A lot of you remember the International ScoutingShip as one of the ideas which came up during the BerlinMeeting in November 2014. Right now, about nine month later, a part of that idea has become reality: From 2nd til 9th of August, twelve scouts from Russia, Ukraine and Germany met in Rostock to gather experience and shape the project, both on the Baltic Sea, sailing the Greif von Ueckermünde, and with solid ground under our feet in Rostock.
But as this blog is called „stories“, here is our story:
Boarding our ship, we were greeted by a crew of experienced sailors full of yarns. After all the backpacks and food was stored, we got a short briefing about sailing safety. Even though being an international group, it was a bit unexpected to cross international borders on the trip, so some id-less people were left behind for the first few miles. They got a second chance to join in in Warnemünde, just outside of Rostock.
As your fortune on a sailing ship depends a lot on weather and wind and not so much on your skills, we were pretty lucky and ended up in a nice town in Denmark. A big surprise for the Ukrainian and Russian participants, who really enjoyed the scenery and the public chess game. Even though the arrival was pretty late and the departure was early in the morning, there was enough time for a complete match.
On departure, the captain of another ship challenged us for a race to Wismar. Trusting our newly acquired sailing skills, we accepted – and were left behind in his backwash after just two hours. As there was no way to win this thing anymore, we decided to go for a swim in the open sea instead. The weather was nice, the sun was shining, and the ship was drifting… Somehow we managed to reach Wismar, and with the help of our trusty engine, we were able to close in a bit on our opponent. In Wismar, we had time for some sightseeing and enjoying icecream, before a thunderstorm forced us to spend the rest of the evening below, in the mess, with rounds of munchkin, an internationally known cardgame.
The sun returned in the morning, and we used the opportunity to complete our city tour. After that, we set sails for Kühlungsborn. At least we tried to, but due to calm we had to rely on the engine. As there were no hands needed for sailing, the crew transferred some of their tasks, like navigating and steering, to us. There was also time to practice man-over-board-maneuvers – and we (coincidentally) went swimming again. On arrival in Kühlungsborn, we realized that the calm must have been a sign and it was good that we spent a lot of time on the sea.
The following morning, the wind was on our side again. Under full sails and with a respectable amount of heeling, we headed for Rostock. Greeted by watercannons, we entered the harbour full of famous sailing ships – the Hanse Sail was happening, a festival for sailing ships of all kinds and sizes. After disembarking, we used the opportunity to check out possible ships for the big project, planned for August 2017 and about 60 scouts.
We completed the team-meeting with two full days of planning, discussing about structures, ideas, goals, possibilities, risks and a lot of other things which are pretty relevant for such a project. Also, we enjoyed typical meals from Russia, Ukraine and Germany, including borscht, blini and dumplings with mushroom sauce.
In the end, all of us went their way – to Kyiv, St. Petersburg, Berlin… – filled with confidence, and looking forward to the things happening next and the team meeting scheduled for spring 2016. We want to thank our various supporters, especially Stiftung Pfadfinden and DRJA, but also all the people funding us via Betterplace. Without you, all of this would not have been possible!
Even though we already have people organizing and planning, you still can support us – with your expertise! Just send us an e-mail telling us about the area where you can imagine to support us and asking questions to email@example.com