Sometimes our Scouts get to go abroad – and this includes our volunteer leaders! International adventures are an amazing part of being a Scout with endless possibilities to meet Scouts in other countries, explore new cultures and plan exciting expeditions. And here’s a brilliant example.
This summer the Pink Panthers Explorers took 40 young people and 8 adults to Finland for two weeks to participate in the Finnish Jamboree.
They started the trip by investing 2 new Explorers on the plane to Helsinki, 35 000 feet in the air!
Below are just a selection of photos. Jump on to their socials to find out more (see below links).
The Pink Panthers had 3 full days in Helsinki before the Jamboree. On their first day they explored some of the city’s history with a guided tour. They saw all the big sites, including the Helsinki Cathedral, the Helsinki Archives and the Uspenski Cathedral. Whilst travelling around the city the Pink Panthers learnt that each street used to have a sign with a painted animal rather than a written name, due to the diversity of Finnish regional language and the prevalence of Swedish as a national language. Some of the distinct signs spotted were the cat and bird district and their favourite, was the unicorn district. The Explorers then visited the new Oodi library which included recording studios, VR rooms, 3D printers and much more, all available to the public to use! That evening, once back at the campsite, they finished the day with their first sauna of the trip.
On the second day in Helsinki, they visited the Serena water park, a highlight of the trip. The Pink Panthers went through all the flumes and lazy rivers before heading into the city centre to meet up with some of their Jamboree Finnish hosts!
On the final full day in Helsinki, they visited Suomenlinna, the Sea Fortress, located on a separate island to the city. Here, they had a guns and tunnel tour, exploring all the hidden areas of the huge fortress inaccessible to the public. After this the Explorers had free time in Helsinki and made their own way back to the campsite in time for the inflatable obstacle course on the water.
Then the Pink Panthers were off to spend a week with 13000 Scouts at the Finnish Jamboree! The Jamboree was at Evo campsite, in the middle of the forest. There were so many people it was like a pop-up town! Every day the Explorers went to a different activity zone to participate in a variety of challenges. These zones included: action valley, battle valley and future valley. In the evening the Explorers were free to meet new people, exchange scout badges and participate in the competitive necker trade, where the Pink Panther necker was in high demand! After some free time, and a trip to one of the 15 saunas on site, there were usually big events held at the main stage; these were a highlight of the trip for most of the Explorers. In all the pictures, you can spot the Saltire in the centre of the action! Yes, the Explorers got so involved that some of them managed to get on the stage!
Both the Explorers and leaders made friends from all over the world, there were lots of tears when they had to leave, but the Pink Panthers hope to meet up with our Finnish hosts again soon.
The Pink Panthers Explorer Scout Unit is for anyone aged 14 to 18.
They normally meet on Mondays from 7.45 to 9.30.
They are currently meeting every Monday, outdoors, in locations around Craigleith, Blackhall and Davidson’s Mains.
“Normally” they use St Columba’s Church, Blackhall (Hillhouse Road) as a base.
Why not go along, or find out more – email – leaders “at” pinkpanthersexplorers.org.uk
If you enjoy reading this then please get in touch to find out how you can become an adult volunteer. It’s so rewarding for you in so many ways. You’ll only know if you try. You can work directly with the young people or more behind the scenes in whatever flexible role suits you in time, skill and space. You don’t have to have had any prior Scouting experience, you just need to want to do good, and help others. If you believe in this as a set of values then this is a great opportunity for you. What’s not to like! Please email us for an informal, no obligation, chat.