National Pathfinderscamp 1932





Estate Oosterbeek Wassenaar, 2 till 12 August 1932

(A journal from Dick Ooms, one of the participants)



Tuesday August 2nd we left for The Hague from Arnhem. In Utrecht, where we arrived with troops from the entire country, 2 extra trains were waiting with the destination The Hague. Around noon we were in The Hague, where 2 trucks were waiting to transport all the luggage to the campsite. Thus gotten rid of our packing we marched straight to the campsite. On arrival we first got our camp badges and then we marched to the several sites and put up our tents. Everything went smoothly and all was ready at 2 o’clock. For dinner we ate vegetable soup with semolina and resins for desert.

At 8 o’clock everyone was ready for the pre-practice for Wednesday. It didn’t go very well. The Scottish played their bagpipes, difficult to march its Music, but it was fun to hear.


Wednesday August 3.


The Cuckoos had to cook this First day. When breakfast was ready, everything was cleaned and then there were endless inspections as H.R.H. Prince Hendrik was to open the camp today at 2 o’clock. At half pas one  everyone gathered for the last thorough inspection and then we marched to the demonstration area. It was packed with spectators. The prince held his opening speech, but off course no one heard a word.


Prince Hendrik and Headpathfinder Rambonnet


Then came the parade. We marched 6 by 6 on a loud mars. Last night it went very bad, but today everything went smoothly.







Sea scouts marching



Scottish Rover Band










Parade of the English




Afterwards the demonstrations started, but the Cuckoos had to prepare meals for 50 guys. Our sub camp B is divided in 5 camp groups of ca. 60 man. Amongst them 35 German Scouts.







British Indian Sub camp



Summary of  sub camps



Thursday August 4.


This morning we could stay in our bed longer, as we didn’t have chores. After having breakfast, we got ready for inspections, which went well without any penalties. Then we viewed the demonstration that were prepared for the afternoon. Then we went to town to drink coffee at noon. In the afternoon there were many visitors and lovely music.


Demonstration making ropes


In the evening the skies went dark, it started to rain a bit en especially around 8 o’clock when approximately 2000 man were ready to march to the fireworks it didn’t look good.  I was the only one from the Cuckoos, as most of them were tired and resting. Fortunately we walked close to a music corps, so we could march pretty good.

At the fireworks our places were less, so we didn’t see much of it. The return in the trams is something I will never forget. How I got on, I can’t remember, but  I had both feet outside the tram at one point.

Our tram stopped too late, so we had to walk for quite some time to return to our camp. At midnight we arrived at the camp. There I drank a lot of water with Sanovite, because you get very thirsty for 2 ½ hours walking.


Friday August.


Rise and shine at 6 o’clock. We planned to make an excursion to Alkmaar and Amsterdam with 200 brothers. When we were ready cleaning up it was almost 8 o’clock and we had to hurry to the mess room where we had to gather. Then it appeared everyone else was eating with no hurry, so we ate for the second time.


Group of participants


Then we marched to the station together with the Scottish band in front. In Alkmaar we went to the church, together with music again and to the Cheese market where the carillon played “Hoort zegt het voort”. Then we went to Amsterdam where we marched to the Lyceum accompanied by music and police on horseback, where we were treated to 3 or 4 glasses of lemonade, poured out of a gin barrel together with numerous cookies. Then a demonstration from the fire brigade and a cruise in the harbours.

When we arrived in the camp it was too late to cook. Luckily the management of the camp had arranged for our diner to be served in the mess room and large quantities were given out. We went to bed early so we were well rested on Saturday.


Saturday August 6.


In the morning we were allowed to sleep half an hour longer and do everything without hurrying. This day nothing spectacular happened, except for a lot of visitors. In the afternoon demonstration and in the evening a lightshow.



Sunday August 7.


This morning rev. Mulder had a small ceremony at the demonstration area. Our camp group joined in with many man. The staff music of the Hussars played along. In the afternoon many parents visited and also Rien Schulte joined us as he had only now some time off. I wish him a lovely camp time.





Monday August 8.


Early rise this morning again. Today was the day of the sightseeing trip of the Kaag, which app. 2400 man joined. At 9 o’clock we gathered at the administration tent from where we went to the train station in Wassenaar. From here we went in 2 extra trains to Leiden where we visited some places of interest in different groups. We went to the city museum.


Then we went on board of some ships and were accompanies by 2 police boats and several motorboats of the sea scouts. On the Kaag we layed still for quite a while and then the contestants of the swimming contest should disembark. Our team was also gathered.



Boat with visitors

Then something was said that not only the contestants were allowed to swim and then a lot of people also disembarked. It was a bit muddy and salty. Soon we went out of the water and got back into the boat. Then back to Leiden and back on the train. At the station we had to wait for a while for a cat was driven in two by accident and it arose a lot of attention. After returning to the camp site we could enjoy a warm and perfect pea soup with gruel made by our chief and Loutje who stayed at home.




Tuesday August 9.


Like a ghost image this day started. We had chores. Luckily we managed it better and we rose early, so we were early whit breakfast. We let the fire burning. The camp leader honoured us by joining us for lunch in Sub camp B and we had to take care of the menu. It proved to be just right, but because of the temperature ‘his leadership’ didn’t eat much pancakes, made by ‘Memelaar” with care. In the afternoon we were also early finishing cooking so we had a peaceful evening.


Wednesday August 10.


In the morning we went swimming in Scheveningen. When we came back the cubs were practising for the demonstration. At 2 o’clock we had to sell programs, what gave us a lot of money. Early in the afternoon we finished so we had the rest of the day off. In the evening again lightshows and tomorrow…… tomorrow…..


Camp kitchen


Thursday August 11.


Even early in the morning we knew something special was today. Everything you saw, was polished. Everything checked, hot a peace of cow shit was allowed. Around 11 o’clock something was happening at the entrance. Leaders called their troops for attention and ...   there he is, our Chief, our founder. Shining, surrounded by the camp staff, in inspects the cups at first.


Inspection by the Chief Scout

He takes a cup from The Hague by the hand and walks with him around the circle.

Then he visits the camps. He has attention for every detail. At the Germans a roar (of happiness) sounds when he enters. He is stalled for too long so he can’t visit our camp group anymore. Evil tongues say it is the doing of the DC, but who can have such thought at this day. The Cuckoos therefore don’t believe a word of it.

In the afternoon again demonstrations and in the evening campfire. At 11 o’clock the Chief Scout held his closing speech and ended the camp. Everything was out.


Visit R.C. camp


Friday August 12.


Now the camp was a sad sight. Everything was torn down and packed and made ready for leaving.

Then finally the last moment. Our Campgroup Veluwe stood ready. The DC makes his final speech end dan Head Scout Van Leeuwen. He thanks us and we thank him. I can’t understand that everything is ending now. In the afternoon we will be home again and then we can only talk about this camp. But no such thought, we have to move forwards, always forwards, long live the NPV.



Breaking down the camp




Never had I joined such a large camp. But what I had seen and experienced was really spectacular. Everything was perfect. Never went anything wrong. Only once a pump was broken, but only 5 minutes later it was fixed  by a Rover scout in overall and it never broke down again.  The food supplies was also very good, so everything was functioning very well. Thanks to the camp staff, many thanks.


Lord Baden Powell together with Rambonnet and camp staff


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