Tag: Eurosea

Fun Nautical Facts: the Origins of Words

Fun Nautical Facts: the Origins of Words

Eurosea is the perfect place to meet new people and have some interesting talks! Many conversations cover the similarities and differences in Sea Scouting in the countries of participants involved in the conversation. Other conversations may be on innovative and inspiring Sea Scouting activities that have happened or yet have to happen. But every once in a while, we take a little side track on Sea Scouting and a nautical fun fact pops up! Here’s two fun facts I’ve learned about at Eurosea in Barcelona:


Did you know the English word ‘posh’ has a maritime origin? It originated back in the day when ships didn’t have air conditioning. 

To sail to India was quite a voyage and the nicest way to spend it was sitting in the shade. Sailing South-East from England to India meant it was shady on the port side. Sailing back home the most comfortable place was on starboard side. These were spots only the rich people could afford. That’s when wealthy people were started being called posh: they were sailing Port side Out and Starboard side Home! Thanks to David J. Roy (Scotland) for sharing this fun fact!


Why is starboard called starboard and why is port side called port side? I’ve given it quite some thought the past couple of years, but I couldn’t figure it out by myself. During Eurosea Kris finally came to help with his knowledge, I turned to Wikipedia for some more details and here is the short explanation: 

The terminology has to do with the structure of vessels, namely that they were asymmetric. Before ships had a a rudder in the middle of the ship, the rudder was placed on the right hand side of the ship (looking in the direction of where the ship is heading). This was simply the case because the majority of the people were right handed. Since the steering oar was placed on the right hand side, the ship would tie up at the wharf on the other side because there was more place to access the ship. Hence the left side was called ‘port’. Formerly ‘larboard’ was used instead of ‘port’. This came from the Middle-English word ‘ladebord’. The term ‘lade’ is related to the modern word ‘load’. ‘Larboard’ sounded too similar to ‘starboard’, so in 1844 the Royal Navy ordered that ‘port’ should be used instead.

In short: starboard side was the side of the ship where the steering happened, port side was the side of the ship that touched to quayside to load and unload the goods. Even in modern ships cranes are still placed at the port side even though the rudder is now placed in the middle of the ship. It’s true, google some pictures! Thanks to Kris Bauters (Belgium) for sharing this fun fact!

Hopefully we’ll share many more conversations like this! If you have a fun (historical) nautical story or fun fact, activity or experience to share with the world, let us know through the contact form! Because you may have noticed: we love to share!

Odysseus 13 Goodbyes

Odysseus 13 Goodbyes

As tradition goes, during the Eurosea event the Odysseus team is elected. During the 13th Eurosea edition in Poland the last Odysseus team was elected. It was an interesting mix of people who were excited to join forces to organise the 14th Eurosea in Barcelona and share ideas along the way. Because of all different kind of reasons 5 out of 6 chose to not to stand for election again. Once again a big thank you to every single one of them to put in the effort they saw themselves possible to support European Sea Scouting. 


As far as goals go, I am very happy about us opening up to non-sea scouts so that more people can enjoy water activities. Professionally I will take some lessons learned from working in an international team for two years seated across different boarders. Last but not least I am very glad to have been part of planning a successful Eurosea in Barcelona. Thanks to the entire team for making it happen!


During my time as an Odysseus member I got lots of energy out of being part of this team. Together we created some nice ideas, created a great project and we had a good time. In short, the brand new 13th Eurosea Odysseus Group that started out in Poland truly became my friends on the way to Barcelona.


I loved working with a very kind and professional team. I learned a lot, and experienced so many intercultural topics. But most of all it was great being part of the team developing and designing an international seminar in Sea Scouting and seeing a great outcome.


These two years have been both long and short. It has been a brand new experience that was worth all the hard effort we have put into it. It all began with joy and inspiration and ended with pride and satisfaction. I will remember this period for long time and hopefully it makes a difference in Sea Scouting in Catalonia. But, of course, it  won’t end here. I wish the new Odysseus all the good and strength to carry on this wonderful lifestyle that we all get to experience. 


