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Danish youth get their very own island

The Local Denmark
The Local Denmark - [email protected]
Danish youth get their very own island
Denmark's new 'Youth Island'. Photo: Arne Magnussen/Scanpix

Recently eyed as a potential 'StartUp Isle', a 70,000 square metre island off the coast of Copenhagen will instead become Youth Island after it was purchased on behalf of the Danish Guide and Scout Association.

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When you were a kid, you might have had a special spot in the woods you used for climbing trees, quiet relaxation and developing your curiosity in and appreciation of nature. But can you imagine if you had your very own island? 
 
That dream scenario has become a reality in Denmark. 
 
The Danish Guide and Scout Association (Det Danske Spejderkorps - DDS) announced on Thursday that with the help of A.P. Møller Fonden and the Nordea Fund, it has purchased Middelgrundsfortet, an Øresund island just east of Copenhagen. 
 
The group will convert the manmade island into Youth Island, a bastion of activities, fellowship and creativity for young people. 
 
“With this project, children and young people will have an ambitious and unique activity centre where positive societal changes can be developed. Just as elements such as creativity, responsibility and a focus on togetherness and outdoor recreation are key to being a good scout, they will also be integral elements on Youth Island,” DDS head of scouting David Hansen said.
 
“Middelgrundsfortet’s unique placement and surroundings lie far from the constraints of everyday life and will provide a creative force when children and young people challenge themselves and each other,” he added. 
 
DDS was given 20 million kroner ($3m) in support from A.P. Møller Fonden and the Nordea Fund and will take possession of the island on April 1st. 
 
Middelgrundsfortet is a former sea fort that was used as a military area through 1984. At 70,000 square metres, it is the the world’s largest artificial island without a connection to land. The island includes 15,000 sqm of buildings and these days is mostly visited by tourists or rented out for large events and private parties. 
 
A group of Danish entrepreneurs were eyeing the island with the hopes of converting it into StartUp Isle. Upon the news that the two funds and purchased the island and handed it over to DDS, the StartUp Island group wished the new owners good luck and offered up their entrepreneurial spirit to help the new project. 

"Wishing the scouts all the best - even [though] I personally, with thousands of others, had hope to make it into StartUp Isle. But who knows what can happen, scouts are potential entrepreneurs as well," the StartUp Isle's initiator, Tina Jonasen wrote on our Facebook page

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