An international exchange

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EVERY two years for the last six, members of the 93rd Braes have travelled to Florida, meeting with American Scouts and taking in the sights of the state. From just four in 2011, this year saw a group of 18 head off to enjoy Home Hospitality. Assistant Scout Leader Kayleigh Wallace (18) reports.

We went to two theme parks: Busch Gardens, a safari park with animal themed rides and residents which included cheetahs, tigers, flamingos and alligators; and Seaworld with high speed rollercoasters and live animal shows. It also included animal exhibits such as orcas, dolphins, manta rays, sea lions and seals.

The main Scouting event was at the campsite built on a massive native American reserve called La-No-Che.

Posiedon Adventure consisted of a variety of water activities including river tubing, canoeing and deep sea fishing. The tubing was a massive hit with the Scouts. The challenging day was deep sea fishing as many didn’t have their sea legs but, for those that did, it was described as an awesome experience.

A second option was a course called woodsman and included two different classes, both had a variety of activities led by a resident native American named Jim Sawgrass. Throughout the week, the Scouts learned how to work and create tools from many different materials such as bamboo, different rocks and even rope from practically any known material. It also included making glue from tree sap and charcoal.

We had a primitive cooking class that ranged from alligator and frogs’ legs to stews and natural brewed teas. The Scouts were involved in all stages from preparing to cooking. During the week one of the Scouts turned 13 and this was celebrated with a native American birthday song and a feast. We are using many of these skills in our summer camp.

During free time we had the chance to take part shooting rifles and shotguns as well as pool time which was a break from the heat.

The trip increased confidence especially in inter-acting with other international Scouts and trying new activities. New friendships were created and many were strengthened. Some Scouts overcame fears through this experience. New skills were learned that can be used throughout Scouting and in everyday life.