53rd St Barnabas Scout Group
Roverway 2012 Finland 20th - 29th July.
19th July: I met Skip, Charlie, Alex, Natasa, Olivia and Natalie at Tampere Bus Station.
From there we had our first meal (McDonalds) and we found the Train Station to ask the
Roverway Staff how to get to our School. The buses to the School were crowded so I
went in one bus with Alex, Charlie and Natalie and Skip went with the other. We were
rather confused when, despite us taking the first bus, we saw that Skip had arrived
before us- because he had taken a Taxi!! We spent the first night in the school, where
the were some questions from the other participants about who was snoring so loudly...
20th July: We work up bright and early on 20th so that we could be taken to the opening
ceremony in Tampere. We met up with our tribe and enjoyed the opening Ceremony,
with live feeds from Helsini and Rovameni**. After the ceremony, our tribe was taking by
bus to the starting location of our Path. We were split into teams, with all countries
being mixed and after being given life jackets and canoes, we canoed the short (5km)
to our first night spot. This was when we started cooking all our meals- we had
Pasta with Mince meat. We then had the opportunity to experience our first Finnish
sauna. The girls were first, then the boys. Many of the boys ran from the Sauna in
their towels, and jumped in the lake without their trunks, throwing their towels on
the side. Olivia, Natalie, Natasa and I went and sat near their towels, so they were
too scared to get out so the leaders could use the Sauna.
21st July: This was the first big day of canoeing- we had 18km
to go until our night spot. Bad weather came when we crossed
a 5Km lake making it a real challenge. We made porridge on
our burners and set off into the Finnish lake. We took a break
on a small island in the lake and cooked pea soup for lunch.
The tribe leaders kept us on track and made sure we didn't get
lost. That night we stayed in the forest. After cooking fajitas and
nachos we had a campfire, with all the different countries
signing songs and sharing chants. Eerika and Hanna, our tribe
leaders shared some nice quotes and ideas with us.
22nd July: This was the longest day. After making porridge we
travelled 20km in total. We stopped in a small village seeing
the local culture.This was an eventful day, with Skip falling in
the water and getting rather wet! Karma after making fun of
Natasia who fell in the day before. Him and Olivia had
discussions around his 'ego' when he didn't want to move to a
6man canoe and finish the day in a two man. We eventually
arrived at camp, tired and happy. We were staying on a farm
and had another opportunity to enjoy the sauna, and jump in
the lake after. We cooked dinner and got an early night.
23rd July: The next day we did our service task. Every Roverway you undertake a service task, to give
something back to the local community. There were various tasks, like collecting hay bales, or sheering
sheep. Natalie did this and managed to make one of the Sheep bleed. Skip, Charlie and I chose a task,
where only the reward was advertised. We had to get in the freezing cold lake and remove all the stones
from the bottom so that there was a nice path for people to walk on. It was absolutely freezing and we
stayed in for about an hour... The reward was a much needed sauna- it took me about 40 minutes before
my skin didn't feel cold any more! After this we canoed away, and had a small break at a cafe along the
river. We sent postcards and visited the mill museum. After a small stop for lunch, we canoed to the final
night spot of our Path. We stayed in a school again ( where you had to remove your shoes.) This night we
had international night where all the different countries brought/made local food. We had a lovely irish
potato soup, Belgian biscuits, Austrian Pancakes, Finnish Sausages. It was yummy.
24th July: In the morning we all tidied up, made porridge and then got on a bus to be taken to Evo (the
main camp) we were reunited with our blue bags (all the things we didn't need on the path) and walked a
long way, and set up our camp. We were still camping in tribes. True to form, the 53rd (over a couple of
days) took the lead with the pioneering projects, building a gate, a washing line and a shelter, complete
with tables and chairs that had been acquired. After this, we had dinner and went to the next opening
ceremony- that turned into an outdoor concert. After that the tribe went off to discover the places where we
could dance at night :)
25th July: Today was our Rovermomentum day- where each group had to come up with a project that
we had to continue back in our Countries. The 53rd chose the turtle project, which we had already
started as it fit with the aims of the project- doing something that would help the community. After this,
we all explored the main camp some more, and tried out the various places. After a few days of no
treats, we all went to the rainbow cafe for some yummy cake. In the afternoon, after perfecting our
campsite, we headed over to the creative corner, where we could pick from many activities. We could
learn to ball room dance, make art, play games and (the one that most of use chose) make things out
of leather- we made woggles and bracelets, amongst others. After dinner, we 'went out' again to hungry
hearts, to the Silent disco, where everyone had headphones to listen to what the DJs were playing.
26th July: I got woken up by Olivia screaming 'Laura, Laura!!' There was a frog in her and Natalie's tent that she wanted me to get.. After removing it we headed to
breakfast and then to forest fun. There were so many different things we could do- we watched a man carve the most incredible animals out of wood using a
chain saw, we played various games but the best part was the high ropes. We all had to walk across a rope that was high off the ground. Our tribe leader Eerika
fell down in a very spectacular manner. The rest of the day was 'loverway' where each contingent share some of their national dishes and cultures. Natalie, Alex
and Olivia performed some Greek dancing and we all had some amazing food from the other contingents. I'll never forget the yummy mini Dutch pancakes at
Holland house. I bumped into someone that was in my tribe at the Roverway in Iceland, which was amazing.
27th July: This was our final real day at camp. We had aqua arena in the morning, where we could do lots of water activities, although most of us opted to go in
the Sauna! After, we started to pack up camp and once this was done we had some tribe time. Everyone had a piece of paper on their back and we all had to go
around and write something nice about them on it. After this, we headed to 'live your life' the closing ceremony, were we all had a lot of fun- we all had to write a
message and put it in a balloon for someone to read.
28th July: Today we had the formal closing ceremony and then we headed to Helsinki by bus. We dropped our stuff at the hostel and while most of the Cypriot
contingent stayed there, the 53rd went to Suomelina, a sea fortress. It was absolutely incredible- really beautiful and we got to buy our souvenirs here and took
some truly amazing photographs. Imagine Skips delight when we found a Toblerone pastry! We headed back to Helsinki on the ferry, and then we went for some
Chinese food for dinner at Wrongs Chinese. We navigate the Finnish Tram to get back to the hostel. We all really enjoyed having a hot shower as the only way to
get one at camp that wasn't ice cold was to wake up at 6am!
29th July: On the Final Morning, Alex and I rushed into town to see if we could get him a knife, and some cake for Natalie as it was her birthday. We tried, but
couldn't find cake. Once we returned, we got the coach to the airport where me and the rest of the contingent parted ways.
Like last time, Roverway was an amazing, incredible experience- one that none of us will forget :)
By Laura M