical, cultural and social level, navigation, swimming and hiking skills or if the Path is wheelchair friendly. The icons can help you when the text alone isn’t sufficient enough.  


  • What does it do?

The Pathfinder is a tool that will help you find the right Paths for you. When you are choosing your preferences for the Paths, make sure it’s something new and challenging.

  • What does the star system mean?

We have given the categories Physical activity, Touristic / Cultural level, Social levels and Navigation skills a stars rating from 1 to 3, to represent the level of knowledge needed or how much focus is on this category.

Physical activity, Touristic / Cultural and Social level are basic categories you can find in all the Paths presented. Navigation skills is an extra topic and not all paths do have this category.

Physical activity level 3 on a Path will have the focus on activities where physical fitness is required. In comparison, a Path with Social level 3 will have the focus on social activities with all the other Path participants or connecting with the community you are living in. When it comes to the Touristic and Cultural levels the more stars your Path has, the more awesome touristic places you’ll see.

  • How does it work?
  1. Select the icons that represent your interest.

  2. The categories Physical activity, Touristic / Cultural and Social levels are present in every Path and show main focus the Path has. You can select all 3 levels in one category, all Paths will then be shown, or you select only the level you want. The categories Sleeping, Cooking and Swimming skills are also present in every Path. All the other activities are additional information. When you select one additional information, all the Paths that do not have these specific criteria will disappear from the map. 

  • Please note:

Cycling: The Paths showing this icon will also offer an alternative activity or transport mode when cycling is planned.

No swimming skills needed: The Paths showing this icon might include activities requiring swimming skills but an alternative activity will also be offered.

Check our Path page if you cannot find a Path matching your preferences. You can look through the descriptions of all the Paths and choose the ones that represent your interest the most.

Hiking in the Netherlands

Those who think the Netherlands is not interesting country for hiking are so wrong. The Netherlands has close to 40 long-distance trails and circuits which will take you several days to complete. From the north with its polders to the south with its hills, the scenery is different in all of them. There is a hike for everyone.

Hiking in the Netherlands might seem unlikely to the experienced Rovers and Rangers or those who have a mountain in their back garden. The Vaalserberg, is the highest point in the country at 322,4 metres high, and is located in the south of Limburg. With 17 long distance trails with a minimum of 200 kilometres and 22 theme-based tracks with lengths between 80 and 350 kilometres, there should be something interesting for everybody, right?

hikingThe Dutch coast path follows the sandy beaches and windy dunes from Belgium to Germany. Near Belgium, you’ll see the Deltaworks up close and cross some of  the barriers that keep the provinces of Zeeland and South-Holland safe in case of storms and high sea-levels. If you are interested in sea preservation and safety of the coastal areas and people, consider joining the Paths located in this region. Further up north you can find the cities of The Hague and Haarlem and the salty fields of the Beemster, famous for its cheese. After crossing the Afsluitdijk you might even spot some seals, which live in the Waddenzee. The Waddenzee is an extraordinary place and was added to the UNESCO’s world heritage list in 2014. With over 700 kilometers of varied landscapes, cities and cultural curiosities, it’s the longest trail in the country.

Pieterpad is something completely different. No sea and dunes, but forests, orchards and hills. If you feel like it, you could visit the seals at Pieterburen before heading south. The path meanders through the eastern provinces and crosses the German border on several occasions. There is a variety of polder landscape up north, but it soon transfers into forest and heather fields. You cover several hilly sites, but overall it remains flat until you get to the far south. Although the track covers over 500 kilometres it only comes across a few cities. Groningen and Maastricht can show all their medieval glory as the trail leads you right through their city centres. Rovers and Rangers that are interested in both nature and culture may find this trail really interesting.

Theme-based tracks are often circuits that can lead you through the hills of the National Park Veluwe, around the marshes in the south or along several hanseatic cities. Most of the names cover the theme, so if you need some more input for choosing your Path, you could look up a trail that is in this area.

The Netherlands has excellent public transport which makes it easy to cover only a part of a walk if you don’t have the time to complete it.


Cooking and Food

Roverway 2018 and challenges go very well together, so cooking is going to be one too. You will be taking cooking to the next level, as you will be cooking on a campfire every day. As a cooking fire isn’t something you usually use on a daily basis, there will be plenty of time to get one going and make yourself a nice meal.

Every day the patrols receive a box with ingredients and what you decide to cook with its contents is all up to you. There will be enough products available to accommodate tastes and special dietary considerations or requirements. Next to fruit and vegetables there will always be products available like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread and crackers.

At Roverway 2018 we have the environment at heart and therefore using local fruit and vegetables is high on our priority list. Your apple or pear might have been grown just around the corner. The rules for using insecticides in the Netherlands are very strict and many farmers have started using insects to protect their crops. Although we can’t guarantee you’ll like every vegetable and fruit on your plate, they were grown with many birds and insects to make sure they land on your plate.  

