What kind of Scout activities do you have in Sweden?
We are proud to have a wide range of activities, all changing depending on location and age. We do all kinds of activities possible in cities and in the countryside, inside and outdoors. We go sailing and skiing as well as hiking, organize camps and leadership educations as well as evening long activities for young children. The important thing is doing what we do together using the scout method.
What does your scout uniform look like?
The uniform is petroleum blue and contains of a shirt or t-shirt and a scarf. The scarf has different colors and stripes depending on where you are from.
What are Guides and Scouts called in Sweden?
Guides and Scouts are all called scouts in Swedish, in plural ”scouter” and in singular ”scout”. We have used the same expression since girl guides and boy scouts joined in to one organization in the 1960’s and do not have any special word for boys or girls.
When is a good time to visit Sweden if I want to meet other scouts?
In the summer holiday many groups go on week long camps or expeditions. Even though the schools summer vacations goes on from the middle of June until late August, most scout camps are arranged during the end of July and the beginning of August.What do I need to do before I come to Sweden?
If you are an EU citizen you generally only need to buy a ticket. If you come from other countries, you can find more information about the visa requirements for your country on this web page: http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/12386/a/135955
How do I get to Sweden?
There are international airports all over Sweden. If you want to visit the southern parts of Sweden you can fly to Copenhagen (Kastrup airport) and then take the train to Sweden, or fly to Sturup outside of Malmö and take a bus. The distance is the same and Kastrup is recommended for international flights, Sturup for domestic ones. In total Kastrup is the biggest Scandinavian airport, so depending on your point of departure you will fly through Kastrup regardless.
In Stockholm the airport is called Arlanda and in Göteborg/Gothenburg it is called Landvetter. Travelling to Sweden you can also come by train or car from Norway or Finland. If you are coming from other parts of Europe you access Sweden through Denmark, either crossing the Öresund Bridge from Copenhagen to Malmö or taking the ferry from Helsingør to Helsingborg.
How can I pay in Sweden?
Although Sweden is a member of the European Union it has not accepted Euro as its currency. SEK – Swedish krona – is used. Almost every shop accept credit cards and it is a very common way of payment.
The currency rate in April 2012 was:
1 SEK = 0,11 EURO / 1 EUR = 8,80 SEK
1 SEK = 0,15 USD / 1 USD = 6,60 SEK
I cannot speak any Swedish. Is that a big problem?
Almost everyone in Sweden are more or less fluent in English, so no worries! At the age of 12 all students also choose between taking up Spanish, French or German. Here the differences are big; some get fluent while others give up on learning a third language. Due to immigration patterns also Finish, Arabic, Serbo-Croatian, Persian and Kurdish are big languages in Sweden today.
What is the weather like in Sweden? Is it really cold?
Since Sweden is influenced by the Gulf Stream, the climate is actually much warmer than in other places on the same latitude. The coldest month is February with the average temperatures moving from -22 to -3°C. July is the warmest month with average temperatures between 13 to 17°C.
During the summer months (June-August) you can count on it being at least 20°C during the day and warmer in July and August. The nights can be cold in the beginning of the summer, though beautiful as a result of it being light outside until very late.
And remember: ”There are no bad weather, only bad clothing”
I am going alone/with my group to Sweden, can you help me get in touch with a Swedish scout group?
To get in touch with a local scout group our recommendation is always to use the search engine at http://www.scouterna.se/hitta-scoutkar/. Here you can locate a group in the area you are going to. Zoom in on the area and click on preferred group and then click on the red button “Kontakta denna kår”. Usually you get redirected to a contact formulary where you can skip all fields except your email, phone number and personal message which you can write in English, and somebody from the group will get in touch with you. Or you can simply call the number that often appears on the page and talk directly to the group leaders. Also you can use our Facebook page, International Scouting: Sweden and just publish a message on the wall and hope for somebody to answer.
We are a group going to Sweden and looking for accommodation in Stockholm for a couple of nights, can you help us? Is there any scout centers open for arriving scouts in Sweden?
Sadly there are no national scout centers in Sweden open all year around. However there are a number of permanent camping grounds owned by the scouts, in the capital region you find Vässarö where camps are held every summer and other activities are organized during the summer months. Again the easiest way of finding cheap scout accommodation is to contact a local group through http://www.scouterna.se/hitta-scoutkar/ and kindly ask for accommodation. Otherwise it is easy to find cheap accommodation through the Swedish tourist association http://www.svenskaturistforeningen.se/ which has hundreds of hostels and mountain stations throughout the country.
Is it easy to find camping ground and is it legal to camp wherever in Sweden? Is it possible to camp in closer proximity of Stockholm?
By Swedish law you are entitled to stay one night without asking for permission anywhere which is not defined as real property, i.e. someone’s garden and outside of agglomeration area, still it does not hurt to ask for permission anyway. As Sweden is a rather scarcely populated country you will find it easy to find empty fields or forest openings for the night. The exceptions to this are the three biggest cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö where you will have to get away from the immediate urban areas.