Michigan USA Trip - 2004



On 24 July 2004, Norman Scott (Scout Leader) and myself, Joseph Rose, left Bulawayo on our journey to Michigan, USA where the Camporee was to be held. Our journey consisted of two stops, one in Johannesburg and another in Frankfurt. The whole trip took approximately 22 hours of flying and that excludes the time spent in the airports.

Cedar Point Amusement Park
Cedar Point Amusement Park.

On July 25 we arrived at Detroit airport where we were warmly welcomed by our host father and his two sons, as well as a scout from the Czech Republic and two other American Boy Scouts. From the airport we drove to our host family’s home where we met our host mother and later, their eldest son. We unpacked and were soon settled down in our home for the next week.
During our stay with our hosts, we took part in various activities with our camporee troop, which comprised of
Joe and Norman lead Cheppewa Troop from our campsite to the opening parade
Joe and Norman lead Cheppewa Troop
from our campsite to the opening parade

scouts from America, Czech Republic and us Zimbabweans. These activities were designed to help integrate the different people and help them get to know each other a bit better. Another part of the host week was a trip to Cedar Point. This is one of the largest amusement parks in the world, if not the largest. We spent a whole day indulging in thrill. By this stage I had come to know the eldest son and his best friend quite well, so they led me around the park and took me on the 6 biggest rides in the park. It was a real experience for me, as we do not get that sort of thing back home.

Part of our host week we had a great deal to do including shopping. I had a few things on my list and so did Norman. We travelled to many shops and malls looking for the best prices and deals. We also had to shop for ingredients for the International Meal as well as the International Day. Luckily we managed to find all of the ingredients without too much of a problem.

1 August – The Camporee
We had to wake early and get on the road as we had a long trip ahead of us. From the small town of Saline we had to get to Northwoods Scout Reservation near Rose City. The drive took about three hours and we had to get
Zimbabwean Contingent at the Opening Parade
Zimbabwean Contingent at the Opening Parade.

there early to help set up camp. By the time we arrived the tents were already up so we did not have a lot to do apart from wait for the opening parade which was scheduled for 7 pm but only started at 8.30. At the opening ceremony there was a short speech and then the kudu horn was blown for the flags to be raised. In total, there were 450 scouts, both male and female. All were scouts from 20 countries around the world and at the ceremony two scouts from each country would parade their country’s flag and then hoist it.

For the duration of the camp we were all put in different camps, our camp name was Cheppewa. In our campsite we had two troops from America as well as the Czech and one adult leader from Belize who was representing his troop who could not make it because of
Tubing on the Rifle River
Tubing on the Rifle River

visa problems. Each camp troop was split into 4 patrols. This was to make the whole troop more manageable. For every day each patrol was given a duty. There was a patrol to prepare breakfast and another to prepare dinner. Lunch was at the activity bases. For each day there was a timetable which had a list of activities for each patrol to do. These involved, swimming and water sports, shooting – shotgun; .22 rifle; pellet guns as well as black powder flintlocks – team games, handicrafts, initiative games, nature and Native American Lore.

Preparing our International Dinner of Sadza and Chomolleia
Preparing our International Dinner
of Sadza and Chomolleia

Swimming and water sports were on the lake. Water sports comprised of swimming, rowing and canoeing. Also during the week we did tubing down the Rifle River, which sounded like fun, but all that changed as soon as you got in the water as it was freezing cold! The shooting was quite exciting, as we were able to shoot a wide variety of guns. Half way through the week it was my and Norm’s turn to prepare dinner for the whole campsite. On the menu was a traditional dish from Zimbabwe, which is commonly known as sadza and chomolleia.

Joe trading patches (badges)
Joe trading patches (badges)

We started preparing the meal at 2 pm. I managed to get help from some willing scouts. Making the meal was quite pleasant and didn’t seem to take too long. First we started with the meat – we fried it up in the dutch ovens over some hot coals and then we added some onion for flavour. While that was on the go we prepared the rest of the ingredients – this involved a lot of chopping and washing. Then we emptied everything into the four dutch ovens – this was the tomatoes, the chomolliea and a few stock cubes for flavouring.

Then we just left it to cook while we washed up and got the sadza on the roll. At the end of it all, everyone enjoyed the meal and many came back for seconds. The Czechs had also spent the afternoon preparing apple strudel, which was also very good.

The Czech and Zimbabwean contingents
The Czech and Zimbabwean contingents

For the next few days we continued with our usual activities i.e. Swimming etc. Later, we had an International night where all countries had to put on a skit. This was quite amusing and lots of fun. Also a lot of noise. At the end of the camp we had an International Day at which the public was invited to the camp and all the different countries prepared stands in which they placed pictures and “bits and pieces” from back home. We had photos and pamphlets from Zimbabwe as well as cooking koeksisters for people to sample. All in all I enjoyed the camp and it was a good experience for me. I made new friends and hopefully, will be able to maintain contact with them.

