Friday 27th May 2011 was the culmination of 12 months of fundraising and hard work by 18 Scouts, their families, the leaders and the members of the Church. The boys and girls had fundraised thousands of pounds; bag packs, quiz nights, chocolate bingo, sponsored events, concerts, cake stalls at Church and school, and so much more. They had organised and collected little red lunch boxes full of gifts for the Romanian children, as well as basic toiletries, so often taken for granted. With all this, the children were able to send an aid truck, very kindly, organised and provide by International Aid Trust. Their parents had loaded and dispatched the truck only a matter of days before; full with clothes, shoes, bedding, toiletries, wheel chairs, walking aids, mattresses, toilet rolls, toys, teddies, medical supplies and more.

  In Romania the Scouts made a camp fire circle and erected a trampoline at the Casa Harului, for other children to enjoy throughout the summer. They unloaded the aid truck and stored the aid at the camp for later distribution, as well as sending some to the Bethlehem entre in Hunedoara. They visited local   schools and village halls, fittingly distributing aid to children and needy families on National Childrens Day in Romania. They gave the red lunch boxes to children in schools, and watched their faces light up with joy when they were opened. They took bedding, clothing and walking aids to an old people’s home.

 On returning to England the children were asked to write about their experiences;

 “…We also visited local schools, giving out the boxes that members of the Church and uniformed groups so kindly filled for us at Christmas. The smiles that lit up the children’s faces when they discovered the contents of the boxes was enough to make anyone’s day, and we really felt that we had made a difference. The children danced and performed traditional songs for us as well. We also visited a home for the old and disabled, and gave them useful items from the truck. It was clear to see that those items would be of real use to people there, who would benefit from them for a long time…..Though I will never return to Romania as a Scout, I will treasure the memories I gained there forever.” (Daniel Anderson, aged 13)  

“…I experienced some horrific sights which I will probably never witness again for the rest of my life. I raised money to help my scout group, St. George’s Scouts to help fund the trip over 16 months. We have done bag packing in supermarkets like Tesco, to an 11 mile Scout Hike Challenge from which I raised £300. Me and 7 other scouts along with some Romanian people, unloaded a massive aid lorry of which we funded. We have given to charity, personally giving out aid to orphanages and care homes, plus a couple of Romanian schools. I knew immediately what it was like to be in one of Europe’s poorest countries…”  (Calvin Lau, aged 13)

“…After breakfast and prayers on Sunday, we made a Camp Fire Circle for Benni. We had to move really heavy rocks, but we didn’t mind because under some of them we found snakes and lizards. We also found some rocks which older St. George’s Scouts had previously painted. Later on that day, Benni and Pete took us to see a church destroyed by lightening in a local village. The views were beautiful but in the village we saw a few derelict looking shops, and cows casually walking down the main street – not a sight we have ever seen in Mill Hill!....On the last full day of our trip we went swimming. We travelled up into the hills to an outdoor pool. On the way there we went past a traditional gypsy village. The village looked like it was falling down. Children were playing in the river. We stopped to deliver aid to an old people’s home. The home was not just for old people. There were young disabled people who had been abandoned by their mums and dads. It was really sad to see them…” (Katie Arrandale, aged 11)
 
The trip to Romania has left its lasting mark. For the people it helped in Romania. For the lives it changed in Romania, but also in England. The children from the Scout Group want to continue to help to change the lives of the children of Romania, and so the fundraising continues.

These young people made a difference…………….Could you?