Memories of the Iceland Moot

How about this for a 'Summer Holiday'?

This report about the 'MOOT' by kind permission of the DDC and the Editor (Sue and Gill) of the "Ingleborough Info" monthly District newsletter - Here we have a fascinating report from Youth Commissioner, Tom Haigh, who has just returned from an amazing adventure. Tom, as you know is Deputy County and Ingleborough District Youth Commissioner, and was one of 500 Network members who represented the UK at the 15th World Scout Moot in Iceland.

Iceland Adventure

iceland badgeTom says : “I’ve just got back from the World Scout Moot in Iceland and what can I say, I loved every single minute of it! In my Patrol there were people from Sweden, Germany, Holland, Austria, Italy, Iceland and Australia and they were all amazing and will be friends for life! A few of these patrols together was called a Tribe and for some reason I was elected their leader; the tribe was full of incredible people too, who again will remain lifelong friends I am sure!

After the brilliant opening ceremony in Reykjavik, the 5000 participants were bussed off to numerous spots across Iceland. We went to a place called Þingvellir (Thingvellir) where the tectonic plates of America and Eurasia meet. It was a stunning location from which we hiked up mountains and played in snow, a first for our Australian friends! We drank from the cleanest lake in the world, went swimming, burnt our feet in a river and got the adrenalin pumping with a high ropes adventure course! It was an incredible place, made even better by incredible people, who taught me how to make spaghetti properly, speak German and Icelandic and most importantly the meaning of Schlager! (That’s Austrian/German party music).

iceland moot 1From Þingvellir, we travelled to Úlfjótsvatn (good luck pronouncing that one!) where the main Moot was located. Here the party began with music and games throughout the night for all to enjoy! We had the biggest rapper in Iceland, an open 'mic' night, a talent show and a disco! During the day we went swimming, carved spoons, cooked on fire, made ice cream, rolled a car, and, of course, played in the bouncy castles where, in the boxing ring, I discovered never to get on the wrong side of a Czech girl…

An international day showcased the best culture, and by culture I mean food, of the 90+ countries represented at the Moot which was at times a taste sensation and other times you were reaching for the bucket! I learnt so much here; it was unbelievable. I now know what thongs are to an Aussie, how to speak Czech, as well as talking and swapping stuff with people from all over the world in this tiny yet global community that appeared over night! Eventually, though, the inevitable happened and, despite me losing my passport, it was time to go home. The saddest of farewells were made as we all went our separate ways, some stayed for longer and some, like me, went back to Reykjavik for our final night in Iceland. The picture shows some of my patrol and tribe before the closing ceremony.

The final night (although still light at midnight because it’s so far north) was a massive party for the Australian and UK contingents which went on throughout the night and early morning until we all had to go to the airport or onward travel. This was perhaps the best send off we could have wished for as we headed off home to leave this remarkable country behind us, forever the memories engrained in our minds.”

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Tom.