Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Wonders of Slovakia?

Earlier this month, my boys and I spent four days at Scout Haven Cub Scout camp in Freedom, NY. 

I haven’t posted on the camp itself, but the staff are really the heart and soul of this camp. Our guide, Barbara was participating in a worldwide scout exchange program. Barbara was visiting from Slovakia, a region with a long history of scouting. 

She spent hours talking with the boys about the differences between US and Slovakian scouting. We also received a brief linguistics review. “Lighting a match/fire” is a concept that did not compute to Barbara, but “strike a match” and “start a fire” did make sense. 

Not much is all that different, but when it is different it is wildly so. 

In Slovakia, tepees are used by leaders and camp staff while at Scout Haven the staff use cabins. Written materials are largely absent in Slovakia, with an oral tradition taking its place. Food is about the same except for lunch, but the quantities in the US are not surprisingly larger. Lunches tend to be soups and/or finger foods on the other side of the ocean. 

Barbara spent several hours with our pack as our guide/VIP, and enriched our understanding of scouting with her perspective. She and the other staff made our summer vacation absolutely wonderful, with camp-wide events.