Third Time’s the Charm

Finnish Scout Troops Aitopartio, Aitolahden Hirvi-Veikot and Teiska-Partio can consider themselves to be lucky. They have an American guest living with them throughout Ilves13 Scout Camp. Benjamin “Ben” Prince wanted to take part as some of his Finnish friends were attending.

- We met at the World Jamboree in Sweden two years ago, Ben, who has been a scout for about ten years now, told.

- The entire Jamboree was so much fun.

He has been staying in Finland since mid-July.

- At first, when I was visiting my friends, it just rained. And now it’s plus 25 Celsius.

Ben comes from the state of Michigan and his Boy Scout Troop is 1615 Royal Oak. Nevertheless, he has not limited his scouting experience to his homeland. After Sweden, he travelled to South Korea where the 13th National Jamboree was held at Goseong, Gangwon Province in 2012.

- I learned a lot about South Korean manners. We got a chance to hike to a mountain. The nature there was astonishing, Ben described.

- Scouting was definitely different but I did not learn that much about the system.

Ben has noticed that Finnish and American scouts do have their differences as well. The system in Finland is age-based whereas in the States scouts need to complete requirement to move up the ladder. Cub Scouting is for the youngest members and Eagle Scouts have achieved the highest rank attainable.

One may think that American scouting is strictly divided into boy and girl troops. However, Venturing is for both men and women. In addition, they have their fair share of Sea Scouts.

Besides spending time with his friends and familiarising himself with Ilves13, Ben has been working in one of the sub camp kitchens.

- It was a bit confusing. Mainly because everybody else spoke Finnish, he admits.