We are very sorry to announce that on the 12th December 2020 we lost Pierre Lindberg a much valued member of our Explorer Leadership team. Pierre was a Scout through and through. Pierre was an Explorer Leader for 8 years, but he was also a Scout as a child, believing passionately in the values of Scouting and he lived his life by them.
The first of these values is Integrity, being honest, trustworthy, and loyal. Pierre was honestly one of the most loyal people I have ever had the pleasure to know. His word was his bond and he supported those around him without compromise. In scouting, Pierre was not just there for the fun stuff but came along with me to every leaders’ meeting he could just because he knew this was the boring bit of Scouting that nobody really enjoys, and so he wanted to show his support. But the way he spoke about his judge and his lovely wife I know he displayed this same loyalty in all areas of his life.
Respect is our second value and Pierre was a gentleman who always showed the utmost respect for everyone he worked with of all ages. He believed very strongly in teaching this value to the Explorers with self-respect and respect of others. Part of respect for Pierre was also respect of equipment. I often leant Pierre equipment, either my own or from the Scouting stores and he always returned it in better condition than he had borrowed it. When I thanked him, he would simply say but Nicola this is being a Scout. Show respect and ensure everything you give back is clean with little repairs made, it is what we are about. To Pierre this is a value that was so ingrained that it was simply how he lived his life.
I asked the other Explorer Scout leaders if they wanted me to say anything on their behalf at Pierre’s funeral and Care would be the value that they mentioned most. They all talked about how kind and thoughtful Pierre was, what a caring man and a great role model to the teenagers with whom we worked. They especially remember his love of the environment and the special time at a bird ringing camp when he so enjoyed sharing this with the Explores. Everything he did, he did with love.
Our final value is Belief and for Pierre it was all about attitude. The attitude that we can do anything, that we should live life to the full and always give of our best. Pierre lived this value to the very end. One of Pierre’s favourite activities was the winter survival camp we held in February every year. It was by its very nature our toughest camp and one that tested everyone in different ways. But for Pierre it was real scouting, getting back to basics. Building shelters, skinning rabbits, and cooking them on open fires and very importantly working together to survive. It was one activity he never wanted to miss and as such always took personal leave to be sure his weekend was free. One of my favourite memories of Pierre was a camp in 2015, it was so cold that we all had to sleep in this little concrete building as we couldn’t even get tent pegs in the ground. Pierre understood the importance of keeping a good fire going at all times and having good food ready. He made this his task and I remember watching him with different Explorers as they wandered over to help him, seeing his gentle nature and guiding ways. When we lose a friend, we have a memory that keeps coming back and this is mine. When Pierre was diagnosed with cancer, he said to me I am ready for this. All those survival camps have taught me how to handle difficult situations and to fight on, this is where all my years of scouting help me.
We will always remember Pierre with such love, for his kind and gentle ways. May we all learn from him and live by our Scouting Values.
Nicola Laurent, ESL/AGSL
Let’s invade the Medingen woods ! 9 patrols: 44 scouts, 7 leaders and 2 SAS (4 on bikes to hunt patrols). The orienteering game was awesome. Each patrol had to find cards in the woods, each time a leader finds a patrol they had to be able to tell where they were on the map to gain or loose more cards. 2 patrols gathered = loose all cards (social distance ). With cards they could buy sweets in the shop.
Lovely weekend with Telstar Scout Leaders, Exec. Committee, and SAS at the Chalet Geiselerei…team building, training and making the most of the theme for the weekend ‘Back to Childhood’. Well done to Ciara for organising this weekend Adam, you were missed. Awards were given to several volunteers for long service and the Award for Merit to Nicola for her excellent work in the Explorer section. Bravo!
What an amazing day! Telstar’s got Talent was a splendid success. We kicked off the event with a three course Thai banquet prepared by the Scouts. A delicious treat indeed. Many thanks Beverley and Mark for helping the scout plan and prepare this…and Ciara, James and all scout leaders who helped. The Talent show was an eye opener…I had no clue that we had such Talent in Telstar! The scouts put on amazing performances and it was quite hard to judge the best acts for the winners. Thank you to Lynn for being a brilliant MC and to the judges and to all volunteers who came and helped. The biggest BRAVO goes to Lise and Julie for organising the event. Well done all!!!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
'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.'
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.
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!
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.
Congratulation to all the winners of the Telstar's Got Talent show yesterday! What a fabulous event…the curry was delicious, the level of talent right from the Beavers to the Explorers was excellent…and the room was full with parents, leaders, and children. A big success indeed! A big thank you to Fiona and Susie for organizing this event and to everyone who helped out…BRAVO!
Telstar Leaders, supporters and guests celebrated 40 years of Telstar in style at the British embassy on October 22nd.
Peter Dawes , HQ Commissioner for British scouts abroad , presented explorer belt awards to Megan Hollis, Caterina Tapio, ALana Dunn, Dylan Thissen, Beth Pace Bonello and Daisy hollywood for their intrepid expedition to The Czech republic during he summer of 2014.
