Haarlem 2019

Created with Sketch.

Every 4 years the Forest of Dean Scout District takes a contingent of Scouts, Explorers and Adults to the Haarlem Jamborette in the Netherlands. This year we took 48 Young People and 12 Adults, of which 2 adults and 8 Young People were current or former Aylburton and Lydney members.

We took an overnight coach from Coalway to Dover, caught an early morning ferry then continued the drive arriving at the campsite just after lunch on Saturday.
The advance party had pitched the mess tents, but we then had to pitch our own slug tents and sort ourselves. It was a quiet afternoon, apart from the planes arriving every 90 seconds into Schipol Airport.

Sunday was a relaxed day to get used to the site with the Jamborette Opening ceremony in the evening.

Monday was our water activity day.
We had a mix of rafts, stand up paddle boards, boat trips and it was a scorching day, so the water was welcome.

Tuesday was equally hot, so and was our hike day. We could lie-in though, so that was a bonus. The hike was only short, 6k. A bit of road, then cycle path then footpath on a polder/dyke. We stopped for lunch at end of the section and had a very long lunch break.
We decided to deviate from the route, to venture into Halfweg for an ice-cream. Hiked about 10k by the time we finished.

Wednesday was on-site pioneering type activities but torrential rain starting late in the morning ceased all activity, and the rain continued to 4pm. The Canadians and Turkish contingents were flooded out, so we offered to cook the Turkish scouts’ evening meal. 19 of them joined us

Thursday was a day off so we took the train to Amsterdam for some shopping and sightseeing.

Friday was arts, craft and tech on site. Everyone made something.

Saturday was a visit to a steam engine museum and a beach. Looked at big steam engines, stoked their boiler, played with mini engines. Off to the beach for an hour or so in the afternoon for a swim or frisbee golf.

Sunday was an on-site day for reflecting and welcoming visitors
Open day saw dozens of visitors, some who painted rocks, many who sampled wild boar sausages and a local cider.

Monday was sports day, a variety of inflatable games and gradually starting to pack the camp away.
Evening was a sub-camp campfire.

Tuesday was a big excursion to a theme park, Walibi.
Great fun and big rides for those so inclined. Struck down as much of the camp as possible. Closing ceremony in the evening.

Wednesday was departure day
Packed and loaded remaining gear onto coach to leave at 1030……
and arrive at Coalway for 2330

The overall impression was an excellent International Camp, very well organised and a fantastic experience. If you’re over 11 in July 2023 you might want to go with us next time.