In 2015, Scoutmasters Alexandria Keenan (Troop 1572, Clinton, MD) and Wahbe Tamari (Troop 61, Washington, DC) met during Wood Badge course N6-82-15-3 in the National Capital Area Council. Little did they know how often their paths would cross after the course ended. A year later, they met by chance at Kandersteg International Scout Centre. After that, they met again at an Order of the Arrow Ordeal where they began chatting about planned trips for their respective Troops. Keenan’s Troop was planning a trip to England for the Red Rose International Scout Jamboree; Tamari’s Troop was heading to England to hike Hadrian’s Wall. Both trips were being planned for August 2018, so they decided to join forces and do the trip together.
Late in July 2018, Troops 1572 and 61 headed off to England to tour London, hike Hadrian’s Wall, and attend Red Rose. The group of 23 Scouts and Scouters arrived in London and spent three days at the Baden-Powell House. They toured Buckingham Palace, Churchill’s War Rooms, the Tower of London, Hyde Park, Greenwich Village and more. Once the jet-lag subsided, the group boarded a train to Carlisle where they would be staying the first few nights of their journey along Hadrian’s Wall.
Early in the morning on August 3, the group arrived at King’s Arms in Bowness-on-Solway to begin the 84 mile hike to Wallsend. Day 1 was a 16 mile hike back to Carlisle. While there were no parts of Hadrian’s Wall visible on this part of the journey, and the weather was a bit rainy, the group was excited to be setting off on this trip of a lifetime.
Over the course of eight days, the group hiked the entire 84 mile length of Hadrian’s Wall, arriving in Wallsend the afternoon of August 10. Along the way, there miles of cattle and sheep fields, phenomenal views of the countryside, old castles and forts visited, and museums explored. There was even time for a side trip to Vindolanda to see an active archaeological excavation in progress. Despite a little rain and many blisters everyone completed the hike.
After the hike, a sub-set of the original group headed down to the Westmoreland Showground in the Lake District to attend Red Rose International Scout Jamboree. The Jamboree, named for the host District (West Lancashire) in England, is held every four years. Red Rose started in 1979, and until this year, Scouts from the United States have never before attended.
The group was excited to represent the United States and proudly flew our country’s flag as they marched in parades around camp. Scouts from all over the world stopped by Subcamp Spielberg to visit, swap neckers and patches, and ask about next year’s World Jamboree at Summit and Scouting in the United States.
Red Rose is a week long event and is divided into activity days such as: International Day, Explore, Adventure, Challenge, and Splash. Each day provides campers with different activities around the camp and the Lake District. Options for water sports, COPE, panning for gold, caving, sightseeing, friendship, spirit, adventure, and more abound! More information about Red Rose on their website:www.redrose.org.uk
Next up for the group…. perhaps following in the footsteps of Thomas Cook, the Great Wall of China, or…..