Wonderland 2014 – Lerik, Azberbaijan: Report

Annastasia Bedford

I am the assistant Joey leader at Port Cygnet Scouts and recently I was fortunate in being chosen to travel to Azerbaijan to participate as a member of the international service team (IST) at camp Wonderland 2014, the second time this camp has been held.

The international team arrived at the campsite near Lerik in the Talysh Mountains, a week before the scouts arrived and were responsible for building the amenities, bunks, tables and chairs and starting repairs on a bridge, which we later completed with the help of the scouts and which was also used by the surrounding communities.

The most challenging aspect of this first week was doing physical work in a climate that was humid with temperatures exceeding 30o and sunlight till 9:00pm.

On arrival, the scouts were put into their patrols and allocated tents where they laced the base of their own bunks, with the help of the IST; followed by opening parade and the raising of the flags.

 

The exuberance of the scouts was infectious and refreshing after a hard week’s work and seeing them embrace every activity with enthusiasm over the following weeks made all of the hard work worthwhile. Camp activities included hiking, archery, orienteering, pioneering, woodworking and excursions, with the hike proving to be the most popular.

This amazing experience gave me the opportunity to meet and work with a team, who became lifelong friends, see a country rich with history, culture and people who welcomed us and embraced us.

The most memorable part of camp Wonderland was the camaraderie, shown by both the leaders and the children. I would encourage anyone who had the chance to travel to Azerbaijan to do so, I certainly will visit again.

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Scholarship: Azerbaijan Wonderland Scout Camp 2014

3rd– 17th JULY 2014

The Scout Association of Australia, in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Scout Region is offering one scholarship to an 18+ member to attend the 2014 Azerbaijan Wonderland Scout Camp in Lerik, Azerbaijan as a member of the International Service Team.

This scholarship covers 50% of the economy airfare Australia – Azerbaijan, and event cost PLUS an additional EUR600 subsidy from the Asia-Pacific Region towards these costs. It is expected that the successful candidate will therefore need to make a personal contribution of approximately $520 towards airfares and the event fee, and will also be responsible for the cost of passport, travel insurance, and a Scouts Australia international scarf.

Activities on the camp include pioneering, water activities, as well as hiking to a medieval village. Lerik is in southern Azerbaijan, located in the Talysh mountains close to the Iranian border.

More information about the event is available by contacting the Assistant International Commissioner, Andrew Cooper on int.assistantcomm@scouts.com.au.

Scouts Australia is now accepting applications for this scholarship. Applicants must meet the following selection criteria:

  • 18+ member of Scouts Australia.
  • An outstanding ambassador of Scouts Australia.
  • Representative of a wide range of Scouting experiences.
  • Available for the duration of the event.

Interested candidates must send an expression of interest email to Andrew Cooper, International Commissioner, int.assistantcomm@scouts.com.au by 8th June 2014, that includes a brief summary of their Scouting experience, and a brief paragraph of no more than 150 word outlining why they are interested in travelling to Azerbaijan.