Rover World Moot: 1935 Report

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Ingaro Island, Sweden: The First Rover World Moot

30 July to 8 August

The Editor's Own Diary of the Moot

TUESDAY, JULY 30th. WE awake to a wonderful scene. We are in the Stockholm archipelago. Countless islands, pine clad and rock strewn, the air heavy with the scent of pines.

A launch puts out from a concealed bay and Sten Thiel, International Commissioner for Sweden, comes aboard to give us landing instructions.

Tells us they have had six weeks sunshine in Sweden. The moment the Chief arrived it started to rain and it has been dull and wet since.

9 a.m.- We anchor off Ingaro island. Some go ashore in the launch Sirius, others in ship's lifeboats.

Everyone thrilled at the really glorious scenery. As we approach the jetty on Ingaro Island, it reminds one of the Canadian lakes.

Large batch of Swedish Rovers to greet us and an excellent brass band. The unusual blue of the Swedish uniforms harmonises beautifully with the scenery. We tramp up through the pines and bracken and arrive at the open space of Sub-Camp B. Here we are met by the Camp Chief, H.R.H. Prince Gustaf Adolf and the camp officials: allotted our site. H.Q. have a natty little channel between rocks. Soon settling down. Across to the camp shops, bank to change money, post office and to the press office for first issue of the Ingaro Rover News.

Then over to Sub-Camp A to meet Robert Hale, an old friend from U.S.A., and to see that George Carter was doing all that he should with the " Red Army." Here we coffee'd, cake'd and fraternised.

Back to the jetty to greet the Chief, who arrived by launch. Looks really fit.

BP arriving at the jetty

Wednesday, July 31st.
To-day was given over to fraternising and camp improvements at Ingaro. Camp gateways, kitchens and dining shelters seem the principal means of national expression. There is an abundance of timber and green fir and some really fine constructions are to be seen.

At lunch time Latvia had the prize dining shelter, constructed of heavy timber with a green roof, but by tea-time Kent had surpassed this with a construction of greater solidity.

France, Poland and Hungary are erecting very charming calvaries in their camp and Poland has a very beautiful altar, backed by a huge timber cross ; up in the rocks, Mass is said here each morning.

It is a glorious day and the scenery is superb. The Chief Scout was up early and paid a visit to every camp and also to the Moronel, the Cambridge University Rovers' ketch, which they sailed over from Ramsgate.

Swopping has started: Hungarian plumes, Scottish balmorals and Swedish forage caps being in great demand; one British Rover hiked over to a neighbouring camp and parted with his complete uniform. Luckily he had a pair of bathing drawers underneath; a pal thought-fully pinned a small Union Jack on his seat to establish his identity.

Food is excellent, although many refuse to tackle the sour milk which is a feature at every meal; eaten with plenty of sugar it is bearable.

Coffee and a fruit juice is popular, also the sweet rye bread. Tomorrow is reserved for hikes, excursions and tea parties. One or two of us went for a hike, or rather scramble over the rocks this evening through some amazing scenery. Flowers, ferns, butterflies and dragon flies in abundance-also insects!

Thursday, August 1st.
The glorious weather has definitely returned, it is blazing hot during the day and very cool at night. Mosquitoes playing havoc with legs and arms.

A Rugger trial this morning for the match against the Swedish Rugby Association tomorrow. Despite heat and baked ground the play was good and at a high speed.

The opening ceremony

The tea party season has opened with British headquarters leading the way. The chief guests were Prince Gustaf Adolf and The Chief ; others included Count Teleki, three times Premier of Hungary, Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisberg, Assistant Camp Chief, Prince Emanuel of Liechstenstein, Count Marty of the Scouts de France and Major Ebbe Lieberath, Chief Scout of Sweden.

Tea, talk and an entertainment organised by Jack Beet was the programme. Scotland put over some highland dances, South-East Lancs some old folk songs and Southern Rhodesia a native dance and song.

The Chief was given a piece of embroidery worked by a crippled scout belonging to the 4th Leaming-ton Group, and the Rhodesians presented a leopard skin rug to Prince Gustaf Adolf.

In the evening to the Kandersteg reunion: a really jolly programme. All old friends, old songs and well remembered "turns." Major de Bonstetten, Hubert Martin, Lafitte all spoke well and Colonel WaIt on made a splendid little speech in French.

We heard the yodellers and the Swiss band and Jack Beet got busy with the Kander yell, the Giant Sneeze and Hullo, Hullo, Hullo. Called in at the Swiss camp fire in the late evening after watching a perfectly marvellous sunset.

Friday, August 2nd.
Chief item in to-day's programme was the Rugger match against the Swedish Rugby Association. The result was 8 points to 6 points in favour of Sweden-a splendid achievement when one considers that this was the strongest team Sweden could produce. The teams meet again in Stockholm Stadium on Tuesday.

The Chief Scout and the delegates to the International Conference left Ingaro for Stockholm to-day. Weather just perfect. In the morning there was an international contest in a scouting activity i competitors had to swim out to some rock~, collect materials for a damper, return and cook it. The winners were France: the nearest of the British contingents were a Scottish team who would undoubtedly have secured a higher place but for the fact that they misunderstood the rules and turned out eight dampers!

The hikes are now in progress they are overnight affairs, but the teams have not yet returned so the story will have to wait.

Prince Gustaf Adolf and Mr. J. S. Wilson (Camp Chief of Gilwell Park) went out to see how they were getting on. They returned about two in the morning with quite a thrilling story and they had definitely found elk spoor. I have not heard of anyone actually seeing elk, no doubt the noise of the camp is frightening them away, but the beasts certainly exist on Ingaro Island.

