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International Matters: November 2019

Updated: Jul 22, 2020


Upcoming International Dates/Festivals 2019

  • UN Year of Indigenous Languages

  • 7th November: Diwali (Hindu)

  • 12th November: Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib (Sikh)

  • 16th November: International Day of Tolerance

  • 19th November: World Toilet Day

  • 20th November: Universal Children’s Day

  • 25th November: International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women

  • 1st December: World AIDS Day

  • 3rd December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

  • 10th December: Human Rights Day

  • 18th December: Arabic Language Day

  • 21st December: Winter Solstice (Pagan)

  • 23rd December: Start of Hanukkah (Jewish)

  • 25th December: Christmas

These international and religious days and festivals are a great chance to get your scouts talking about the wider world. Why not use one, if it coincides with your group meeting as a theme for an evening? You can run activities and sessions to work towards many badges including:

- World Challenge Badge

- International Activity Badge

- Global Issues Activity Badge

- World Faiths Activity Badge

Hemel Hempstead District Explorer Belt to Norway

By Jethro Black


At the start of July, 7 Network members from Hemel District Scouts undertook the 10-day Explorer Belt Challenge. Flying out to Bergen in Norway, they began by accustoming themselves to the ways of the Norwegians, including unexpectedly high food costs. They travelled by coach to a town where they spent the night with a local to broaden their understanding of Norwegian life. The next day they travelled to Odda and prepared for the main challenge: completing the expedition over the mountains of the Hardangerville National Park. The first two days were the hardest when the rain would not hold, and they had large mountains to climb. However, after a 12-hour hike and an unexpected river crossing on the second day, they reached their hut. After a rest day, which involved bathing in near freezing water and building a snowman, the group were better prepared for what lay ahead, and there were no more massive hills to cross. The next days were over the tops of the mountains, leading to stunning views for miles. Spirits remained high, even as energy levels dropped. The hike ended at the foot of the Hardangerville Glacier, which was the film set for the Hoth scenes in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Arriving at the hostel, they turned them away unexpectedly. Luckily the team were able to take the last bus to Voss and spend an extra night in the accommodation due for the following day. In Voss they became tourists and walked around the town and visited the shops. Some also went for a swim in one of the fjords. The trip ended back in Bergen where they climbed the mountain behind the hostel and had fun in the play park at the top. Explorer Belt was a challenge, but they all knew it would be. However, it was a rewarding challenge.


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