Eurosea 3 Conference 2-7 June 1992: Vässarö, Sweden Summary

Eurosea 3 Conference 2-7 June 1992: Vässarö, Sweden Summary

This Seminar was not organised directly by the European Region but by a planning committee appointed by the Region – Erik Knockenhauer (SSF), director of Vässarö, Alain Canavié (Scouts de France), Doris Stockman and Kari-Peter Kiesilainen (Finland) and Eoghan Lavelle (Ireland). The Seminar took place on the island of Vässarö at the northern end of the Stockholm Archipelago, owned by the Stockholm Scout District and used for training, camping and water activities. Yrjö Gorski from the European Scout Office attended. There were 33 participants from 20 associations in 14 countries.
Alain Canavié (France) in a presentation on our Common Maritime Tradition, stressed that we should use elements of this tradition in our programme ideas. Discussion Groups then covered the use of traditions and history under the headings of –

Position location – stars, sun dial, wrist watch, compass games, etc
Interest – Models, art, stamps, maritime museums, expedition themes (eg Vikings)
Culture – songs, shanties, ropework and knots
Seamanship – wooden boats, ship’s bell, boatswain’s call, flag etiquette, etc.
Savas Baran (Turkey) presented the Use of Model Boats and Boating in the Sea Scout programme.
European Safety Code for Sea Scouts, drawn up at the 2nd Seminar in Netherlands prompted very lively discussions on water safety and Leaders’ responsibility. The code provides a useful summary of general principles, but must be adapted to local conditions. Participants noted that EC rules could be imposed in the future and that Scout Associations should stay in close contact with their own national boating authorities.

Two updating information sessions were – the new EEC standards for Lifejackets and Buoyancy Aids coming into effect in July 1992 (Eoghan Lavelle, Ireland), and a preview of the changes in Maritime Radio Communications and the introduction of GMDSS from 1992 to 1999 (Antero Hagelberg, Finland). He noted that from this year, every vessel participating in the Tall Ships Race was obliged to carry an EPIRB, and felt that all large Sea Scout vessels should follow suit.

Presenting Actors in Ecology, Alain Canavié noted that the ecological impact of our projects depends on the dialogue between four actors – production structures, public opinion, political structures and scientific understanding. Too often the dialogue is not fruitful because the actors do not play their parts well enough. Alain also spoke on the ecological problems of Modern Fishing. The Environmental Programme of Vässarö was presented by Erik Knockenhauer and the European Blue Flag Scheme by Eoghan Lavelle.

Sea Scouting in a Changing World produced good discussions on teenagers in Sea Scouting. Yrjö Gorski (European Region Office) dealt with the redevelopement of Scouting in Eastern Europe following the collapse of communism, and also gave a summary of the ethnic minority problems in eastern Europe caused by collapse of old empires and redrawing of national boundaries after 2 world wars.

Participants had a sailing session in the small craft used at the island for Scout training, and also participated in a day’s sailing expedition to visit the Maritime Museum and the power station at Oregrund. The International Night and the Scouting Market Place also took place.

On the day of departure, most participants were able to visit the Vasa Museum in Stockholm before going to the airport.

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