INTERNATIONAL SCOUTING ADVENTURES

This is a new, ongoing column that will appear regularly beginning with this issue. We all know Scouting is world-wide, but rarely stop to think that we can “get out there” and participate as Scouts, with other Scouts around the world. So here’s a start!  Our first issue focuses on Europe!

Scouting Adventures in EUROPE

Through the European Scout Voluntary Program, American Scouts can learn more about Scouting in Europe by working at a European Scout Center.

Scout Centers in Europe operate a bit differently from the way you’re used to in BSA camps like Allamuchy, Sabattis, and Winnebago. European Scout Center staff members are involved in many different aspects of operating the center, rather than specializing in one particular area, like Scoutcraft or Waterfront. On top of this, Scouting in Europe is almost always co-ed, with young men and young women having the opportunity to be equally involved at all levels. Staffers are also a bit older…you won’t find “CITs” in European Scout Centers.

For the European Scout Voluntary Program, you will be between 18 and 30 years old, and registered with the BSA. And you’ll Be Prepared to make a six-week commitment. (So before applying, be sure you’re up to the challenge, because a “drop out” will not only put a strain on a center’s remaining staff but you’d also be preventing another from the opportunity of participating in this international program.)

For information on Centers available, go to http://rovernet.eu/site/esvp-map . There, you’ll access initial information about the staff program offered by each participating sites. Then it’s up to you to contact the sites for more specific information, and—if it looks like it would be a good fit—complete the application process for site or sites you’re most interested in.

As for travel, right away make sure you have a valid passport (can’t be set to expire inside 6 months of your return date) or, if you don’t have a passport, get one now (visit the passport section of www.travel.state.gov  for information on how to renew (or apply for) your passport. You should also check whether you need a visa for the country you’ll be going to (check the international travel section of the same website for country-specific visa information). Then, be sure to secure travel insurance for your time abroad, because your American-based primary insurance may not cover accidents or sickness outside the U.S.

As for travel costs, it’s the responsibility of the volunteer participants to pay the “up-front” costs of their travel to and from the Scout Center; however, the European Scout Region offers a travel reimbursement at the end of the Scout Center assignment. (According to each year’s budget, the amount reimbursed can vary, but as a general rule, the aim is to cover at least 30 percent of your overall travel costs). The reimbursement will be made through the Scout Center you’ll be staffing.

Well, that’s it for this issue—enough to get you started thinking about new adventures with fellow Scouts and Scouters and new friendships and memories that will last a lifetime!

Have a question? Call Hal Daumé at 908-447-6290 or send an email message to haldaume@incg.org.