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Tuesday 04 September 2012

International effort at ShelterBox Challenge
International effort at ShelterBox Challenge The Dazzling Danes from Denmark infront of their disaster relief tent, which they slept in overnight at the ShelterBox Challenge in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, September 2012.

Bright, warm sunshine warmed up the picturesque city of Amsterdam as sixteen teams from around the world took to its historic streets last weekend for the second ShelterBox Challenge in the Netherlands.

Enthusiastic participants from Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Chile and the Netherlands gathered on 1 September to not only take part in the exciting adventure but to also show their passion and support for ShelterBox.

The challenge tests contestants' creativity, endurance and skills. Teams have to carry an empty ShelterBox through the cobbled lanes and complete 12 challenges at check points around the city. These included drawing a picture to represent ShelterBox in Rembrandt Square; identifying countries on a map where ShelterBox deployments have taken place; getting as many members of the public to take the team's photo in Central Station; completing a ShelterBox quiz; and carrying out a range of physical and mental challenges.

One of the many iconic canals in Amsterdam, ShelterBox Challenge Netherlands, 2012.

At the end of the first day, teams even slept in a disaster relief tent overnight and had to make a pitch for what essential piece of equipment they would add to a ShelterBox.

Members of the public found themselves drawn to the big green boxes and the white tents, prompting many people to ask about the international disaster relief charity.

Further awareness was also raised by the teams' interaction with the public. Some of the tasks actively involved people walking by like getting as many members of the public through a ShelterBox tent as the team could in 10 minutes.

'Good energy'

'It was a great couple of days,' said Laurens Visscher, Events Coordinator at ShelterBox Netherlands. 'The teams had a really good energy and there was a friendly fun atmosphere.

'The event is primarily about raising awareness of how ShelterBox helps families affected by disasters, so it was fantastic to involve the public and reach so many new people.'

A team undertaking one of the twelve tasks in the ShelterBox Challenge Netherlands, 2012.

The event could not have taken place without the help of around 50 passionate volunteers who helped look after the teams and supervise checkpoints, one being Rob Troostheide:

'It is lovely to see the teams enjoying themselves and we have been receiving a great reaction from the public. Some people want to buy a tent but we explain what it is really for and they are very interested to hear how ShelterBox helps people who have been made homeless by disasters.'
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