Normandy Camporee 21-23 April 2017
Who can attend the Normandy Camporee?
The Normandy Camporee is open to all Boy Scouts of America youth, leaders and families regardless of their location. The event is hosted by the Transatlantic Council, BSA and all Scouting youth are welcome.
In addition to BSA members and their families, we welcome Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls, and international scouting programs. In the past, we have welcomed Scouts de France, Polish Scouts, German Scouts, and large contingents from the Scout Association (UK).
Although the event is 21 to 23 April (Friday to Sunday) the campgrounds and bungalows will be open all week to support us (although before Wednesday it is a shared facility) and will be open after the event to support families (again will be shared facility)
Registration will open on 1 October 2016 for bungalow reservations and campsite registrations. The bungalow reservations are first come, first served until sold out. We will accept all campsite reservations up until ten days before the camporee (April 11, 2017). We have plenty of room and it is better to have an “accurate” number then being first.
You can reserve hotels now. There is a special deal at the Ibis at Port En Bessin (one of the camping locations for Camping Port’land) that will charge 2014 prices and offer 10% additional off. http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-6865-ibis-bayeux-port-en-bessin/index.shtml
The closest towns to the event with hotels are Bayeux (largest town), Port-en-Bessin, and St Laurent Sur Mer. There are also a wide range of bed and breakfasts (Chambre de Hote) in the area. If you are looking for a group hotel, there is King Hotel in Port-en-Bessin
You can also contact the tourist bureau in Bayeux at http://bayeux-bessin-tourisme.com/en/
In 2014 George Sellers and Adventure Productions made a 19 minute film about the Normandy Camporee. You can view the film here
We have a partnership with Camping Port’land in Port en Bessin, near Bayeux and about 10 kms (6 miles) from Omaha Beach, and with Camping Omaha Beach in Vierville directly above Omaha Beach. Both sites have their advantages. The Camping Omaha Beach site is a good site if you have limited transportation and is closer to some of the events like the campfire. It is more rustic than Camping Port’land which is a five star campground. The fee structure for the event does not make a difference between the two campgrounds (they are the same price).
Both sites are reserved for our event and cannot be booked independently of our event.
Cooking There are no ground fires. You can use burn barrels as long as they are raised sufficiently off the ground that the heat does not burn the grass. There is no wood in the area to gather for fuel. The event director has assured the owners of the camping area that there will not be burn marks on the ground and that the turf will not be dug up. Units leaving any burn marks will be assessed a minimum of $50 to cover turf damage upon check out (the amount depends on the extent). We are strongly encouraging the use of propane stoves. If units have US type stoves, they should make sure that they have sufficient quantities of propane for the weekend as it is not available locally (or make sure that they have a US to European converter valve so local gas can be used). Of course the last time we did this event, units that were short were helped by units that had extra in the best of Scouting traditions.
The Transatlantic Council works very closely with local, regional, and national authorities to provide a safe event. We have always been aware of the potential for both terrorism and accidents. All of us in our council live and work here. Our council office is in Brussels. The French authorities work diligently to provide visible deterrents as well as restricting access to key events to our members. We will do all we can with you to provide a quality program experience in a safe environment.
The final authority for the security of the event is the regional government in Normandy. The military commands and or community security may also restrict travel if deemed necessary.
Fees and Registration
Camping Fees: $65 for two nights per person ages 5+ (under 5 free), on Friday to Sunday. Additional Night camping is $15 per person
We have 125 bungalows available in both campsites a The cost for bungalows is similar to area hotels but provide the advantage of having a kitchen so you can prepare your meals
Bungalows will go on sale 1 October and the price is per bungalow and not per person,
4 person bungalow for 2 nights $420
5 person bungalow for 2 nights $475
6 person bungalow for 2 nights $540
7 person bungalow for 2 nights $600
8 person bungalow for 2 nights $660
Extra nights are $50 per person ($200 minimum) per bungalow. You can have less than four people in a bungalow but the minimum charge is for four people. (i.e. one may stay by one’s self in a bungalow but it does cost $420 for two nights).
For reservations cancelled after March 15, the refunds will be made after the event
For bungalow cancellations after 1 March, no refunds are made unless we are able to rent the bungalow to someone else. We have booked all the bungalows and are responsible for paying for them, we cannot refund cancellations where we have to scramble to fill. In the past we have been able to fill empty bungalows and if we can do that, we will indeed refund your money (it is a lot for you but it is also a lot for us).
