Finland Jamboree ROIHU & Helsinki 2016
Girlguiding North East England’s Finland trip started early on 19 July at Teesside Airport with three adults and seven members of The Senior Section all packed up to embark on a life changing experience attending ROIHU 2016, an international jamboree with an attendance of 17,000. The trip consisted of an overnight stay on the outskirts of Helsinki, eight days at ROIHU Jamboree and six days sightseeing back in Helsinki.
Our first night’s stay on the outskirts of Helsinki gave us the opportunity to regroup and ensure everyone was ready for the jamboree. We spend the evening discussing our expectations of the jamboree, comparing badges and writing our contact details on wooden clothes peg to be given out over the coming eight days.
ROIHU itself was a whirlwind, with thousands of activities to choice from centred around six themes: Experience; Global Culture; Me; Creativity; Water and Entrepreneurship. The first days were spend exploring the extensive site, settling into the camp routine and unfortunately getting slightly lost when trying to find our camp unit!
For the next four days the group took part in numerous activities including swimming, sailing, crafts, sexual health education, fashion design and educational debates. Through the activities and general camp life friendships within the group were strengthened with the girls learning to live in a confined space with each other and also new friendships formed with thousands of Finnish scouts and international visitors. Over this period of time the girls took charge of their own programme planning daily activities they were interested in and ensuring they could fit everything in around the set meal times and whole camp activities.
The last day of camp gave the group the opportunity to join the International Service Team and carry out a day’s work on the camp. The girls volunteered in the camp kindergarden looking after over 100 children all with limited English speaking. Some very amusing hand actions and games were developed by the girls allowing them to interact with the children without verbal communication allowing them to complete their assigned tasks as well as providing a happy and fun environment for both the children and themselves.
The camp finished with a closing ceremony and a reflection evening within our camp unit. This provided us with the opportunity to reflect on our experiences and access our personal development through the jamboree.
After the jamboree we travelled back to a camp site on the outskirts of Helsinki to spend some time relaxing. The first day consisted of sleeping, unpacking and making our way through the mountain of washing! We then planned our program for the next week and ensured we completed the essential open top bus tour! While in Helsinki we visited the Suomenlinna Islands to learn some more about Finish culture and also enjoy the beautiful weather. The other days were filled with trips to the Zoo, Serena Water Park, Linnammaki theme park and plenty of shopping and eating.
Overall we all had a fantastic trip experiencing such a unique event and being given the opportunity to represent Girlguiding North East England.