There are some of you that will be reading this knowing exactly what rovers are and do. There are others that may be sitting there confused thinking, “what even is a Roverchill?”. Or if none of these, you may also have simply stumbled upon this article without any real burning desire to find out. But alas, you’re here now, and about to realise that there is a living, breathing rover community out there that you should be involved in!
Rover chill at a glance is a national rover event that allows rovers countrywide to come together to hang out, share ideas, do good deeds and focus on service which is central to rover programme. It’s an opportunity to create new friendships, expand and build on old ones and generally come home feeling a little giddy and excited by the countless opportunities available to rovers and non-rovers alike.
Divided into trails based around culture, environment, physical and creativity, Roverchill really is about figuring out your interests as a person and as a rover and tapping into these. These 4 interest areas then link up with the overall umbrella purpose of the event itself which is service and community engagement.
Running the physical trail this year was a challenge I took on with mighty intentions of designing a day’s activities that would re-invent rover’s understandings and challenge perspectives on what physical means, particularly when linked to service. I say challenge, because no matter how much you plan and brainstorm and organise and contact and repeat these actions several times, Roverchill proved to me that it’s sometimes not all that simple. In all honesty, making that initial contact with communities, charities and organisations offering free time, labour, enthusiasm and ideas and still ending up with a list of “no’s” far longer than the “maybes” was difficult to get past. However, I realised that it is often the unexpected and the little things that end up being the most impactful, and that once you’re surrounded by a group of open, engaged and willing rovers then it really doesn’t matter what you do.
Spending the day volunteering in a community garden, talking about Irish mythology and nature, taking photos in a 2-person poncho on the beach; not exactly what I was expecting when I began planning the physical trail, and definitely not what the rovers were expecting from it; did that matter? No. It was about setting the foundations for future engagement and community involvement, sharing experiences and perspectives and realising that life, and rovering, is all about learning.
Being a rover myself, if I could offer any advice on service, involvement and all those shenanigans, it would be this; start small, start local, persevere, and worry a little less. Get talking, get active and test your limits; you won’t regret it.