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Day trip to France

posted 1 Jan 2018, 13:26 by Zak Warren
Pete organised a fun day trip to France. Here's what he has to say about the day: 

After a number of Scouts successfully made it to the Isle of Wight and back in a day, the next challenge was to see if we could make it any further and back in a day by sea. Living next door to an International Ferry Port opened up the shipping lane to a whole world of new possibilities, so the date (Sunday 13th August 2017) and destination was set (Cherbourg, France). To help prevent us from getting lost, we also invited our close neighbours 2nd Fareham Sea Scouts. 

In order not to miss our boat, we arrived at Portsmouth International Port soon after the sun rose and then our maiden voyage to the continent was in motion (for both groups). On the way to France we had the opportunity to learn some local phrases to assist us at our destination and also the opportunity to learn some sea navigation so we could assist the captain if he wasn't sure which side of the channel to be on. 

While crossing the English Channel we ensured that we would look smart on our arrival and for many of us this meant sewing on the Union Badge to our uniform, so that people would know where we are from. For many Scouts waiting to eat until lunchtime was a challenge and this even resulted in chocolate ice cream ending up on the uniform of one Scout.

Once we cleared through security at Cherbourg this is where the real adventure started to occur. We first made our way to Cite De La Mer, where once inside we ate the remainder of our lunch (or for some Scouts wait around for others to start and finish their lunch) surrounded by various submarines.

After lunch we divided up into three mixed patrols and it was up to the Scouts where they wished to explore first. Some found their way into the cruise ship departure lounge and then on to various recreations of the Titanic, others exploring Europe's deepest aquarium, while the last group made their way on to a decommissioned nuclear submarine. 

After about an hour of exploring we came back together to take part in an immersive experience where Captain Glass took us on an unforgettable trip to the ocean's depths where we encountered whales and underwater volcanoes. Once we had surfaced, we watched the premier of a short documentary, as told by ourselves, on our journey through the ocean. 

We then had an opportunity to explore the remaining exhibits at Cite De La Mer before a short amount of time in the gift shop. Once all back together, we headed off into the heart of Cherbourg for the second part of our French experience. When we arrived at Place de Gaulle (Place du theater), we met up with our French hosts from 1st Cherbourg where our Scouts got a personal tour around this beautiful city by local Scouts, including being shown a larger statue of Napoleon. 

Before departing France it was once again time for the Scouts to start thinking with their stomachs and they were offered the choice of various places to eat. Following Youth Shaped Scouting we followed the decision of our young people and we all tucked in to a well deserved Subway. 

After walking further we made it back in time to catch the last shuttle to the our boat and, before we knew it, we were back on the open seas traveling back home to the UK. This gave us an opportunity to finish off some of the badge work that we started on the way out. 

While in the middle of the English Channel we got to see the sunset and we took this opportunity to welcome our newest Scout into her new family, where she was invested and we reaffirmed our friendship between both Troops. 

As we approached Portsmouth Harbour, our navigation skills were once again put to the test with some night time sea navigation. 

This was a unique experience for many of our Scouts to complete their first International Experience in Scouting and a large number of these Scouts have now successfully applied to be part of the next World Scout Jamboree or Project 19. 

Thank you so much for allowing myself and the other Leaders to share this experience with you.