A Wild Morning
This mornings program read: Wilderness Day. Everyone was a little confused when we just got told to dress for being outside. Outside where? Water, forest, rolling in the mud? After an easter breakfast with easter eggs full of candy (Almgreens Bilar of course) and eggs, we gathered outside the dining hall in our best allround outdoor outfits. We got divided into 3 groups and set off to 3 different corners of the island. As it turned out we were going to experience 3 big parts of being outdoor staff a Vässerö:
1. Sailing. No island without sea activities. It is still early in the season, so not a lot of boats are in the water, but we had to get out on the sea. So equipped with lifevests we were taken out in motorboats to have a glimpse of the real big waters. Vässerö is a part of the biggest group of islands in Sweden and is positioned right a the far end of it. Out of the bay and around one island and you could see the open waters of the Baltic Sea. A slight mist was hovering over the shores of the islands as we drifted through the water, while eagles circled us overhead.
2. Chainsaw. As we are in a remote island full of trees, wood supplies is a quite big issue around. We start with a couple of members from the volunteer team about safety using a chainsaw. After that we were told about how to cut a log in pieces, how to operate properly the machine and how and what to wear as safety equipment. Each one of us had the chance to cut a piece of a big log that they cut before specially for us. That was so cool feeling for a moment like a lumberjack !!
3. Tractors. When you run a whole island that needs to be self-sufficient, you need a lot of supplies delivered to all corners of the place. All deliveries come by boat, and they all neew to be delivered to different places. The 5 tractors and several different sizes and types of carts, transports everything from food and goods, to scoutgroups and sick and injured people. As a part of our experience we got to drive the tractors with carts around the narrow pathways of the inner island, do 360 degrees turns and back in to small spaces. In the real scout spirit, everyone got to try and for some, it was the first tim driving a motorised vehicle.
Surely a good taste of all the different aspects of the running of Vässarö a good opportunity to have a chat with the volunteers that experience Vässarö first hand.
Miguel (ES) and Mette (DK)