Rover World Moot: 1996 Report

From SCOUTS South Africa Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ransäter, Sweden: 10th World Rover Moot.

15 to 26 July

Report by Ian Webb

Ack: Scouting About Winter 1996

What is the most exciting international Scouting event in the world? According to seven South African Rovers and young Scouters, the answer is the World Moot

We gathered with 3000 other Scouts at a campsite in Sweden this July. Two of us flew in from a kibbutz in Israel, I came by train from Norway, and the others came direct from Cape Town.

The theme of the Moot was "Spirit into Action" which summed up the whole vibe. The spirit of 3000 young men and women camping together for 12 days was incredible, and we made friendships which will last a lifetime.

3000 may sound huge for a Scout camp, but it's not that big by world standards. Many Danish Scouts at the Moot came directly from their national jamboree of 22000 Scouts. The 1995 World Jamboree in Holland topped 25 000, and in Chile they are expecting 30 000 in 1999.

The Moot began with a four-day expedition through the Swedish countryside, hiking through forests and farmland, canoeing, visiting small villages and craft centres, camping at the side of a beautiful lake. The evenings were perfect for cooking dinner and singing around the campfire.

Back in camp, we began building our campsites. Each campsite was a 'village' of 40 people in 5 Patrols, who lived and cooked together. The Moot was supplied with 10000 pioneering poles which we used to build camp kitchens, tables, gateways and altar fireplaces.

The social life was amazing. During the day you could get together in one of two huge tent-cafes to eat or drink, learn a new craft, swim in a lake, visit a huge camp shop, send email from an intern et cafe, play volleyball or soccer, visit exhibits from different countries, or swap badges in the shade of a tree: We also took part in 4-day activities which included rock-climbing, sailing, wood carving, cycling, visiting nearby towns, forum discussions and dozens of others. My personal favourites were the folk dancing (I can't dance, but it was fun) and 'cycling' metal trolleys along a railway line through the forest.

A big highlight was the Market Day where each contingent made food typical of their country. There were also souvenirs to swap and lots of colourful international costumes and flags. Our South African stall made koeksusters, and we swapped springbok skin hatbands, badges, T-shirts and gemstones to the sounds of Mango Groove and Johnny Clegg on tape.

The Moot closed with an enormous closing party which went on all night. We said our sad goodbyes to all the wonderful people we'd met, and made plans to meet again at the Jamboree in Chile in 1999 or the next Moot in Mexico in 2000. For all of us, the Moot was the most exciting Scout event we have experienced. We recommend it to any young Scout leader or Rover. Don't miss Mexico in 2000!

Report by Angela O'Brien

This was the first time that any of our contingent had attended an international event. It was a memorable experience and we have all returned with many very special memories. It was described as the most fun that anyone can have in scouting and cannot be beaten.

General Principles of the Event
The moot meets the criteria of being scouting, simple and for young leaders. However in South Africa there is no age limit to Rovers and I feel that many of our dedicated Rovers missed out on an excellent opportunity due to the age limit. We find that we are able to benefit from the experience and knowledge of our older Rovers which complements the youth and enthusiasm of the younger members. I feel that the ageism in scouting generally needs to be addressed as one's interest in the willingness to provide service, the outdoors and scouting should be the main criteria for membership. This could be a future discussion topic in events.

Patrol System
It was a good idea to have international patrols as it encouraged people to mix and get to know different cultures. This also promoted the international fellowship which was a vital ingredient of the moot's success.

Non-alcoholic Camp
This was a good idea given the number of people attending the event and the potential issue of crowd control. It also proved that one does not need alcohol to have a good time. I was particularly shocked to hear of the concern regarding the use of recreational drugs on camp, as drugs are not considered to be part of scouting in South Africa. I would not have thought that any scout would be taking drugs, a huge cultural difference!

Pre-moot Correspondence
The regular newsletters were most welcome giving the general planning detail of the event. Due to the delays in postage it was wonderful to have the internet facility which improved communication.

Arrival and Reception
The reception committee were not particularly friendly and appeared to give us inaccurate information. It turned out that they had forgotten to explain the Swedish public transport system. It was a brilliant idea to have an airport reception committee. However the team should have been warned that there would be people who have never been to Sweden beforehand and thus would not be aware of the local conditions. It would have helped if one of the party had shown us where to change our money, as we went to the wrong place and ended up spending a lot of money, in our currency, for the same service. We were also unprepared for the expense of Sweden and felt that we should have been warned before we attempted to buy refreshments e.g. a can of cola cost us sek12 which in South Africa would have cost us R2. We ended up spending a large amount of money in the airport before getting to our overnight accommodation. We had been travelling for 18 hours and found these minor frustrations irritating and it clouded our anticipation of the event.

Making Koeksisters

This was well organized with each participant being taken to their campsite and introduced to their patrol leader. There should have been noticeboards put up throughout the camp from that first day to facilitate general communication. The initial assumption that everyone knew what to do was confusing as this was not the case and many were not aware of what to do. This situation cleared later in the camp when there was more detailed information on each issue. This did cause some confusion on the first few days.