View of the Camp

Saturday, August 3rd.
Weather still holding and bathing is very much the order of the day. Despite the crowded camp it is possible to find quite secluded spots among the rocks, in fact, the ease with which one can find complete seclusion is one of the joys of this camp.

The Rover Leaders' Conference took up the whole of this morning; report will be found elsewhere. In the afternoon, more tea parties and another at B.H.Q. when we entertained the Leaders of Sub Camp "A." The S.E. Lancs again gave their folk songs. These fellows had not met before the Nevasa, but under the able hands of Dobson they were able to put up a really first class show and it was so excellent to be able to put on 11 really British feature. The evening was to see the Joint Camp Fire, which took place in the same arena as the opening ceremony. The stage was flood lit and the Leader was Lundquist of Sweden, and a very able Leader too. A "mike" was installed and each turn was announced in Swedish, French, German and English. Jack Beet played for England and, of course, added bits not in the book of words.

At the opening ceremony each country brought a stick of wood for the fire and at the close carried an ember back to their camp. The turns were excellent, some of the outstanding being France with a " wholesale barber" item, Lithuania (a pot pourri sketch), Hungary (dances), Latvia (dances, songs and a home-made orchestra), Poland (individual item and folk songs), Egypt (folk songs), Belgium (a gruesome sketch). Great Britain was represented by S.E. Lanes (their folk song party), Scottish dances and a turn from Sussex.

The Hikers have returned. They ten stories of wonderful scenery but some really hard work and, breathe it softly, sore feet. The going was really hard, rocks and boulders and dense forest, Two of the Scotties saw elk and several found spoor,

Sunday, August 4th.
The last day of the Moot and everybody out to make the most of it. At 8.30 a.m. the Roman Catholic Mass took place in the arena; a really beautiful altar had been erected of timber with a huge birch cross as a background and moss and lichen had been set in the steps, completing a really lovely picture. Mass was sung by Dominican Friar attached to the French contingent. At the end, each contingent sang a hymn in their own language.

10 a.m. A special service held in a little hollow of the hills surrounded by pines, firs and lichen covered rock, for the Scottish contingent. It was conducted by the Rev. G. M. Little and the address was given by the Rev. R. Murchiston of Edin-burgh.

11 a.m. Arrival of the Chief Scout and delegates from the International Conference.

12 noon. Special service in the arena for Protestant Rovers, the address being given by His Grace, the Bishop of Strangnas, Dr. Gustaf Aulen. His Grace' afterwards made a tour of the camp accompanied by his wife, son and daughter.

2.30 p.m. The British contingent presented a bronze statuette to the Swedish Boy Scouts Association. The statuette was presented to H, R. H, Prince Gustaf Adolf by Lord Hampton. The ceremony took place privately in the Camp Chief's office.

3 p.m. The British Charge d'affaires, deputising for the British Minister in Stockholm: who is leaving for England to-night arrived and was conducted round the camp by Colonel WaIton. The camp is crowded and a very large crowd of people gathered in the arena to watch the Swedish exercises.

4 p.m. British headquarters entertain the officers of the Nevasa very cheery meeting, for very friendly relations existed between the Rovers and the ship's officers on board. Games, displays and a world-wide broadcast were a feature of the afternoon. The Chief Scout spent most of the afternoon in H.Q. camp before going down to the arena for the closing ceremony. Between tea and the camp fire quite a number took the opportunity for a solo stroll to say good-bye to Ingaro.

The scenery is ever-varied and lovely. Birds are not plentiful, but the variety of insects makes it a " bug hunter's "paradise. Gorgeous butterflies, dragon flies and every variety of beetle, while grasshoppers are positively gigantic. Red squirrels are also plentiful and so, they tell me, are adders-one or two Rovers were victims to their bite, but I failed to find any. 8.30 p.m. To the arena for the final camp-fire. This time I went up on the rocks-a magnificent sight. All the Rovers were there and several thousand of the public. The turns were again excellent. Spain, Romania and Holland taking part this time, in addition to last night's artistes. The British turns include some very good Morris dancing, a sword dance and a sketch. And then there was a Yell and song from South Africa.

South African Camp Gate

At the end, Colonel Walton addressed the gathering in French and English on behalf of all the contingents, thanking the Swedes for their magnificent organisation, kindliness and thoughtfulness for detail.

Prince Gustaf Adolf, who was accompanied by the Princess, replied and then called on the Chief Scout to officially close the Moot. A tumult of cheering, then that well loved voice, rich and strong once more, spoke. He told us he had done his best to put a damper on the proceedings at the beginning, but the energy and wonderful organisation of the Swedes had arranged for a week of sunshine, and the Swedes had one.

There were two things he wanted us to take back:

(1) A happy memory of the Moot and the firm resolve that the friendships made would continue for the peace of the world;

(2) A lesson learned from the good order, civility and cleanliness of the Swedish people. They were the cleanest people he had ever met and kept to the letter, the 10th Scout Law. Every nation had something to learn from them in this respect.

The Chief looked up at the great Scout flag which towered above the pines. "The Moot is at an end," he said, "let the flag be lowered." A huge searchlight swept its beam to the flag; a more mellow light suffused the platform, where the nations had gathered their flags; the Swedish band played. It was a thrilling sight. There was silence, then the Chief spoke again: "Good luck to you and God bless you all." We walked rather quietly back to our partially dismantled camp sites, for at 5.45 a.m. tomorrow we shall be back on S.S. Nevasa bound for Stockholm.

Scout Heritage 2018

See Also