The Worshipful Master Tadeusz Krawczyk & his Team of Officers 2017 - 2018
Support for Young People
Minerva Lodge 250 recently made a contribution to help these young people from Hull with their travel costs to France as part of their Roverway 2016 project. Their assignment is the 'Children's Home and the Emmaus Charity'. They will camp overnight at the children home in the Massif's region of France. Whilst there, they will be interacting with the children and arranging a number of different activities for them. During the daytime they will be volunteering at the Emmaus charity helping with recycling and sales. This Charity houses and employs homeless people, who support themselves through selling recycled furniture and books. Our Lodge is pleased to be associated with this venture. Update on their progress to follow.......................
Dear all at Minerva Lodge,
We are writing to let you know about our time in France to partake in Roverway, which you very kindly supported. We have aimed to give you a summary of the most important parts of our trip, and have included some photos which we hope you will enjoy.
After meeting up with the rest of our UK patrol in London, the six of us flew from Gatwick to Lyon to attend our opening ceremony for all the international Scouts and Rangers that were based in the area for their Road (around 1000 people). This was the hottest day at 33 degrees C, but despite the heat everyone seemed excited and turned up in full scout uniform. It was very funny to see all the different styles and country neckers. After the welcome, we got the first chance to meet everyone from the five other countries on our Road, and we travelled by bus about 40 miles north east to the region of Saint Symphonien de Lay.
When we arrived at the grounds of the Children’s Home, we were informed that unfortunately the children that we were expecting to be working with as part of our Road were in fact away on holiday and so we were unable to help them as expected. Even worse, the second charity we were expecting to work for, the Emmaus community for the homeless, also did not work out as planned due to transport problems. Despite our obvious initial disappointment, this did mean we had more time to get to know our new friends from Italy, Norway, Denmark, France and Portugal, and we were told the organisers were looking into other ways we could help.
We quickly got to know each other very well, as the camp was very basic, and setting up camp involved putting up tents, building a wooden table, making a shower from a water bag suspended in a tree, and digging the toilets! This for us was something we have never had to do before, and although it was initially daunting, we enjoyed learning how to build a camp completely in the open. After a couple of rainy days, where we had fun laughing about comical language translations and hiding in the truck, we had already made really close friends. And we further got the chance to learn, (in the sun!) about the lives of our friends through the games and meals each country had to prepare and share with the group. The UK’s contribution was ‘bangers and mash’ and a game of Rounders.
On one day we went on a 23km hike which gave us a chance to explore the local area. Towards the end of our stay we were happy to learn we would be spending a day helping some of the volunteers that looked after the farming at the Children’s Home, we felt this was helping the children if somewhat indirectly! There were several large fields growing potato crops, and in September each year the home held a ‘potato party’ where they sold and ate their crop whilst hosting games. In preparation for this we spent the day removing large rocks from the fields so the machines could be used to pull out the potatoes. We then also removed all the piping from the water irrigation systems, which needed loading back onto a trailer. Finally, we helped build a new trailer for the farmers using a metal frame and wooden planks. The farmers did not speak very good English, but all the same it was very nice to see their gratitude and their very traditional approach to their trade.
In the second week, all the Road groups travelled to the Paris camp in Jambville, we assembled as a huge camp of 5000 from all over the world. Whilst at Jambville we had the chance to take part in activities surrounding the 4 main themes of Roverway, between us we had the opportunity to make woggles for our neckers, take part in a ‘Free Being Me’ workshop (where Bekah learnt about body confidence and breaking down stereotypes) and a ‘Taboo About Religion’ workshop (where Holly learnt about the importance of reducing prejudice surrounding different religions). We were also taught about making devices to filter dirty water. Whilst the day times may have been educational, the evenings were a chance to let our hair down and unwind, with a selection of music venues to choose from we each found the opportunity to dance and laugh, an invaluable opportunity to strengthen the connections and friendships we had formed on the road.
On the 11th August, Bekah had the chance to visit the UNESCO building in Paris, here she spent the morning listening to speeches from people such as João Armando (Chairperson of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement), Nicola Grinstead (World Board Chair of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) and Ahmad Alhendawi (UN Secretory General’s Envoy on Youth). These speeches were followed by questions and discussions in small groups where we got the chance to speak to people who put together statements that are followed by governing bodies across the world. In the afternoon we discussed how as members of WAGGGS and WOSM we can impact on these larger bodies and put together plans that we would continue to develop over the coming months.
The whole Roverway experience was something we will never forget, and although it didn’t all go to plan, we learned so much and built many friendships with other nationalities which we hope will last a lifetime.
Thank you so much again for your very generous support, and hope that you feel it went towards a worthwhile and valuable event.
Holly and Bekah
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