Eurosea 2 Conference 8-12 June 1988: Harderhaven, Netherlands Summary

Eurosea 2 Conference 8-12 June 1988: Harderhaven, Netherlands Summary

This Seminar was organised directly by the European Region. The planning committee included Patrick McLoughlin, European Scout Region Executive, Gert-Jan Bijning and Hermien Bos (Scouting Nederland), Costas Tsantilis (Greece), and Doris Stockman (Finland). The venue was the Sailing School of Scouting Nederland at Harderhaven, Flevoland. The buildings of the Sailing School were used for the sessions, and accomodation was provided in 3 large barges which are floating headquarters for Dutch Sea Scout Groups. There were 58 participants from 24 associations in 17 countries.
Arrangements were made for the participants travelling from the various countries to assemble in their own time at the Amsterdam Maritime Museum. Most arrived early enough to visit this magnificent museum before having a meal in the restaurant and then travelling by bus to the sailing centre.

This seminar followed the general pattern of the previous one, but took some of the discussions further. Detailed presentations on the Netherlands Water Safety Rules and leaders’ Boating Qualifications lead to general discussions on basic boating and water safety measures. A small committee was set up to enquire further into this to see if a common set of basic safety rules could be recommended for Sea Scouting throughout Europe, particularly for associations seeking advice to start Sea Scouting. This committee drew up some suggestions for further discussion and it was decided that these should be reconsidered at the next Seminar.

One important factor that emerged from discussions at this seminar was the very wide differences in regulations and laws applied to leisure boating in different countries. It was recognised at the time that the Common Market would probably mean that such regulations would eventually become standard throughout Europe.

Sea Scout Boats: Various types of boats used in European Sea Scouting were presented. Some associations use standard boats, and plans and pictures of these were displayed, studied and commented on. This was followed by lively discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of a European standard craft. Eventually it was decided that a single “European Standard Craft” could not be recommended because of different local traditions and the wide variety of conditions encountered in waters around Europe. However, classification of the general types of craft would be useful. Depending on local circumstances it was felt that Sea Scouting needed

  • a “patrol-size” craft for general activities,
  • a smaller craft for younger Sea Scouts and basic training,
  • a larger boat for Senior/Venture Scouts (suitable for coastal cruising expeditions).

The Finnish Sea Scouts have felt the need for a new sailing dinghy, suitable for basic training for 11-12 year olds, suitable for rowing, steady and unsinkable, able to sail well but not a racer – the main requirements being that it should be simple, cheap and safe. The proposed design excited considerable interest.
Sessions on Sea Scout training and Leader training produced good discussions on the balance to be achieved between the “land” part of Scouting and water activities and skills.

The participants enjoyed a half day practical boating experience using “Lilievlets”, the Dutch Sea Scout standard boat, fabricated in steel. Also a visit was made to a Sea Scout island, where a number of troops have their own campsites and keep their boats. The visiting leaders were more than impressed by the magnificent display of Dutch Sea Scouting. An International Evening and a Scout Market were also part of the programme.

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