There will be a team of cooking staff present at Zeewolde that will take care of the IST. Next to your main meals there will coffee and tea available all day. The team will also take of your dietary issues and take your working hours in consideration.


5 must sees in the Netherlands

Besides visiting Roverway 2018, The Netherlands has much more to offer. We have a sea, mills, several museums, lovely cities and even caves that you can visit. We give you here 5 tips on places to visit.

1. Kinderdijk

For centuries people in the Netherlands have lived among the water and extracted water to provide land for living and farming. Think of the Zuider Sea having been turned into the IJsselmeer or the Delta Project in the south west of the country. Kinderdijk is one of the most iconic parts of the Netherlands when it comes to water management and polder landscape. After serious flooding in 1421 it was in this area that serious water management started with a type of windmill you can find all around the country. Nevertheless the image that Kinderdijk gives you, with its polder landscape and 19 windmills, is something you can’t find anywhere else. Visiting Kinderdijk means you can see the development of water management, because apart from several types of windmills (with different dates of origin) you can also find modern equipment like pump stations, storage tanks and the Netherlands’ first power plant. What’s interesting is that the windmills aren’t spread out over long stretched dykes, but with a little effort you can see them all from one spot.

2. Kröller Möller museum

In the middle of the country, in and around Veluwe National Park, you can find the remnants of one of the last ice-ages. It’s a hilly sight of about 1000 km² covered with Douglas trees, birches and oaks. Apart from vegetation only found here because of the ice-age and its permanent frosted earth’s crust it has a range of animals like an abundant amount of deer, boars and mouflons. The Park is peppered with cycling paths and hiking trails to explore the phenomena of ancient forests in an area characterized by grassland and pollard willows . In the middle you can find the Kröller-Möller museum, which was originally the private collection of the couple Anton Kröller and Helene Möller. The collection of more than 11.000 pieces contains work of Vincent van Gogh, Rodin, Monet, Picasso and Mondrian. The garden surrounding the museum serves as a background for the 25 acre outside gallery, which is one of the biggest in Europe. Blending art and architecture with nature was Anton’s and Helene’s intention when they moved to area in 1913. It is shown in and around the original farmhouse, their house designed by Berlage and of course the museum itself. To be able to see most of the park at once you can use one of the available bikes near the museum.

3. Hanseatic cities and canals

Not only Amsterdam and Utrecht have canals. The country is covered with them. In 1358 the Hanseatic League was founded, which was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns. It didn’t cover Dutch towns alone, but it served trade over the German border too. It made these towns develop quickly and all along the IJssel you can find the typical canal structure developed during that area. Dark brick quays and drawbridges to improve easy access for delivering goods mark the town centres. The cities’ colourful armorial bearings are depicted on windowpanes or decorate the top of step-gables. From small towns like Bolsward in Friesland to bigger cities like Zwolle and Deventer, but also down south in Roermond the characteristic architecture of that time is visible everywhere. Most Hanseatic cities have rich histories and can be linked to historical figures who are known for their knowledge and development, like Copernicus’s solar system, which can still be seen in Franeker.

4. Marl and limestone caves in Limburg

One time the Netherlands simply didn’t exist. There was only sea and the shore wasn’t far away from Limburg, in the south-east of the country. The marl and limestone that started to build up because of the millions of layers of sea animals became land as the water withdrew. It is one of the hilly areas and the most sunny part in the Netherlands. It’s well-known with cyclists and hikers. But the subterraneous world is just as interesting. About 2000 years ago people started to delve the marl for building and started using the caves for shelter during bad times. They dug deep and they dug far and now a total of 250 corridors cover about 240 kilometres of total darkness. History and biologic phenomena can be found in far corners, but the caves are also used for survival and underground mountain bike trips, workshops back on track and history, laser tag and paintball. Visiting the caves with a guide after a boat trip from nearby Maastricht is also a possibility.

5. Wadden Sea

Officially it is said it’s the largest part of intertidal sand and cradles transitional zones between land, sea and freshwater environment. That basically means the whole area consists of mud which is flooded twice a day. It inhabits various seals, fish, mammals and a variety of vegetation that needs both salt and freshwater. Over 10 million birds winter in this extraordinary environment. But apart from a charming scenery, some exciting sports are practiced here too. Wad walking means getting from the mainland to one of the islands before the surroundings are flooded again. The mud with its firmer and softer spots, its subterranean streams and sides caving make this race against the clock quite a challenge. The Wadden Sea, with its shallow and deeper parts, is also an area suitable for advanced sailing. Some of the islands to the east are traffic free and some are even inhabited, but all islands have large sandy beaches on which you can relax after an intense day of wind and salt water.

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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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