Luke Arscot, an Explorer Scout from Banstead District’s Tadworth District Explorer Scout Unit went on his own international adventure this year. He tells his story below:
My trip to Westernhoe Camp Site with Stamm Hardenberg-Neviges, Germany
In the summer holidays I decided to go on a camp with my 2 distant cousins in Germany who are in Pfadfinders (equivalent of our Explorers). I met one of my cousins the day before the camp and she showed me around the nearest big town to where she lives. The following day we went to camp. I was nervous as I didn't know how good their English would be. It came as a surprise to me that all 4 sections go on one camp. We all met near their HQ and boarded a coach. Then we had a 3 hour journey to the camp site and then had to walk some of the equipment to our camping area. We then put up all of the tents. Each of their camps has a theme; this camp's theme was a walk through the year. We celebrated a New Year, carnival which happened to get rained off, St Martin, Olympics and Christmas Day.
The food at camp can vary from what we have here eg in the UK on my camps we have bacon, beans and sausages whereas on their camps they have rolls with selection of different cheeses, meats and spreads along with cereals. My biggest surprise was that they served up deep fat fried chips one night and popcorn every night at camp fire.
At the camp fire they sing a series of songs out of a song book which has English songs too. Each morning and evening they have a camp meeting (Grand Howl) as we do here but they have to wear uniform shirt and scarf. At this they raise/lower the flag, sing songs and play a game. One of the differences between the uniform is that on their shirts they have their badges all over the place as this is also their camp fire blanket, but 3 badges have to go in a certain place. These are the world scout badge, their group badge and the German flag. On top of this, each section has a different coloured scarf. The Wölfingers (Cub aged group) wear an orange scarf, the Youth Pfadfinders (Scout age range) have blue scarfs, the Pfadfinders (Explorer age) have a green scarf, the Rovers (Network equvilent) have red scarves and finally the leaders have grey scarfs. They found the colours of my scarf interesting and liked it because it was colourful. However, I liked their way of scarves as then you could tell who was your age. But most amazing was learning to put up a black tent around a fire.