The past two years have passed unexpectedly quickly. It is good to work in an international team and still discover similarities and differences. Odysseus 13 is a very warm and cordial team. I am glad that my memory and accumulated experience from several previous Euroseas and sea scouting actions were useful. Since the last seminar many things have changed in my volunteering in sailing and sea scouting, I have more national responsibilities and that is why I’m hesitant.


Even though this is not my final goodbye to Odysseus, this is my final goodbye to the 13 team. Meeting with this team was an inspiring moment every single time. The ideas we came up with as individuals became better when talking to the team. And even in my most difficult of times, they never gave up on me as being a part of the team. I’m insanely grateful to having been part of this team and taking many great memories with me. 


Socal Impact Workshop

Socal Impact Workshop

As Sea Scouts we all have a clear definition in our minds when we talk about ‘sailing’. But ‘Social Impact’ is a less clear subject and everybody might have a different definition of what it means. 

Tomas had us write our own idea of what Social Impact actually means. One idea talked about “political actions that have an impact on scouting”, an other one was ‘positive change on the world’ and yet another said ‘we are all being indirectly influenced by our surroundings and the people we interact with daily. So you could have a social impact on someone right now.’

As scouts we promise to create a better world, but are we? Through our personal actions we have suspicions that we are, but are we really sure? The WOSM working team figured they had to find a way to measure the facts. They are working with the definition of social impact as the following: effect of Scouting activities on individuals and communities. 

Right now they are developing a pilot tool to measure all different kinds of social impact. First being the personal level for example the scouting promise or a long hike. Secondly we are having a social impact on a community level, hopefully we are having a greater impact on the community when they experienced an impact themselves and learned from it. A third level is the institutional level, for example in Belgium the Sea Scouting delegates talk to the naval government to talk about regulations and making it safe for scouts to sail in trafficked water. In Italy the local scout groups talk to local policies and decision making, but the association is also taking a strong standing point in the immigration and refugee discussion. But also individual scouts who in their later careers become involved in decision making institutions as being their job. 

How is impact achieved? We create a project around the needs that provide themselves. Based on those need we do activities and (hopefully) we create positive outputs. The effort of the activities can be registered and the result of these can also be registrated. What the eventual outcome of the project is can also be registered. However, what will the impact be of the outcome? Is the impact for the better and is it long lasting for the greater society? For example scouts cleaning the beach. Sure, the outcome is a clean beach for a while. But what creates the impact? The children will be more aware on producing trash, and there might be people who have seen the scouts cleaning up the beach and might be inspired by their actions. …..

We need to be able to prove that the impact and the change is there because of our Scouting actions. How do we actually know we are achieving impact. We all know we are great in achieving impact on personal experiences and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence. But the other thing is hard data. How could we make that happen?

This particular workshop was followed by 12 participants. They were divided in three groups and were presented with a problem and asked to provide a way of measuring social impact through the solution they came up with. Underneath you will find the notes of those four groups. 

Present work on social impact has a two-fold objective: the development of a measurement tool, and advocacy work on the concept and the importance of taking it into account. There is a strong believe that planning any project or activity taking its further impact into account has a direct positive effect on the quality of said projects and the time and resources ultimately devoted to it.

Thanks to Tomàs Genís Galofré, International Commissioner for the Catalan Federation of Scouting and Guiding and Team member of the WOSM European work group for Social Impact for providing this workshop at Eurosea 14. 

Eurosea Behind the Scenes – Preparation Meeting

Eurosea Behind the Scenes – Preparation Meeting

You might not be very familiar with the behind-the-scenes of organizing the Eurosea event. So we’re writing a series on it! 

As you might have seen on facebook, the Odysseus Group has been to Barcelona. No, we did not just eat tapas and drink cava. In between all the food and a few relaxing activities (sometimes also including food) we worked very hard on Eurosea and other future projects.

Read More Read More

Eurosea 11

Eurosea 11

During the Eurosea11 seminair meeting, held in Copenhagen September 19th – September 23th 2012, seascout leaders from all over Europe came together to discuss.

One of the speaker during the event was David McKee, from the Regional (European) scout office in Geneva. The event has been a motivating one to all the participants thanks to the Odysseus group, David and the Copenhagen organisation.