Odysseus Group History

Odysseus Group History

Odysseus Group was set up by the European Region in 1996. It was the idea of Dominique Benard, European Regional Executive at the time. He asked a few interested people to form a small informal group to support the development of Sea Scouting in Europe.

Very little money was available to Odysseus, and it was not possible to have more than one meeting per year. The first meeting was in 1996 in Brussels at the Regional Office, and the second meeting was at Eurosea 5, Oslo, Norway in 1997.

The Polish Scout Association requested help in organizing the program for Eurosea 6 in 2000. Odysseus Group became the de facto program committee for that Seminar, and also prepared the first report on Sea Scouting in Europe for presentation at the seminar at Eurosea 6.

Odysseus had an informal meeting at Warsaw Airport after Eurosea, and it was under the clear impression that Odysseus would be asked to provide some input into Eurosea 7, as that was generally perceived to be the way that Odysseus might go in the future. It was acting as a rolling advisory group with a changing membership providing help and advice to the next Eurosea, using lessons learned at previous Euroseas, and at the same time collect and distribute useful information for Sea Scouts in Europe.




An informal group was set up by the European Scout Region in 1996 to support the development of Sea Scouting in Europe as an integral part of the Scout program. The objectives set for the Odysseus Group are:

– to promote new program ideas and activities in Sea Scouting which correspond to priorities in the European Scout Region (EuroSteps, Passport for Europe, Lands of Adventure).

– to support the organisation of youth events for Sea Scouts, particularly oriented towards environmental activities, intercultural awareness, community development and discovery.

– to encourage international co-operation among Sea Scouts and support the participation of Sea Scouts in environmental pilot projects promoted by the Region (e.g. Mediterranean, Danube, Baltic).

– to provide support to European Scout associations wishing to develop Sea Scout programmes and centres.

The Group meets about once per year. When the Odysseus Group first met, it soon became obvious that an important baseline was missing – how many Sea Scouts are there in Europe and in which associations? It was decided that a survey of all the associations should be undertaken to discover the facts. This has been quite a difficult and long process.


As mentioned before, there is no uniform definition of Sea Scouting in the various associations. The structure, organisation, age ranges and administration of the section vary widely from one association to another. The methods of registration also vary widely – in some associations, Sea Scouts are not registered separately and the National Office therefore has no definite figures available. In other associations, all members of Sea Scout groups, even Beavers or Cub Scouts, are counted as Sea Scouts. These differences in age ranges and of registration make it difficult to obtain accurate statistics. However, over the past 3 years, a reasonably accurate overall picture has emerged. The largest Sea Scout sections in Europe are in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Finland and Poland. The total number of Sea Scouts in the European Region is at least 50,000. 

Please help us keep our records up-to-date by sending any corrections or additional information to the Odysseus Group, please contact us through the contact form of the website.

Odysseus 14

Odysseus 13 (2016 – 2018)

Odysseus 12


Odysseus 11 

Nuno Jacinto (Chairman; Portugal)
Kris Bauters (Vice Chairman; Belgium)
Satu Raudasoja (Communications; Finland)
Ernst-Jan Jacobsen (Website; The Netherlands)
Ondrej Odokienko (Ambassadors network; Slovenia,)
Benoit Leduc (France)

Odysseus 6 (2000 – 2003)

Eoghan Lavelle (Ireland)
João Armando Gonçalves (Portugal)
Maarten Velthoen (Netherlands)
Costas Tsantilis (Greece, World Scout Committee)
Jacqueline Collier (World Scout Bureau)

Odysseus 5 (1997 – 2000)

Eric Knockenhauer (Sweden)
Waldemar Mieczkowski (Poland)