What an experience Roverway 2018, from Amsterdam to Zeewolde being in the Netherlands for twelve days with the United Kingdom contingent has been one of the best camps of my life and I would do it all again.
Starting off in Amsterdam for the pre-event in a hostel, this was just two days with the contingent. After landing at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, we got on a train then walked to the hostel. We made sure to check in then we we’re allowed to do what we liked, we took the metro into Amsterdam to go for a walk around the city. Having spent a few hours walking around Amsterdam we met up with the contingent for a walking tour of the city, this included many touristy attractions of the city and excluded some. After the tour we went back to the hostel to sort out our bags and then have dinner. This is when I started to have a migraine and chose to sit out of the evening activities.
The second day in Amsterdam was amazing, we were tasked with a scavenger hunt around the city having to take selfies with all our patrol of different landmarks and locations around the city. From doing the macarena on the train to taking pictures with different contingents from other countries we had such a good time. After the scavenger hunt we went on a boat tour, then back to the hostel. Our evening ended with a BBQ, volleyball and an escape room.
On the Monday we moved from Amsterdam to the international city of Den Haag (The Hague) where we spent the night on Scheveningen beach. This is where we had the opening ceremony, where the Roverway band played the song wrote just for the event and a guest speak called Frans Timmermans spoke to us about how scouting can help change and shape Europe. After the opening ceremony they played music still midnight on the main stage.
The next five days my patrol had moved to the city of Alkmaar, this is where we took part in many different activities such as a bike ride through the Dutch country side, a look at the cheese market, a talk from refugees, a hike and volunteering. During those days we managed to talk with people from other countries: Norway, Lebanon, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, France and of course the Netherlands. We spoke about many different things, however for me my questions were about how scouting and religion work in their country. We also experienced traditional food from those countries. This for me was the best part of the whole experience during the trip, being able to speak with other patrols while away from the rest of the contingents from other countries.
After our five days in Alkmaar we moved to the final location, the internal scout estate at Zeewolde. For the last days of Roverway we camped with everyone else who travelled from all over the world for Roverway, still camping with those at Alkmaar I was also able to speak with other people from other contingents such as an Australian. During these few days I took part in many different activities: raft building, a bike ride and visits to other contingent tents like the Saudi Arabian, Taiwanese, and many more. During the evening at Zeewolde they ran different shows till 1am such as the Roverway show which was people talking about their experience at Roverway. The final night was amazing together with everyone on our path we took group pictures together to keep as memories.
Of course, the final few hours on the Thursday was also the day I returned home.
Roverway has been an amazing experience that I was happy to take part of, getting to talk with people from other countries, spend time with them and learn about them was just a lifetime of lessons. I can’t wait for my next international scout trip.