The bungalow fees also include the camporee fee. Please when units register do not count people with confirmed bungalow registrations in your fees. They are paying individually for the bungalows.
If you stay outside of the campground/bungalow as in a hotel, youth hostel etc. the fee is $30 per person for the camporee. This covers the program cost for the event.
There is a fee of $3.00 per person for the Saturday evening Messengers of Peace Dinner. This will be paella, with an entree, dessert, and beverage. The meal is sponsored (still to be determined) but the fee will help us to offset additional costs and to have an accurate number of meals to prepare.
There is a $100 per unit fee that includes unit recognition including a floral arrangement for the unit to present on Sunday morning at the Closing Ceremony. The fee is $25.00 if the unit cannot participate at the Sunday ceremony. Individual floral arrangements and wreaths will not be included as part of the ceremony.
Out of Council Fees
The youth in Transatlantic Council because of our overseas location are assessed annually a fee of $18 to $72 depending on location to register in our council in addition to the BSA registration fee. We are thrilled to have individuals, units and councils visiting our event. The following fees will be charged for our out of council units
Camping per person, two nights $100 (total)
Bunglaows please add $100 to per bungalow cost
Attending but staying in an area hotel or other arrangement is $75.00
Thank you for understanding that these additional fees will help us to support our families who live and serve our countries overseas.
The Normandy Historic Trail patch is available for $4.50 and can be pre-ordered.
We do need staff in many areas from supporting units arriving, parking control, program help, medical support, cook teams, etc. We ask that the staff arrive on Wednesday April 19th and there will be a weekend in March that the staff can visit and see the area (all staff is not required). You need to pay the normal registration fee or bungalow fee (except for medical and cook teams) but your fee will include your meals. Leaders who have unit responsibilities cannot serve on staff although we welcome your help if you can pitch in as needed. Also if this is your first (and possibly only) trip to Normandy that often times you don’t see a lot of the area so please take that into consideration. If you wish to apply for staff you can at http://tac-bsa.kintera.org/normandystaff2017
The Normandy Camporee is a mix of unit selected activities as well as some organized activities. It is up to each unit to choose what it would like to do during your time in NormandyProgram
Council Organized Events
Thursday April 20
1 p.m to 9 p.m. Scout Shop Open at Ste. Honorine de Pertes
Friday April 21
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Scout Shop open at Community Center at Ste. Honorine des Pertes
10 a.m. to 9 p.m. visit the 1st INF Divison at the TAC-BSA registration area and Scout Shop at Ste. Honorine des Pertes
4 p.m. (1600 hours) Reception at TAC-BSA registration area with Council Executive Board and VIP Visitors (photo opportunities, light snacks, open to all)
6:30 p.m. Council Benefactor Tour and Dinner at the Utah Beach Museum. Open to 2nd Century Society Members, Normandy Key Sponsors ($5000+) or $500 per plate to support Transatlantic Council programs and to recognize those who continue to financially support our council.
Saturday April 22
9 a.m. to 9 p.m (except during campfire, and dinner) visit the 1st INF Division at our registration and scout shop at Ste. Honorine des Pertes
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Scout Shop open (except during campfire and evening dinner),
9 a.m All Faiths Service at Omaha Beach (should last one hour) (St. Laurent sur Mer)
3:30 p.m. Campfire on Omaha Beach (St. Laurent sur Mer), Webelos Arrow of Light, Crossover, Wood Badge, Order of the Arrow Call Out, Eagle Scout Court of Honor
5:3o p.m. Messengers of Peace Dinner at Omaha Beach
8:00 p.m. Eagle Scout Reception for all Eagle Scouts (location to be determined)
11 p.m. Fireworks (or as it becomes dark, usually close to 11 p.m.)
Sunday April 23
9 a.m. Closing Ceremony at the American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer
Places to Visit
The best bet is to google these locations for up to date information. On Museums we do try to provide discounts working with the local tourist bureau and in most cases we are able to have substantial reductions over the published cost.
