Posted on 07/16/2019

Baltic Sea Circle 2019 – From Hamburg to the North Cape and back in 16 days!

7.500 km in 16 days without GPS for a good cause – that is the Baltic Sea Circle. Verena Janßen from our Talent Management Team wanted to know more about it and joined the extraordinary rally with her boy scout colleague Christian. It goes without saying that we as BSH were mentally with them and shared the excitement of the adventure!

Verena, how did you find out about the Baltic Sea Circle?
A friend told me about it last summer. I had never been involved in a rally before, so I checked out the website of the organizer of the event, and it caught my interest!

How come you decided to take part in the rally?
On the one hand we were curious about the experience and the challenge, to see so many countries and get to know fascinating and outlying areas, together with a community of many other participants. On the other hand we thought it is great that it is a charity rally and that every team collects donations.

What did you have to prepare before the rally, apart from buying the car and pimp it?
There were many small steps until the day when we finally sat in the car and were on our way.
For example, designing a team logo and team clothing, designing the vehicle stickers or preparing the outdoor equipment for the trip. We camped most of the time. The acquisition of donations and sponsors took a lot of time, as well. We contacted a lot of people and companies. We never had anything to do with fundraising before, so it was completely new for us and it was not easy to figure out how to do it the best way. We also thought carefully about which projects we would like to donate to and contacted the organizations personally in advance.

Now that the rally is over, what is your conclusion?
It was an incredibly intense, exciting and an enriching experience. My mind is still so full of memories and impressions that it will take some time before I have reflected on everything. Through the tasks in advance, like generating donations and also by the rally itself, I learned a lot and gained new experiences. The constant load during the trip can push you to your limits and you get to know each other from new sides.

What made you particularly enthusiastic during the rally?
The landscape was incredibly beautiful. But most of all, I was thrilled by the team spirit among the 280 teams. We had a chat group for emergencies and breakdowns. No matter when and where a team got into trouble, another team was immediately on the spot to help. During the rally it was a thing of course that every team stops if someone has a breakdown or a problem and you support each other.

Is there a Baltic Sea Circle anecdote or experience you don’t want to hold back?
A special experience was the party on a lonely beach in Lofoten, where all the teams came together. At midnight everyone went swimming together in the Arctic Ocean and warmed up afterwards at a big campfire. It is kind of strange, when the sun shines in your face in the middle of the night and you don’t know whether it’s 3 am or pm. You don’t really know when to end the party! :-)

How many donations did you collect in the end and how much was collected during the whole rally?
The organizer stipulates that each team has to collect at least 750 Euros in donations. We have collected 3.877 Euros so far, for which we are very grateful. A total of almost 700.000 Euros in donations have been generated until now, but many teams continue their fundraising campaigns for some time after the rally. So are we!

How did your colleagues at BSH react to your plans?
The reactions of my colleagues were positive in every way and showed a lot of interest in the rally. Many of them actively supported me beforehand or even donated money, which made me very happy. We had many conversations about the charity roadtrip and many colleagues followed our blog during the rally.

Did BSH support you as an employer in your project? If so, how?
I felt very supported, especially by my team. It is not to be taken for granted, that you can take time off for such a long time. I am delighted that my managers and my team have made such a project possible for me in this way. It was a great support that my social media colleagues reported about the project on the BSH channels. The positive reactions motivated me and many of them donated to our project.

Are you already planning your next project?
At the moment we are still busy with the follow-up of the rally, there is still a lot to do. But a few weeks ago someone told me about the initiative “BreakOut – How far can you go?”. You start from Munich and have 36 hours to get as far as possible without spending any money. You also collect donations for every kilometer you travel. Sounds like another exciting experience! Maybe there are colleagues who would also like to participate in this charity event and we form BSH teams? If you are interested, feel free to contact me! :-)

Many thanks Verena for the exciting insights.
Click here to visit the blog of Verena and Christian aka “El Lirio Boreal”:
https://el-lirio-boreal.jimdofree.com