Four Day Expedition
The hikes were a fantastic opportunity to get to know each other and enjoy the Swedish countryside. Those routes that included sightseeing and adventurous activities such as canoeing were more popular than a standing camp or obstacle courses. The visits to the linen factory and glass blowing were very interesting.

The contingent leader remained behind as she was under the impression that there were many tasks to be completed during this time. This was not the case and it would have been nice to have known this in order to join the expedition. However the programmes arranged during this time were fun and encouraged the contingent leaders to get to know each other as shown by the fact that we all became a close group.

One Day Activities
There was a wide range of activities which seemed to cater for all interests. It was difficult to get onto the journeys and outdoor activities as these were very popular. It would have been nice to have a chance to have got on these activities. It would appear that groups jumped the queue to get onto them. There could have been more places available.

The handcrafts were interesting and enabled one to take something home from the moot which is a special souvenir.

The discussion groups were more interesting from the view of the experiences from different countries as opposed to the actual content of the lecture. I attended the AIDS prevention and refugees programmes. The former did not have any new information but it was interesting to observe the different approaches of each country to the disease, and sexuality. This was useful for making some close friends and important contacts. Also some of the issues were discussed later after the group and provided much stimulation. The refugees role play was extremely thought provoking and highlighted the role that scouting could play.

Activity Tent
This provided an opportunity to see what the different countries had to offer. Many of these activities were more interesting than the formal activities. I feel that there should have been a lot more publicity around these events so that you could better plan the day. The handcraft and demonstrations were popular. The Czech display of rope work was impressive. It was pleasant to find that one was able to organise a day to fit one best. There was not any pressure to be constantly busy but time to do whatever you wanted to.

This and the hat parade were great fun. The band was excellent and helped to create the festive atmosphere. It was wonderful to dance the night away.

The cafes were great meeting places. The discos were great and catered for all tastes in music. I enjoyed the Tunisian day and the exhibition by the Arabian countries. It really showed the cultural wealth within Scouting. This should be encouraged for all cultural or continental groups e.g. African display.

It was interesting to sample Swedish food but some people felt that this was overdone especially with the fruit soups. There was always enough food and it seemed to be very healthy. The staff canteen was well organised. The 9pm fikja was a new and welcomed experience.

Congratulations on the team who kept the campsite running smoothly. The fact that there wasn't a problem showed their effectiveness. Congratulations on the layout of the site. However the toilets were too far away from the tents which was frustrating when needing to go to the toilet in the early mornings.

The yarn at the opening ceremony was particularly appropriate about using the opportunity to make as many friends as possible. It was marvellous meeting so many wonderful people. It would be appreciated though if the address list of the contingent leaders could be sent to maintain the contacts made.

Badge Swapping

Badge swapping
Initially this was difficult as it was not clear if there was a special place for this or if it was an adhoc affair. However once started it was an interesting occupation that could have been better provided for. Possibly a place in the cafes where everyone tended to meet naturally.

I was very disappointed at the amount of theft that occurred on the moot. One would have thought that with Scouts it would not be necessary to have to guard one's possessions as we are all brothers. I was shocked to find that cards I had kept in my luggage had gone missing as well as gifts to the hosts.

This was a fun way to keep up to date with what was happening on camp. I also enjoyed the articles on the Swedish countryside which is very different from Africa.

Moot Staff
The staff are to be congratulated on their helpfulness at all times. There had been some complaints about the strictness of the security team but this did not deflect the sunny attitude of the event. The administration team were well informed and very accommodating. The fee was high due to the poor South African exchange rate. This meant that several members did not have enough spending money. However the activities organised were excellent and greatly enjoyed.

The contingent leaders meetings were very important and a useful way of getting together at the end of the day to compare experiences. This did much for the arrangements of the moot and team building. There could have been a folder issued with copies of the different information which could have been followed up on the noticeboards. The moot TV was great fun and captured the spirit of each day. There could have been some form of public address system in the main activity area to announce the start of the different events. This might have interfered with the camp atmosphere.

The subsequent moot chat page on the internet is a wonderful way of keeping contact with new friends. Looking at the messages one is aware of the impact that the moot has made on all our lives. This must be kept up.

Market Day
The time allocated for this was far too short. With the light evenings it could have gone on well into the night. Being such a small contingent there was not enough time for our delegates to go around the whole day and participate in the stalls. We were told that in previous moots bartering was the main form of exchange and thus were not prepared for the cash prices at the stalls. This could have been highlighted in the pre-moot communication. Due to the market day running over time it ran into the time for the auction which meant that we did not attend the auction. If the auction had been held later there could have been more participants.

General Comments
The South African HQ could have advertised the event better amongst the scouting fraternity that are not Rovers as the one scouter that was in the contingent found out about it by accident and had a fantastic time.

Thank you on behalf of the South African team for a marvellous experience and we look forward to hearing from you and meeting again in Mexico 2000!

Scout Heritage 2018

See Also