Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The 22nd World Scout Jamboree

We were finally here. I was so excited! I had expected the campsite to be big but it was quite unbelievable. It was HUGE! When we arrived there weren’t many unit campsites built up yet and it still felt massive. The campsite was split into 4 towns: Summer, Winter, Autumn and Spring. Within each town there was numerous sub-camps which were named after cities, rivers and provinces in Sweden. My unit were in Svedala sub-camp in Autumn town. Each town had their own big attraction. For example, Winter actually had their own mini ice skating rink and Autumn had a mini theme park built entirely from wood and timber, it was amazing.

Once we got over the complete shock and excitement, we were shown to our campsite and started to set up camp. This was very important to us as this was going to be our home for the next 10 nights- it had to be perfect. We also decided that we wanted to have the tallest gateway in Autumn- not that I am biased or anything, but we definitely did.

Our gateway

That night we had the opening ceremony. All of the forty thousand scouts gathered together in a big field to celebrate the start of the 22nd World Scout Jamboree. The ceremony included the official handover from Great Britain to Sweden. This was done because the 21st WSJ was held in the UK so it was passed over to Sweden. The handover was very exciting as it involved Bear Grylls abseiling down from the stage. The ceremony also included a performance of the Jamboree song- “Changing the World.” Each Jamboree has its very own song, and ours was very catchy. My favourite part of the night was the procession of the flags. There was one flag representing each country present at the Jamboree. It was amazing to see the amount of different places everyone had travelled from, to be together for such a great event.

Opening ceremony- Procession of the flags

There was always lots going on. There were planned activities almost every day and we constantly had something to do. If I’m being totally honest, the activities where never really that great but it didn’t matter. The best part was making new friends and learning about different cultures. My favourite days were the days we had our own free time. We would always spend these days just wandering about, going to the many different cafes available and just talking to new people.

There was so many highlights of the Jamboree for me, I couldn’t pick just one. The overall experience was just phenomenal. It was always really funny when we walked about the camp in our kilts as lots of people would always stop us and ask to take pictures with us. It was kind of like being a celebrity- I won’t lie, we loved it! One Chinese Scout actually offered to trade me her whole uniform and various other items for my kilt.

Happy Memories

This picture perfectly sums up the Jamboree experience for me. I was always laughing and having a great time. 

Meeting Bear Grylls
Presenting Bear with our Neckie

Oh and did I mention Bear Grylls came to visit us at our campsite? Yes, that actually did happen :)!

One day in particular that I really enjoyed was a day in which each unit would prepare a stall with various foods and items which effectively portrayed their own countries’ culture. For this day my unit had lots of Scottish flags draped across our campsite with all things tartan surrounding the table. Of course we had some Irn-bru for people to sample because after all, what’s more Scottish than Irn-bru. On this day, Linzi, Marie-Claire and I were roped into performing some traditional Highland dancing- very embarrassing. We would take turns manning our Scottish stall so when we had a break we had the opportunity to wander about and visit different stalls. It was great to see what each unit had come up with. My favourite stall was definitely one of the Italian stalls, purely because they had pizza!

Highland Dancing

The closing ceremony was another fantastic night. Although it was emotional because it was our last night at the Jamboree, I had a great and memorable night. The famous Rock band Europe performed live and the King of Sweden even joined us.

Overall, the 22nd World Scout Jamboree was a fantastic experience which I will remember for the rest of my life. It really was a once in a life time opportunity and I am so thankful to have experienced it. 

Saltire Unit at the 22nd WSJ

About Lauren Anderson

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