International Postbox Secretaries looking to the future..
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7 participants from Poland, Norway, Sweden, England and the Netherlands attended the International Postbox Secretary Meeting, hosted and organized by the Netherlands and held from 27 - 29 April 2012. In addition participants were able to take excursions to the Keukenhof and participate in Queen's Day.
The location of the meeting was Baarn, a small town of about 25,000 inhabitants in the centre of Holland next to the Palace where the former Queen and Prince lived. Lodgings were in a woodland neighbouring village called Lage Vuursche; a very peaceful village where Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands will live after her retirement.
In this royal setting they had their sessions for the postbox. The Postbox is a programme that aims to give guides and scouts worldwide the opportunity to get into contact with each other in a "safe" way. Nowadays most contacts go through electronic mail and the Postbox guarantees the age and gender of the guides and scouts that are mailing. Postbox Secretaries come together every two or three years to meet each other. Besides meeting between collegues, it is essential to exchange data and experiences in postbox work and of course to add a bit of sightseeing.
Marjolein Sluijter, our International Commissioner, opened the meeting on Friday evening with a lovely story. This was followed by introductions and review of the weekend’s programme, the main issue being . The scouts and guides they want to reach are on social networks nowadays.
Besides the session on Friday night there were several others. The list of secretaries was added to and updated and the possibility of starting a group on Facebook for the postbox secretaries to share their thoughts was explored. Scoutface and Scoutlink sites were also looked into.
For sightseeing they visited the famous tulip fields of Keukenhof, ate pancakes, farmer's cabbage and tried buttermilk (karnemelk). The international evening introduced all to the delights of Norwegian sweets, Swedish fish and British cookies...
After a wonderful weekend of friendship and cultural exchange they all went back to their own organisations with the message that the Postbox is a lively programme, a "safe" program, and has taken it’s first steps on Facebook.
Sandra Dekker - Secretary Postbox Netherlands
Ad Dekker - webmaster Postbox Netherlands