53rd St Barnabas Scout Group
Roverway 09 Iceland 20th - 28th July.
I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning to go and meet the rest of the Cypriot contingent and
Eros, in London. After having lunch in Covent Garden we went to the Natural History museum. After
which, we headed to Heathrow. In Heathrow we met several other scouts and it was all quite calm
until we got to the gate. Apart from about 10 people the whole flight was full of scouts on their way to
Roverway. Cue lots of loud singing, despairing looks from the other passengers, and so much
noise that the floor started to vibrate. After a remarkably quiet flight, we arrived in Keflavik
international airport and were eventually taken to the school were we would be spending our first
After waking, repacking and getting our tents we made our way to our meeting spots for the journeys
we were about to embark upon. The Lemesos team got on the bus for S04 ‘Westman Isles’ and the
Pafos team on Rey 08 ‘I am sailing’. Here we met the rest of our tribe (it included some of the
French, Spanish, Portuguese and English contingents) and our wonderful tribe leaders Elva and
Geir, we were given our Roverway kneckers, camp book and ID tag. We were then taken but bus to
the Roverway opening ceremony where we heard several inspiring speeches, encouraging us to
open up, and the incredibly catchy Roverway song.
Shortly after, the Westman Isles tribe caught the ferry that would take us to Westman Isles. The
Journey took 3 hours. Once we got there, we walked the short distance to the camp site, and set up
camp. Later that evening, we all went abseiling. A very bold Ahmad decided to abseil off the highest
rope (about 60 meters up), only to be followed by George and others later. Almost everyone
abseiled, although Chris said that he found sky diving less scary, much to the amazement of the
Very tired, we all headed back to camp to get some sleep to prepare us for the next days’ activities.
We began our very full day by walking into town to see some museums – the Westman Isles Natural History museum, the
aquarium, and a film about the history of the island and the volcano eruption in 1973 that almost devastated the island. We
also visited the site where the volcano covered in the old swimming pool, and went sailing around the caves. This was
particularly great as you got to see some puffins cliff diving, and the pen that thy used to help release the whale from ‘Free
Willy’ back into the wild. We later had some free time so shop, and explore the island by ourselves. We noticed that on
some hills there were plaques noting where a house had been buried by the volcano, and how many meters under it was.
Later that night, we went for a walk to some cliffs to go puffin watching. It also allowed us to see some of the beautiful
scenery of Westman Isles and some very cute puffins.
This was quite a challenging day as we decided to climb the islands active volcano. An hour or so up I found myself
wondering how on earth I used to hike for fun. My opinion totally changed once we reached the top- the view was incredible
and how many people can say that they have eaten lunch on the top of a volcano, whilst heating their bum? As a reward for
climbing the volcano we all went to the island’s salt water swimming pool, but I think we spent more time in the hot tubs! We
later went to see Pompeii of the north- a site where they are excavating houses covered by the volcanic eruption. We also
had a camp fire this night, where we learnt some new campfire songs and saw some incredible sketches. The French group
also made us play a game. We all had someone to be guardian angel to, and the next day we had to do something nice for
them and we would be revealed on Thursday night.
This was our last full day on the island, and it was dedicated to community work. We were split into
different groups and we had different tasks to do. Some were sorting out the grass and flowers, some
were improving the campsite and my group were clearing the barbed wire and rock from around the
airstrip. After packing and eating dinner, we all gathered in the campfire area and revealed whose angel
we were. We went to bed early as we had to be up at 4 to pack and catch the ferry.
After waking at four, we took down camp, ate breakfast and left for the ferry. We were all sad to leave the
beautiful little island, and we were convinced we could move there if the weather wasn’t so cold. Most of
us slept on the 3 hour ferry ride and on the bus ride to the swimming pool. Again, we spent more time in
the hot tubs than in the outdoor pool. After this we began our journey to the Ulfjotsvatn scout centre, where
we stayed for the final days of Roverway. We set up camp, explored and had another opening ceremony.
By this time it was time for bed after a long, tiring day.
At Ulfjotsvatn we had a programme where we went to different villages. For example on Saturday our tribe
got passes to go to the sport village and the Viking village. In the sport village there were things like
assault courses, Frisbee, climbing and that gladiator fighting. Rachel (a girl from our tribe) and I went
canoeing on the lake. In the Viking village you were able to make Viking style things like spoons and
jewellery. As this was rather crowded some of the 53rd (Myself, Steph, Chris, Skip and George) went to
complete the volunteer badge. After planting 60 trees and doing various other things, we had a rest at the
campfire before going to bed.
We went to the arty party village in the morning, where we learnt how to make leader woggles. You
could also face paint, learn how to massage, make bags and many other things. After lunch we
had the carnival, where each country brought food and information about their country. The Cyprus
tent was a big success thanks to our dancers and yummy Soujouko and Loukoumia. We were
able to visit all the tents, but the best ones were the Italian and French- because of the food! After
the carnival the tribe leaders made a BBQ for dinner and the Cypriot and many of the English
contingent went to the tea room (a large tent on camp that served tea, and you sat on cushions on
the floor) and listen to these really talented guys called ‘Offside’ from Reykjavík play some music.
Our final full day of Roverway. We were given passes to the environmental and PSST villages. The
PSST village was a forum to discuss many important issues and the environmental village was a
place to make environmentally friendly, recycled things. Some of us went on a short hike to the
hydro-electric power plant instead. Upon our return we started to do some packing and after dinner
we had a dance, and many of us went back to the tea room for our last night at camp.
After packing camp once again we had the Roverway closing ceremony, said our sad goodbyes to
our other tribe members and went back to Reykjavík. After dropping off our stuff at the school where
we spent our final night, we went to the blue lagoon- a large, warm salt water lagoon. This was really
cool, and one of the highlights of my trip was seeing Skip with a facemask on! After that we went to a
Viking restaurant with the English contingent and our wonderful tribe leaders. We said our saddest
goodbyes to Elva and Geir, and made them promise to come to Cyprus very soon.
After we had our breakfast and we had just started packing, we heard Stephanie yell “We’ve got 20
minutes or you’ll miss the bus.” Cue frantic packing and moving faster than we thought it possible.
We later found out that the airline had overbooked the flights and that check-in had already opened.
We raced to the airport and managed to get everyone checked in. After a few hours, we were soon
on the plane, where the captain said he hoped we’d had a great time in Iceland. The English
contingent was also on our flight. As we got to Heathrow, we said goodbye to the English and Chris
and I parted with the rest of the contingent as they went to catch their connecting flight to Larnaca.
The trip to Iceland was utterly amazing and I know that everyone had the time of their lives and made
many great new friendship and memories that will be cherished forever, and will not soon be
forgotten. Thank you to all of those who made it possible- your efforts we really appreciated.
By Laura ( Leader)