scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: England Scout troop visit to Arizona
Whiting, Mark D(Z01684) (MWHITING@APSC.COM
Wed Apr 26 2000 - 18:56:52 CDT
Our new friends and scout brothers from England left this morning.
I thought the list would like a brief overview of a visit to Arizona by the
2nd Wickford (England) Scout Troop.
We began a dialogue many months ago by a contact initiated through this
list. Our troop - Troop 90 of Litchfield Park, Arizona has acted as a host
troop you might say, for the 2nd Wickford (12 members) to visit Arizona.
They arrived Sat. April 15th and we met them at the Phoenix airport. Dollar
rental could not honor the confirmed reservation of a 15 passenger van, so
we arranged for a replacement loner vehicle from among the troop families.
What a frustrating way to be introduced to America! We had already planned
to loan them 1 vehicle to transport gear with.
We escorted them to our Firebird District camporee and with the rental snafu
we did not arrive until almost midnight. We had to stop twice on our way in
for Elk to cross the highway. We still enjoyed an hour or so of fellowship
around our campfire (sorry about any noise to our neighbor troops). It was a
beautiful Arizona high country night. Heavy frost at 6000' in a Ponderosa
pine tree forest. We woke up to a sunny clear blue sky. Our first morning
with our guests was filled with breakfast, flag and church services and
visits from district Troops welcoming our scouting brothers from across the
Atlantic. It was a great finish to a great camporee (thank you Jerry and
Troop 526). After cleanup we then escorted our visitors to R-C Scout Camp
and introduced then to Ranger Ev and Van Ness Lodge. The group spent a few
day at R-C and then a few days at Red Lake Youth Hostel in Williams, AZ.
They hiked a couple of day hikes into the Grand Canyon, visited several
other Arizona attractions and returned to Litchfield Park on Sat April 22nd.
We had home hospitality (Ho-Ho in UK terminology) for the group with troop
families. We had Easter Sunday service together and an afternoon troop
barbecue where we were introduced to Rugby and Football, UK style:-) Phoenix
area visits included the Heard Museum, Pueblo Grande, and a long horseback
ride into the Superstition Wilderness (ouch). We had a combined Troop
meeting and after meeting patch trading session.
The points I wish to make to the list are:
1. This was a exceptional (perhaps once in a lifetime) experience for our
troop and host families.
2. It was worth all the anxiety and worry and preparation and planning.
3. We met the most wonderful people and made lasting friendships.
4. If you or your unit has the opportunity to try this - do it.
The 2nd Wickford Scout Troop brought credit upon themselves, the UK and the
BSUK. We enjoyed their humor and their generosity. We learned about their
country, their scouting program, and in turn something about ourselves.
With sadness at parting, we wish them God Speed, and good scouting.
In Brotherhood and Scouting fellowship,
Scoutmaster, BSA Troop 90
Litchfield Park, Arizona