Rover Chill 2018
Jacques Kinane, Captain
We attended the annual Rover Chill and Ceiliúradh event which took place over the October bank holiday weekend in Galway. Rover Chill is an event which encapsulates all of the principles of scouting and active citizenship. Students took part in community service projects with the Friends of Merlin Woods group and a local community garden. At these locations, we planted garlic, dug potato rows, coppiced trees, built fences and fertilised the soil. We also heard from the locals who run these organisations and their work. At the community garden, we saw all of theparklands that had been reclaimed by the locals. Breandáin, our contact showed us all of the local wildlife and the woodlands that they had planted. He also talked to us about the lessons that can be learned from our ancestors whose lives revolved around the environment and caring for it.
On Sunday we attended workshops run by other rovers on feminism and egalitarianism, the refugee crisis, designing and running a successful campaign and on the environment. These workshops rekindled the sense of activism many of us had lostover time. At the feminism and egalitarianism workshop, we talked about the increase in misattributions to the campaign and the importance of egalitarianism which is the true meaning of feminism. We also learned a lot about many of the main issues behind feminism that remain to be solved. At the workshop based on the refugee crisis, we talked to some of the Rovers who took part in the ‘Time to be Welcome’ campaign. We heard about their time in Athens working with refugees. We also discussed the issues being faced by refugees in direct provision here in Ireland. The environmentalworkshop was an interactive workshop based on a mini boardgame created by scouts from Denmark. Each “stop” in the game came with a topic for us to discuss or a task for us to complete which opened our eyes to issues such as our failure to dispose of sewage safely and the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on the environment.
The designing and running a campaign workshop was a final wrap up of all of the issues covered throughout the weekend. We discussed the power of the image of Lucie “Lala” Myslíková calmly standing across from a group of “ultra-right” demonstrators which appeared in Time Magazine and all of the other campaigns run in scouting from which we can take inspiration and create our own. This was followed by an hour of creating and presenting on our own campaigns that we felt we associated with. These varied from mental health and wellbeing to homelessness to the reclamation of the World Scout Moot (By Rovers, For Rovers).
Whilst we learned a lot from this weekend, we didn’t forget to have fun. The weekend was full of impromptu Tai-Chi sessions and trips to the beach. We also attended the Vodafone Comedy Festival and held the first of many Intervarsity Twister Championships (Congrats to DCU who won this year). We can’t wait to hear about all of the Service Projects that will arise from this weekend and we look forward to Rover Chill next year.