Monday, 4 April 2016

The Journey to the Jamboree.....

The World Scout Jamboree is a once in a lifetime opportunity which takes place every four years. It is an incredible event which welcomes tens of thousands of Scouts from all around the world to camp together for 10 days. In 2011, I was lucky enough to attend the 22nd WSJ in Sweden. There was over 40,000 Scouts from 146 different countries, which made this Jamboree the largest in the history of Scouting. The Jamboree truly was a spectacular, life-changing event which I will remember for the rest of my life.

A Jamboree is a much sought after event as they only take place every 4 years. This meant that there was a tough selection process as only a limited number of people from each district could attend. The selection process took place 2 years before the event to allow plenty of time to fundraise, prepare and get to know the people within your unit well. My unit was called the Saltire Unit and was made up of Scouts from all over Scotland including Greenock, Dumfries, Kilmarnock and Langholm. We had regular meeting nights and camps so the unit had plenty of opportunities to get to know each other and make friends before the Jamboree. I always really enjoyed these events as they always got me very excited for our big adventure. There was a lot of fundraising involved in the lead up but this was expected for such a large event and was all part of the experience. 

A few days before the Jamboree we were paired up with Scouts from Vanuatu, The Solomon Islands and Tonga. They flew to Scotland prior to the Jamboree which gave us all the opportunity to get to know them before flying out to Sweden. It was an honour to have been able to share the experience with them. They certainly added to the overall experience for me as they allowed me to appreciate and learn about their culture and way of life.

All the UK Scouts received the same equipment for heading to the Jamboree. This included a large holdall, a bag pack, a fleece and all the tents which we would use in Sweden were also the same. So it was very easy to identify UK Scouts as we all looked exactly the same. It was even easier to spot, a Scottish Scout- all the matching equipment but with a kilt on as well. So looking all lovely and identical, we were ready to head to the 22nd World Scout Jamboree.

The Saltire Unit

Before we headed to Sweden, all the UK Contingents went to Denmark for 2 days first. This was amazing! We were put up in hotels just filled with Scouts and we took part in some great activities. One of the best parts of Denmark was going to Tivoli. This is a great big amusement park with plenty of fun and terrifying rides. I remember dragging my friend Linzi on all the really scary rides- she did not thank me for that. The last night was a lot of fun as Alphabeat performed for all the Scouts. It was a great night and got us all even more excited for heading to Sweden.


The next morning we were packed and ready to head to Sweden…….

About Lauren Anderson

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