Our experienced county team of international travellers are here to offer opportunities to girls from our county, support to leaders wishing to travel abroad with their units and to girls selected for county, region and nationally run opportunities.
Adult (18+) Sangam Opportunity
The Essex North East International Team had planned a County trip to India, in August, 2021. The group would have attended an event at Sangam, the World Centre, in Pune, then travelled south, to explore a bit more of India (including the backwaters of Kerala and the beaches and spice plantations of Goa). All of that had to be put on hold, when Sangam was forced to close, because of the Covid pandemic.
In June, 2022, though, the centre was able to welcome its first guests, in over two years and everyone is now working very hard, to rebuild numbers, so Sangam is able to hit its bed-nights target, for 2023 and secure its future.
Realistically, it’s too big an ask to select girls for a trip, next year, both because of the limited time they would have to fundraise for such a big trip and given the likelihood that some parents would be wary of their daughters travelling such a distance. We are, therefore, instead proposing an adults’ trip, in August, 2023 – with each participant able to decide precisely what to do, and when.
This is a sign-up-and-go mix-and-match trip!
There are two ways to attend Sangam:
You could simply choose to spend your time in the pool, or enjoying Sangam’s gardens and grounds, or you could use the centre as a base, from which to explore Pune and its environs: whether to shop (there are small, local shops, or a rickshaw into the main city centre is about £2 each way – and can carry up to three people); to visit temples and cultural sites (many, in walking distance and others a rickshaw, bus, or train ride away); to try out different massages and therapies (almost too many to mention – but a 1hr massage, at Sangam, is about £20; one hour of singing bowls therapy is about £65, for a group of 8); to attend a class on making hand-made paper, or to visit the only nature reserve which is home to the Indian giant squirrel (which, being some 120km away, would probably need a car and driver, or a bus – and a 17-seater could be hired for less and £1 a kilometre), for example.
You could join a whole day of the event (at a cost of £90, which would include all meals and accommodation); a half-day (£40, including one meal, or £30, without) or an evening event £10. You might want to consider attending the traditional opening ceremony, for example, or the Maharastrian dinner. From memory, early morning yoga is a couple of pounds.
You could eat as many, or as few meals at Sangam as you wish: breakfast is roughly £3, per day; lunch, £3.50 and dinner, £4.25. If you eat out, a light lunch, with a soft drink, will set you back £2-50 or so; a slap-up dinner, with alcohol, £8 up to European prices (depending on the area, and the kind of food you are looking for).
You could return home, or you could travel and explore more of India, for example
Such visits can be as cheap, or as expensive as you like, depending upon whether you want to fly, travel in a private vehicle, with a driver, or take a bus, or train! Hotels can cost European prices, or as little as £5 a night. We can help and advise…
What do You Need to Do?
What is Roverway? This is a joint WAGGGS and WOSM event for members aged 16-22, which takes place every 3-6 years. Participants are selected by their countries, or regions, and formed into patrols of 5-8 people. The event is effectively split into two halves. First, participants “rove” with their “tribe” (a group of patrols, all from different countries, numbering about 50 people, in total), on a “pathway” (selected centrally, and advised nearer the time), before eventually all coming together centrally, for a jamboree. In 2018, it took place in the Netherlands. In 2024, it will be in Norway.
Who is it for? Participants must be born between 1 August, 2002 and 22 July, 2008: even a day either side is instant disqualification. Applicants need to be aware that this is an extremely demanding event, both physically and mentally: they will be undertaking 5 days of hiking, in rugged terrain, with extremely unpredictable weather (from 20’C to zero is not unusual, in the Norwegian summer), carrying all their equipment (including tents) and rough camping. There will be remote support, from Stavanger, but the tribe will basically be on its own. In addition, patrols must carry out their own planning, to decide how/when to travel to/from the event; what cost/time constraints they have; what equipment they need (and how to source it) etc. Should a patrol decide to extend their exploration after the event, they will also need to consider insurance to cover that additional travel. (CHQ is looking into the possibility of an optional add-on.)
What about people who are too old to be a participant? The IST (international service team) is open to anyone aged 22 and over: there is no upper limit! The IST will be responsible for setting up the jamboree, and running activities, cafes, shops, etc, when the participants arrive. They will not be responsible for looking after anyone. Applications for the IST will be open from about April, 2023 and CHQ will give me the heads-up before that happens.
What about people who do not feel up to a 5-day trek? There will be some roles available for those aged 18+, which will be advertised on the Norwegian Scout website, in due course.
What qualifications are needed? If everyone in a patrol is 18 and over, it is all very simple: they are all adults, so no GAW qualification is needed (and some regions have already said they will be selecting 18+s, only, to keep things simple). CHQ is considering the position, where there are under-18s in a patrol.
How much does it cost? CHQ has not yet finalised their figure, but anticipate it will be around £1,000, for each participant. That will include the event fees; briefing weekends; insurance; a rucksack, and clothing package. It will not cover the costs of travel to/from the event; tents; bags; the costs of getting to/from the briefing weekends (of which there will be two, both compulsory, and which could be held anywhere in the UK) or any additional insurance/travel. The cost of an IST place is likely to be around £700 (plus travel, etc). Details of any roles with the Norwegian Scouts will be on their website.
How do I apply? If you want to be considered for the IST, you’ll need to complete the application form, when CHQ makes it available. To apply for a role with the Norwegian Scouts, you’ll need to keep an eye open for vacancies on their website. To apply to be considered for a place as a participant, you will need to complete the application form attached, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 May, 2023. There will then be a Regional selection, so that CHQ is able to firm up names and Membership Numbers for everyone by the end of August.
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