A group of 26 scouts and leaders from Leagrave Scout Group, Lewsey, spent their summer camp this year at De Kluis Scout Campsite in Belgium.
And boy! did they have a great week. Despite a very early start, 3 am Saturday morning, the camp was already set up courtesy of their specialist travel partner, Venture Abroad, so first up a visit to the National Scout Museum in Leuven where they met up with scouts from other scout groups from all over the world including Holland, France, Germany and Thailand to name a few.
A hearty breakfast then a visit to Brussels where we took in visits to Mini Europe and The Atomium before heading back into central Brussels where scouts were then let loose to shop for souvenirs and gifts for home.
A night of wide games and a campfire with the Guides sharing our campsite then the next day onto an 8km canoe down the river to Leuven. All returned safely apart from one set of 3 who managed to capsize twice and had to swim the last stretch as they could not get back into their canoe. A good laugh was had at their expense as they appeared at the dock soaking wet and very tired. PS they were watched as they swam to make sure of no problems.
A visit from some Dutch scouts to our camp made the night fly by, then the next day an early start for a very important day.
We had decided to take the Battlefield Tour which saw scouts learn about the World Wars and remember those who had fought to give us our freedom.
This tour included a visit to Flanders Field Museum, Sanctuary Wood Hill 62 and a very poignant visit to Tyne Cot Cemetery where scouts were reminded of the thousands who gave their lives so we could have ours.
Finally, the group were given the very great privilege of being Guard of Honour and for 2 scouts and a leader, the great honour of laying a wreath at the Menin Gate War Memorial Ceremony in the evening.
This was the highlight of the day and the week and will be a lasting memory for all who attended.
To lighten the mood and have fun the next day we headed to Walibi Theme Park for a full day of rides and thrills, allowing scouts the freedom to enjoy the park and go where they wanted.
The last day, saw us with a long walk in Leuven to enjoy shopping then onto the climbing centre where scouts enjoyed an afternoon of climbing, high ropes and caving.
Campsite cleaned up on the Saturday morning and at noon the journey home started. By 8pm we were back in Luton and although tired they all expressed a sense of joy at the fantastic week of events, activities and meeting other international scouts, even in some cases keeping in future touch with those scouts.
A full weeks’ international camp, where they had been reminded of the past, seen the future, tried a range of new activities and had lots and lots of new experiences.
And! the Belgium camp does not end there, with over 100 badges earned, both at camp and with new patrol leader badges to be passed out on the troops return for the new term on the 6th September.
The next few years are also going to be very busy at Leagrave with Disneyland Paris in January, followed by summer Group Family Camp in 2020, Canal boat holiday and Kanderstag, (KISC) Switzerland in 2021 and in 2023 we hope t o have a number of senior scouts, young leaders or explorers and even hopefully a leader at the 25th World Scout Jamboree in Seamanguem, South Korea.