EXplorer Belt 2019 – Dutch Frisian Islands

During the summer, a group of explorers and I travelled across the Frisian islands to complete our explorer belt. The islands we visited were Texel (technically not part of the Frisian islands), Vlieland, Terschelling and  Ameland. Our first challenge was trying to pronounce these islands’ names properly. We left Luxembourg on the 19th of August by taking four trains to the north of the Netherlands. Sometimes we only had a few minutes to change trains, so it was important to be quick. Once we reached ‘’Den Helder’’, we took a ferry to Texel, which is larger and more populous than the other Wadden islands. Our campsite was an old farm, where we stayed for three days. As we were in Netherlands, our main method of transportation was naturally the bicycle. After setting up camp and visiting the nearby ‘’ Den Burg’’, we went to bed. On the 20th, the plan was to visit the Ecomare; Here you can learn about and view the sea creatures that lurk around the area, notably seals. After our trip to the Ecomare, we cycled to the beach to enjoy the nice weather.

On the next day, we cycled to the coast to get ready for our trip on a shrimping boat. The shrimping boat tour took several hours. The crew members were informing all the guests about their tasks on such a boat.  After the shrimp were caught, everyone had the opportunity to try some fresh shrimp.

The morning of the 22nd started with a surfing course. Our instructor taught us some of the basic moves after we got into our wetsuits. Everyone managed to get a hold of surfing. Most people managed to stand up on the board when we got into the water. In the afternoon, our mission was to get to the next island, Vlieland. We took a boat to the island but it didn’t dock at a port. Instead, we had to climb over the front rail and load our equipment and get ourselves onto the ‘’Vliehors Express’’. It was a large vehicle similar to a bus, but with huge wheels for the sandy terrain. During the ride, the passengers were all singing songs and enjoying themselves. We even found another Luxembourger! After setting up camp, we walked to the local town to get some dinner.

On the 23rd, we went to the beach to take part in a ‘’break in room’’. The group had to complete a set of challenges to obtain a sequence of numbers. These numbers were then used to open a vault which contained a souvenir to remember Vlieland. As we were at the beach on a sunny day, we naturally went swimming as well. A fellow group member had an American Football, so we played with that quite a bit.

It was already time to leave Vlieland on the 24th. This time we took a high-speed boat to get to Terschelling. On the way there, we stopped to go seal watching. In Terschelling, mudflat walking was the main activity. Some of the explorers had trouble getting through deep mud, so a lot of clothes had to be washed. During the walk, a local guide told us about the history and geography of the area. The next day we cycled around the island on tandem bikes, which was quite hard work, and so we rewarded ourselves with a trip to the beach.

On the 27th we went sea kayaking in the morning then packed up our camp and made our way to the port. An old Dutch sailing boat called a Clipper picked us up to bring us to Ameland. We stayed overnight on the boat. The captain and his crew were very friendly, and they taught us the basics of sailing and navigating on the sea. Most of us had to tie the correct knots when the captain changed direction. During that night, the leaders and explorers had a dance session listening to Richard’s playlist. In the middle of the night, the boat was not able to reach Ameland due to the very low tides. We could have practically walked around the boat (which we didn’t). The captain then brought us to Ameland later that morning. One of the explorers’ family was waiting at the port to see us. On Ameland, we didn’t stay at a campsite like before, but we got to stay in a hostel. It was a nice change to finally sleep in a comfortable bed. This was our last day before heading back to Luxembourg.

The trip back to Luxembourg on the 28th started with a ferry to the mainland Netherlands. After that, it was a bus and four trains. It took us twelve hours to finally reach the Gare in Luxembourg.

 

Ryan Puglia

Telstar Explorer

2019 Quiz Night Fundraiser

People turned up in record numbers…we had 19 table reservations! It was a fun evening with some excellent quizzing and fab Chili (thank you Beverley and Mark) and loads of help. Thank you all who came and helped and special thank you to the very well behaved and hardworking scouts and Explorers who helped out during the evening.

2019 Natter ‘n’ Noggin – District Leader Training

A fun weekend away with Scout Leaders from the Northern Europe district of BSO. An interesting time spent brainstorming, learning new skills and interacting with fellow leaders and meeting with our District Commissioner, Dominic Afriat and a very inspirational talk from John May of why we do what we do at scouts.

2018 Bingo Fundraiser

A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all last night at our Bingo evening. Many thanks to Ailbhe for organising…and to Neil for being the caller for the evening. Thanks go also to Alick and Nick and all the Explorers who showed up to help. Good show all!

