"It all began in a candle lit garden in Haderslev on a warm summer's evening in 1975, when two men, Karl Christian Thiessen and Harry Ruhrmund were talking and came up with a practical vision to promote friendships between young people of two different lands.  God bless!

Harry Ruhrmund,



In 1975 I had the great privilege of leading the United Kingdom South West Jamboree Troop to the 14th World Scout Jamboree in Norway.  This Troop was made up of 36 Scouts who came from Somerset, Devon, The Channel Islands and Cornwall with 3 Assistant leaders from Somerset  and Devon, myself as the leader from Cornwall making a Troop of 40.  The Jamboree site was near Lillehammer and is the furthest North a World Jamboree has ever been held so it was known as "Nord Jamb".  Everyone expected it to be cold at night but weather was so sunny and warm that made the nights quite comfortable and in fact 3 of the 10 days of the Jamboree gave Norway the highest temperatures ever recorded.  Although the 14th World Jamboree was sited in Norway, it was sponsored and organised by the 5 Scandinavian Countries; Norway, Sweden,Finland, Iceland and Denmark, who then shared giving Home Hospitality to some 19,000 Scouts from 96 different countries that were attending the 14th World Jamboree.

After enjoying 10 days of lovely weather, living and mixing with Scouts from all parts of the world our South West Troop was allocated for Home Hospitality to Denmark, so we took the train from Lillehammer to Lerwick where we borded the ferry for Frederikhavn in DenmaRK.  Here we went on another train to Haderslev arriving at about 8pm to be met by the chairman, Hans Rudolf-Petersen and members of the Home Hospitality committee, with hosts and hostesses and their motor cars to take us to their homes.  One of our Assistant leaders, John Winston from Somerset, 2 of our Scouts and myself were placed in the home of Karl and Else Thiessen which was to prove so pleasent and happy for me, as within a matter of a few hours I was to recognise Karl Christian Thiessen as one of the finest persons I have ever met in my lifetime, and we became the best of friends.  He was in every sense of the word, a perfect "Gentleman".

We were still enjoying lovely sunny weather, and on most days there were trips to places of interest organised for us by the Home Hospitality committee, but with the exception of the last evening when an "It's a knockout" had been arranged, the other evenings were free.  Of course John Winston and the 2 Scouts took these evenings to go into town and meet up with their friends in our Troop, but with the weather being so pleasently warm I was content to sit with Karl in his garden which he lit with candles in glass vases, and with a glass of wine it was a lovely time for talk.  Karl and I talked about many things, the second world war and the part he had played in Haderslev during the Nazi occupation and some of my times while serving with the Royal Navy most of which were spent in the Indian and Pacific Oceans operating against the Japanese, other items of interest, but the top of the list was Scouting - in all its aspects.It ws on the 14th night in his garden that I can remember Karl saying "It would be wondeful to continue this get-together on a regular basis"!  and I recall saying "It would be a little different as our perty wouyld have to be Cornish Scouts and the camp would have to be near Penzance with most of the area for Home Hospitality, so we could orgaise it properly".  Before we knew it, almost, Karl and I had mapped out details of how it should be done; every three years so that it gave enough time to raise funds for covering the costs, and agreed that on my return to Penzance for me to meet with the leaders here and outline the proposals of Karl and myself, for their consideration.  I met with Doug Stone and the other leaders of the Penzance/Madron Scout Group, put the proposals in front of them, who thought it was a great idea, and asked me to send an invitation to Karl for him to lead a party of Scouts from Haderslev to Penzance for camp and Home Hospitality in the summer of 1978.  Our invitation was accepted, and so everyone in Haderslev and Penzance began working towards that date.

In 1978 the first party of Scouts from Haderslev led by Karl Thiessen and Geert Ottosen arrived fro camp at Trengwainton and I can remember that the weather was not very kind, but the sun came out for the last three days so the tents were taken down dry and packed away.  There followed the week of Home Hospitality with 2 or 3 day trips to places of beauty and interest and a couple of evenings of camfire singing and entertainment. which all went well, and so successful were these 2 weeks that when the time came for our Danish friends to leave us there were lumps in the throats and tears in the eyes of the many that were saying goodbye.

We received an invitation for camp and Home Hospitality in Haderslev for 1981 and so with Doug Stone and Team, I led the first party of Cornish Scouts to enjoy both in that year.  My late wife, Geraldine  and I enjoyed the home of Karl and Else Thiessen.  It was great.

The Haderslev party came to us in 1984 led by Geert Ottosen and Team, because Karl's health was too poor for him to travel and we were very sad to hear later that Karl had been called to "Higher Service".  It was one of the saddest moments of my life fro Karl was my friend.  In his own quiet and humble manner, Karl was a great man.

Doug Stone and Enid Stevenson and team led the Cornish Party to Haderslev in 1987, for by this time my wife, Geraldine was very ill and was called to "Higher Service" in 1988.

Geert Otosen and Bjarne Skriver and team led the Haderslev party to Penzance for 1990, for camp again at Trengwainton with Doug and Enid and team, and Cornish homes again hosted our Danish friends for a week.  In 1993 the Cornish party was led to Haderslev by Kieth Strick, Chris Miners and team and again it was enjoyed by one and all.

We have just enjoyed our friends in camp at Trengwainton and in our Cornish homes.  In this year of 1996 the Haderslev party were led by Halvor Fabricius, Jorn Rytter and Knud Vindel.  It was great to meet Knud as we had met at the very first time in 1978.  In 1996 the camp was run by Chris Miners and a splendid team of leaders including Daniel Tolchard and Jeremy Rowe.  It's a joy to know that all being well Chris and his team will lead the Cornish party to Haderslev in 1999.

It has been great so far and I hope younger leaders of the Penzance/Madron Group and Haderslev will carry on with these three yearly visits well into the future years.

Harry Ruhrmund.  M.B.E.

Vice President of the Cornwall and Penwith Scout Councils.

Make a free website with Yola