American Cemetery at Colleville sur Mer
Pointe du Hoc
Memorial Museum at Caen
Overlord Museum at Colleville sur Mer
Mere Sainte-Eglise (Airborne Museum)
Omaha Beach Museum at St. Laurent sur Mer (this is a favorite as it is usually free, run by the former mayor of St. Laurent and it is in walking distance of events so if one arrives early it is a good place to visit instead of standing around waiting)
Utah Beach Museum
Arromanches (Museums and 360 cinema)
Longues Battery (German gun emplacement)
Bayeux (Tapestry from 1066 and Museums)
The list actually can be quite long, those are some of the places that most of our Scouts have visited and there are lots more to discover
Nearest Airport: Paris
Nearest Train Station: Bayeux
There is not a good internal transportation network and if units, individuals, families are going to visit sites some sort of transportation is necessary. If you do not have transportation you would need to stay at the Omaha Beach Campground to be able to attend the council level events.
Registration & Scout Shop
This year we have rented a facility at Ste. Honorine des Pertes which is a small town located between Camping Port’land (Port-en-Bessin) and Camping Omaha Beach (Vierville sur Mer). Units will be able to pick up their registration packets, patches, at this location right off the D 513 which is the coast road between Port-en-Bessin and Vierville. We will have a team that will have a 1st Infantry Division World War II site on the location for scouts to visit.
No pets allowed in the campsites. We are too close together and with allergies, and young children fearful of animals we cannot permit them on the campsite. Pets are permitted in the bungalows and must be kept on a leash when outside. Those not respecting those rules will be asked to leave.
This is a Boy Scouts of America event. Alcohol will not be served at the campgrounds and not consumed in the campsites. Alcohol and working with youth, driving, and scouting activities do not mix. Please respect the BSA rules in this area. Individuals showing signs of intoxication will be escorted from the camping areas.
It is our intent to provide First Aid support at each campground. We will indicate the First Aid area. Each individual should have a BSA medical form for the event. Our First Aid support needs to have background and information to provide treatment (as well as parental consent for youth)
Supplemental support is at the very fine hospital in Bayeux and we hope it is not necessary but the University Hospital in Caen provides outstanding medical support.
Units, individuals are responsible for caring for minor injuries but if in doubt please visit our First Aid Center.
There are English speaking doctors on call in the towns.
The primary support for medical needs is with the French medical services.
Driving in the Area
The roads are narrow once one leaves the N13 highway (Caen-Cherbourg) please allow time to travel these narrow roads and be patient.
Hiking is not permitted along the D 513 as each year bikers, hikers are killed as two vehicles can barely pass in places and there are many places where a pedestrian cannot move.
For major events we have had police and staff support for parking control.
Please do not drive on the grass in the campgrounds.
The “Bleuet” (or Cornflower)
Each Scout and Leader will be presented with a cornflower when you receive your registration packet. The cornflower is the French flower of remembrance and a symbol that we will not forget those who gave their lives for freedom, or the sacrifices made by families on behalf of freedom. That is why it is incorporated into our event patch and should be worn the entire weekend and especially at the ceremony on Sunday
History of Camporee
In April 1994, the Charlemagne and Mayflower Districts hosted a 50th Anniversary Commemoration Camporee near Omaha Beach. The event was for Scout troops and was eventually opened to the rest of the Transatlantic Council. The event proved to be such a great experience for the families that attended that a decision was made to hold this camporee every five years. Our aim is to provide the opportunity for a memorable experience to all of our Scouting families. Originally we planned this event for every five years, but due to the requests from our Scouting families, we now conduct this event every three years. Our plan is to also mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.
The events have been centered at
1994 Camping Omaha Beach, Vierville sur Mer
1999, 2002, 2005 Isigny sur Mer, Municipal Campground
2008, 2011 Port’land Camping, Port en Bessin
2014, 2017 Port’land Camping, Port en Bessin and Camping Omaha Beach, Vierville sur Mer
In 2002 in response to a request for better local coordination, Transatlantic Council began a partnership with French Veteran’s Association (Office Nationale des Anciens Combattants) and a local private organization that evolved into Planete Bleue…S.O.S. without their help and support the camporee would not have the support that it has today. We remain grateful to our local friends and leaders for their work in helping us to create memories that last a lifetime.
After our 2011 event we were asked to lend our support to the campaign to have the D-Day beaches declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. We collected more signatures than any other organization and have shared those with the Normandy Region. On June 6, 2014, President Hollande recognized the campaign in his remarks and continues to push for recognition.