No sooner had Christmas finished and we all settled down to a well-earned break, Ruth Adamson, Cub Scout Leader at the 1st Long Stratton and Southern Norfolk Network, packed her bags and set off on a Scouting adventure to Australia!
Ruth had decided to follow up her trip to the Iceland Moot in 2017 with a more adventurous trip to the Canberra Rover Moot (CBR). Little did she know how adventurous this was going to be..
It all started well, landing in Sydney, minus her luggage (which fortunately arrived 2 days later) but she was soon heading by rail (one off her passions : trains) to her campsite in Canberra and looking forward to meeting 500 other fellow Scouters from around the world.
Very soon, the impact of the wildfires on the surrounding areas were becoming obvious and the impact it would have on the Moot was starting to materialise. The opening ceremony was moved to a School as the propose campsite was in a fire watch zone. The temperature was hitting 37… She was telling us how she could see the smoke in the air
Sadly after just 5 days the CBR Moot closed early on Monday. There were lots of changes to the programme because of the fires but they had managed to have a lot of fun.. Her expedition was changed to a trip to Wagga rather than Jindabyne but she still managed to send us pictures of her rafting, doing an aboriginal walk, karting, bowling and even getting her photo taken under the arch at Baden Powell Drive… and the obligatory visit to a railway museum and now it was only 40 degrees.
Australia Scouts have been fantastic and really pulled together to make this event as memorable as possible for the contingents in difficult conditions.. but that’s what scouts do. It was quite seral, signing off an itinerary change for something happening so far away, keeping all the paperwork and processes up to date. They have been kept safe, no risks taken and have now offered, through local hosting, a number of great options for the final week – Ruth has headed off to Melbourne.
Ruth told us how Melbourne was cooler, its near the sea and the air is a lot fresher and clearer. Its hard to understand the impact the fires have had on air quality.. the haze and the smoke must be so worrying. I am sure we are all looking forward to asking her about it when she returns safely.
The Australian bushfires are being reported widely in the UK but I am sure its not doing the level of devastation justice. It must be scary to be impacted first hand, to have your plans changed and must make it very real for Ruth
Ruth has so far slept on 2 Planes, a hotel bed, a youth hostel bed, 3 Scout hall floors, a school hall floor and a bunk bed at a campsite!
Ruth and I cannot thank Australia Scouts and the organisers enough for keeping her safe, getting her where we need to be and ensuring her fun and adventure continues.. including the odd train journey.
Ruth has been keeping us all updated on the Southern Norfolk Scouts facebook page and sending messages back to her Cubs in Long Stratton. She continues to run an Instagram account at @ruthonrails so take some time to have a look.
Hopefully this will encourage more of our young adults to look wider than just the District, to get out there, experience these life changing adventures and make a difference to Scouting and themselves..
Southern Norfolk is very proud of our Ruth Adamson