2018 Family Camp at Misärshaff

With 170 people attending camp – everyone pitched in and did their bit and had fun along the way. We had freezing temperatures at night (there was a layer of ice on the water in the fire buckets in the morning!) but the beautiful sunshine throughout the day most certainly made up for it. The bases were challenging and fun and the wide game was excellent! 

 

Telstar meets the District @ District Camp 2017

Over 140 Telstar scouts, leaders and helpers trekked to De Kluis – just south of Brussels, to spend the weekend with scouts from across the Northern Europe District.

A very active and ambitious programme occupied the attendees enabling them to share and work with many others, including a contingent from The Girl Guides.

This annual event is great fun and a good time was had by all – see video  https://youtu.be/GMIEIpNpEmY

 

 

 

 

 

FAMILY CAMP 2016

What an absolutely brilliant Family Camp at Misaershaff!

High spirits lifted the cloud and rain and we even had sunshine.

Great teamwork, creative bases and a fabulous Pokémon Go wide game… all bringing huge smiles on the faces of our young members and families.

We even finished camp in record time and everyone was off the campsite by 1700!  A very big BRAVO to all who made the weekend possible.

 

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Telstar success with Duke of Edinburgh’s Award/Merite Jeunesse

'Telstar Explorer Scout Leaders were made proud when 23 Explorer Scouts ( 14 Bronze, 8 Silver and 1 Gold) received their 'Merite Jeunesse in Luxembourg (the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award)' on 20th April from Prince Guillaume. In total 200 young people received their award and Telstar was the largest visibly represented organisation. 

The 'DofE' award offers many life long benefits to young people. It's an holistic package – 'body, mind & soul'. It provides life long memories & binds friendships. 

If you're not aware there are many parts to the award: 3 levels – Bronze, Silver & Gold

Then within each level there's service, skill, physical, adventurous journey & at Gold a residential experience. These parts should be completed over various time frames, for example an hour a week for 6 months. When you consider that young people often have exams & other commitments, completing everything is challenging! These awards are not just handed out so that Telstar was so well represented is fantastic. Everyone involved does so voluntarily, from leaders to the young people themselves and these occasions remind us exactly why.'

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This now gives Telstar a running total of  40 Bronze, 24 silver and 10 Gold Awards. BRAVO Explorers – we salute you and also your excellent leader team who facilitated this excellent achievement.

 

WITCHES @ WIZARDS ‘@ MISAERSHAFF

A great Group Camp was had on the weekend of 2-4 October, 2015. 140 scouts camped at Misaershaff and have a super time with the theme ‘Witches & Wizards’. Magic Potions were concocted, wands made, Harry Potter dinning shelters created…along with learning practical skills as to how to use a saw safely. A fantastic Wide Game was enjoyed by all on Sunday morning. A great way to start the scouting year! Bravo!

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Telstar Scouts save a life – BRAVO

Over the weekend 8th to 10th May Telstar Scouts attended the annual Benelux and Scandinvia District Camp held at De Kluis in Belgium. Whilst on their way to a first aid base in the woods, 8 Scouts came across an elderly man lying on the floor with erratic breathing and unable to communicate.
 
The man (a 62 year old local Dutch national who has mental health challenges) had been walking in the woods with his carer when he suffered a heart attack. The man's carer covered the man with a blanket but had to leave him alone as she could not get a mobile telephone signal deep in the woods of De Kluis and she desperately needed to get medical assistance.
 
Upon finding the casualty, the Scouts first checked if he was breathing and then immediately despatched half of their patrol to run-on to the first-aid base to get a Scout Leader’s help. The other Scouts stayed with the casualty to ensure he was not frightened and kept breathing.
 
A Scout Leader immediately ran with the Scouts to give first-aid assistance to the casualty.

 

The ambulance and a paramedic were called. Basically the alert had been raised even before the gentleman's carer could get mobile phone reception. What was most impressive was that the Scouts made a human chain through the woods to the main road, so as when the emergency services arrived they could guide them in. In making this chain, all 8 Scouts stood about 300m apart from the scene (which was deep in the woods and on paths that vehicles could not enter). Nearer to the main road they found cars parked and blocking the route, they informed drivers to move their cars and ensured the route was kept unblocked.
 
Upon arrival of the emergency services and the paramedics, the Scouts quickly guided them to the scene and stayed in their human chain format to ensure the emergency services could quickly get out of the woods.
 
The doctor who attended the scene informed that the man's vital statistics were critical and without the fast action of the Scouts to raise the alarm and ensure clear guidance of the emergency services, the casualty would not have stayed in this world for very long; in fact, the doctor said the Leaders and the Scouts had saved his life.

Both Telstar Scouts, Yul Hendersen and Oscar van Bommel, will be given Certificates of Merit for their good conduct, devotion to duty and their bravery at the Telstar AGM on 18 June.