John Nordkvelle – District Commisioner for Benelux and Scandinavia was also present, as was David Heal, who was one of the founding leaders of telstar.
A message of congratulations was received form the Liz Matthews widow of David Matthews the founder and first chairman of telstar.
Our gratefull thanks to HE Alice Walpole, Telstar Patron, for the use of the embassy residence for the party and for her ongoing support to the group
See Chronicle.lu coverage of the event….. http://www.chronicle.lu/categorieslivingcommunityscouts/item/8976-telstar-celebrates-40th-anniversary-and-honours-explorers-for-completing-belt-challenge
See Wort.en coverage of the event ……. http://www.wort.lu/en/community/british-embassy-reception-ambassador-congratulates-telstar-scouts-on-40-years-5448f173b9b398870807deff
Telstar was named after the first international communications satellite and there was also a pop hit called telstar by the tornados in 1963 . see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBYdp84AwuU
Over 155 beavers, cubs, scouts , explorers, parents and siblings participated in our 4oth anniversay family camp at weicherdange youth centre near clervaux.
We were very lucky with the weather on Saturday…brilliant sunshine all day long…and that made up for the rain/drizzle on Sunday. But everyone left camp in good spirits full of positive energy. That makes it all so worthwhile.
A Big Hand to all leaders, helpers, SAS who worked extremely hard to make this all possible.
More pictures can be viewed in our website photo album https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hr3cidtw5h0lrav/kdQsgbGAvZ
See also the wort-en report on our camp http://www.wort.lu/en/community/a-truly-international-scout-troop-telstar-international-scouts-at-40-543253bfb9b3988708072846?utm_source=en_daily&utm_medium=email-1100&utm_content=newsLink&utm_campaign=dailyNewsletter
Grobbendonk has been the district camp site for the Benelux District (Now Benelux and Skandinavia) of British Scouts Overseas(BSO) since the mid 1950s when it was a part of the British military presence in Europe. Emblem a nearby British military base was responsible for the training area known as Grobben donk and a scouting staff sergeant (Staff sergeant Johnson) set up the facility for use as a camp site for the Benelux district of British scouts in western Europe BSWE to which his 1st Emblem Cub pack was assigned.
Grobbendonk was originally used by the germans in wwII as a fuel depot and after being captured by the British army was transformed into a fuel depot filling millions of jerry cans for onward shipping to the front line, Petrol landed at Antwerp was shipped by rail to Grobbendonk and there pumped to hundreds of blast proof parking areas where the jerry cans were filled.
The Grobbendonk petrol logistics function was superceded by a NATO pipeline in the early 1950s and the site fell into disuse. It was used for some local training by the royal Army service corps and some Territorial Army (TA) soldiers came from the UK occasionally but the fenced site was allowed to go back to nature. Vegetation and Wild animals flourished with deer, Badger, foxes and millions of rabbits and it is now a part of a protected wild life area.
The British army allowed The Benelux District to camp there and one of the two main pumping stations was transformed by sgt Johnson into Alice Springs _ why Alice Springs .. because it was in the middle of nowehere!!! Simply a building for sheltering cubs in case of inclement weather. Over the years, Alice Springs was converted to include storage , a toilet, a kitchen and some meeting rooms. In the 1970s part of the roof was replaced and an annexe built to include multiple toilets, wash basins and two hot water showers and a bunk room. There was a separate small building used as a leaders room and thunderbox toilets were constructed on the camping field.
Scouts and Guides from BSWE across Europe camped at Grobbendonk, including few UK and Belgian groups and rooms were assigned for group storage …….. Paris , Waterloo (The original one), The hague, Telstar Luxembourg , Brussels, SHAPE, Antwerp etc.
Grobbendonk was used every year for the District camp where upwards of 700 young beavers, Cubs,scouts and explorers met for a great long weekend and mixed with their compatriots from across Europe across the 50 hectares of this camping paradise.
Grobbendonk was a wild camping ground where trees could be cut, holes dug and with water features where pioneering failures would result in a dunking.
The British Army returned the land to the Belgian government in the early 1980s and a similar zero cost usage agreement was reached for continuing the camping facility by Benelux District.
Many thousands of young ( and not so young) people have enjoyed camping at grobbendonk and the local mosquitos are famous across the world. The camp site badge was a mosquito with a proboscis dripping blood.
In 2012, the Belgian Army required considerable improvement of Alice Springs to meet local authority requirements for buildings used to house children. The army had no budget to assist in this work and an estimated cost of 85,000 euros was way beyond the means of the Benelux District and so it was decided to abandon the Alice Springs building. We may still use the land for camping, but without water, toilets and shelter for our younger members, this is not practical.
A bunch of stalwart Grobbendonk aficionados camped there for the last time at the end of September this year and to clean up in preparation for the hand back and to bid farewell to this strong episode in Benelux History.
We have other camp sites available but Grobbendonk (Affectionately known as Grobbers) was very special and we will miss it dearly.