European Sea Scouting
Eoghan Lavelle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fri Apr 10 19:14:22 1998
Bruce Johnson has suggested that I should post some news of European Sea
Scouting on the net occasionally. This message is a bit lengthy, for which
I apologise, but I thought that some background information would be
Sea Scouting in Europe
Scouting in Europe is complicated in many ways compared with North America.
There are about 36 countries where Scouting is recognised. Since the
collapse of the communist system, Scouting has restarted all over Eastern
Europe. Many of these associations had been founder members of World
Scouting but had been banned and persecuted twice - once by the Nazis and
later by the communists.
Some European countries have multiple Scout associations, usually based on
religious or linguistic affiliations. For example, France has 5, Belgium
has 4, Germany has 3, etc. Each association is internally independant and
decides on its own policies, training and advancement programmes but
belongs to a national federation for registration with World Scouting.
Most European Scout Associations are co-ed. Some became co-ed simply by
opening their membership to girls - these associations are members of the
World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and their female members
Other co-ed associations were formed by merging the Scout and the Girl
Guide organisations in their countries - these associations are registered
both with WOSM and with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl
Scouts (WAGGGS) - the males are registered with WOSM and females are
registered with WAGGGS, even though they may be members of the same troop!
There are also a number of "dissident" or non-recognised scout associations
in Europe, particularly in Germany and France. These associations are not
members of, and are not recognised by the World Bureau - mainly because
they disagree with some aspect of World Bureau policy and wish to remain
independant of it. Some of these separate associations are quite sizeable
while many consist of a single unit only.
Sea Scouts are very strong in some associations but very weak or
non-existent in others. Sea Scouting usually has junior and senior units -
Sea Scouts/Venture Sea Scouts - although the actual age ranges vary in
different associations. Europe doesn't have the US system of Sea
Scouts/Explorers/Ventures (?) as a senior section only. The largest Sea
Scout sections in Europe are in Netherlands, Great Britain and Finland -
each have about 10000 Sea Scouts. The total number of Sea Scouts in the
European Region is probably about 50000.
In 1983 Sea Scouts in Greece proposed hosting a Sea Scout "event". This
eventually became the 1st EUROPEAN SEA SCOUT/GUIDE LEADERS SEMINAR in
Thessaloniki in September 1985. This was a great success and it was decided
to repeat the event in 3 years. The 2nd Seminar was held at Harderhaven,
Netherlands in 1988, the 3rd at Vassaro, Sweden in 1992, the 4th in London,
Gt Britain in 1994 and the 5th near Oslo, Norway in 1997. The British
organisers of the 4th seminar introduced the name "Eurosea" - hence Eurosea
4 and Eurosea 5. Eurosea 6 is planned for Poland in 2000. These seminars
have benefited Sea Scouting throughout Europe by exchange of ideas on
training, programmes and standards, water safety and different approaches
to problems. They are mainly directed to Scouters with national
responsibilities for Sea Scouting or sea training.
Many European associations organise regular national/international Sea
Scout camps, usually at 4/5 year intervals. Poland and Ireland had Sea
Scout Camps two years ago and Netherlands had their regular National Water
Kamp - Nawaka - last year. In 1998 there will be 3 such camps. In Britain
the National Sea Scout Camp will be at Hawkhirst Adventure Centre in
Northumberland from 25 July to 1 August. The Norwegian Sea Scout Camp will
be near Kristiansand, 1st to 8th August. In Finland the Sea Scouts have a
regular International Camp about every 5 years called "Satahanka". This
year Satahanka IX takes place in �land Islands, 1st to 8th August. A
special "sail-in" camp is being planned by the Danish Sea Scouts for 2000.
Best wishes to all
8th Port of Dublin Sea Scouts