Following the Camporee, Norman and I had a two week stay in Washington DC. This was separate from the scouting programme and was just for the experience. Our stay in Washington was made enjoyable by the Dellinger family, who willingly accepted us into their home. Then it was back home for Norman and to England for me. I was to stay three weeks visiting family and friends as well as a trip to Prague, kindly paid for by my sister and her boyfriend. I had a great stay in England but was still very glad to get home after 7 weeks away.


Joe & Norm at opening
2nd August 2004.
A photo taken this morning - Zimbabwe Scouts at the opening ceremony of Michigan International Camporee 2004 in the USA Click on any photo to enlargen it.

7th August 2004
& Norm says... Joe and I are now at the CAMPOREE after having spent a most enjoyable week on home hospitality in a town by the name of Ann Arbor. The Michigan Webmaster has posted some more photos of Joe "trading patches" (swopping badges) & of Joe and I doing our song "Cocky Lobin" at the campfire. I introduced our item at the campfire with a short history of B-Ps exploits in the Matopos, the kudu horn, the scout hat, etc. Then I said that we were the smallest contingent present but that I would perform some magic.
Cheppewa Troop       Joe trading-patches; Joe & Norm at the Campfire
michiganJoe trading-patchesmichigan opening campfire
I taught them the chorus of cocky lobin and then we all sang the song with Joe and I singing the verses. Well the magic was quite simple, our contingent grew to 600, and the whole thing was a great success. Much applause and comments on its successes ever since. Our traditional meal on Wednesday of sadza, and sitewu plus relish was also a huge success. We catered for 50 people, and again we have been thanked time and again by young and old.
Saturday from 1100 to 1700 hrs we will be serving koeksisters at the international fair on the football field. (We are keeping it quiet that it is really an S.A. dish!)

Camporee Program and Activities

    What will make Michigan International Camporee 2004 different from most international Scout camps is the way Scouts from different countries will be included in each camporee troop and in each camporee patrol.  Camping for a week as part of an international troop and an international patrol will give each Scout unique opportunities to learn about other countries and other cultures and to make new international friends.  With a total of 600 youth participants, the entire camp will be small enough that each Scout will be able to meet and get to know Scouts from all the other countries that will be represented.

    The 600 youth participants will be divided into 15 troops of 40 Scouts each.  16 Scouts in each troop will be from Michigan, 8 will be from some other state or some province of Canada, and 16 will be from one or more countries outside the United States and Canada.  All the Scouts in each troop will participate as a group in many of the camporee activities.

    Sunday, August 1, will be arrival and setup day at Northwoods.  In the late afternoon, there will be an opening ceremony at the parade ground.  Each contingent will enter with their national flag.  The raising of all the flags will signal the official opening of Michigan International Camporee 2004.

    Monday, August 2, through Friday, August 6, will be program days.  Each troop will be scheduled to participate in three program areas each day, the first from 9:30 to 11:30 AM, the second from 12:30 to 2:30 PM, and the third from 2:45 to 4:45 PM.  One program area each day will be a water area and two will be land areas.  Activities at water areas will include swimming, rowing, and canoeing on Lake Arrowhead, a water carnival in which each troop will complete with two other troops in waterfront events, and an inner tube float trip down a section of the Rifle River.  Activities at land areas will include handicraft, shooting sports, Scoutcraft, team games with another troop, initiative games, international campfires, and opportunities to experience the lives of Native Americans, the Voyageurs, and early Michigan settlers.

    During some of the evenings, everyone will attend camp-wide shows at the campfire bowl.  We expect a highlight of the week again in 2004 will be the International Night, with song and dance from many countries.  Other evenings will be unscheduled, with opportunities available for swimming, boating, archery, rifle, handicraft, and badge swopping early in the evening, and for campfires in troop campsites later in the evening.

    Saturday, August 7, will be International Festival Day.  On that day, contingents from different countries, from different parts of the United States and Canada, and from Michigan, will prepare foods representative of where they come from, and will set up displays and activities.

    On Sunday, August 8, there will be religious services and then a closing flag ceremony at the parade ground.  Michigan International Camporee 2000 will officially end on that day, but we expect that the spirit and friendships it creates will continue for many years. Ack:-www.petenelson.ca/ventures/michigan_international_camporee.htm

Ack:- The official Michigan International Camporee 2004 website is at http://www.mic2004.org/.

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