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Having Wonderful Time, Wisht I'd Been There...

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I went as IST to the WSJ, having organised an activity to run at the event. Just got back. Yes, theyre not cheap, but have to say it was one of the best experiences I've had. It's not a traditional scout activity camp but, well a jamboree, chance to meet other Scouts and scout leaders from all over the world. I had well over 47 different countries come through the activity I was running.

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A return to this.... Earlier today I caught up with one of mine that has just come back from Japan. She is absolutely walking on air! She's come back convinced she can change the world all on her own, ah what it is to be 15 and know everything :)

 

Anyway, she's absolutely determined to go to you chaps in 2019 as part of the IST. Be warned, she can talk for England and is, to put it mildly, rather strong willed.....

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Yes but that's kind of the point.

 

World Jamborees are not about traditional scout skills or back country camping. It's about interntaional friendship and meeting scouts from other cultures.

 

I've never been to a world one but did a European one in 2005. We had poles one side of us, Israel the other side of them, Italians the other side of us and Ireland the other side of them. Across the track were Swiss and Portugese units. It's a wonderful melting point of different cultures, languages and nationalities and that is nothing short of life changing.

 

No it's not your average camp out but it's something unforgettable.

What was your favorite uniform or uniform that was most interesting?

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I went as IST to the WSJ, having organised an activity to run at the event. Just got back. Yes, theyre not cheap, but have to say it was one of the best experiences I've had. It's not a traditional scout activity camp but, well a jamboree, chance to meet other Scouts and scout leaders from all over the world. I had well over 47 different countries come through the activity I was running.

What event did you run?

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What was your favorite uniform or uniform that was most interesting?

 

First of all I thought I'd replied to this earlier this morning but it seems to have vanished so apologies if anything appears in duplicate.

 

Uniforms.... Iceland have amazing hats, Switzerland the best neckers, Portugal use kilts instead of trousers or shorts, the French just make their's look really grungy.  All in all quite a mixture!

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What are the general rules about alcohol at international scouting events?

 

Does anyone know whether there will be any accommodations made for international mores when the World comes here in 2019?

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I like these big Scouting events.

The young people lucky enough to attend come away full of the joys of Scouting, knowing that they belong to something that is so very much bigger then they could really ever imagine.

 

As a Scout in the UK, I was a little bit miffed when another Scout from my Troop was selected to attend the last World Jamboree that Japan hosted.

I haven't looked it up, but I think that was in 1971?

The Lad who was selected was a great pal of mine. He came from a single parent home, lived in a really bad area of council flats (The projects)

Lucky enough our Scout Group had more money then they could ever spend! They paid for almost all of his expenses.

That year the Jamboree was hit by a typhoon. Steve (My pal.) Had some wonderful photos of the storm.

 

I managed to get myself selected as an Assistant Scout Leader for the Greater London Central contingent for the 1975 Nordjamb world jamboree.

I can't remember what the cost was.

I had a truly wonderful time.

The first week was spend living with a family in Sweden.

They weren't involved in Scouting, their church had somehow got involved with the home hosting.

Staying and living with a family that wasn't English was a real eye opener for me.

The event was outstanding, meeting other Scouts sharing meals with them and then of course there was fireworks! A wonderful firework display.

We had used my Troops camping equipment, we spend half a day packing it all up to be shipped to Norway.

We used six man tents, the camp patrol boxes that I used when we went camping.

We had a couple of training weekends before the event and had monthly "Troop Meetings."

Thankfully, all our gear was waiting for us when we arrived.

 

Next to us there was a BSA Troop.

They arrived and all their gear was brand spanking new. Still in the packing.

I was very impressed! 

Somehow who ever had put the equipment list together had forgotten to add water carriers, so we ended up sharing ours with them.

 

After the Jamboree I was full of the International Scouting bug.

I already had a very dear and close friend who was a Scout Leader in Holland and we had summer camped near Rotterdam a couple of times.

In 1976 we went to Kandersteg, in Switzerland.

This was a wonderful experience for a group of kids from London.

In 1977 I came over to the USA.

I'd been really surprised about the Americans and all their new gear at the 1975 Jamboree.

I worked as a International Camp Counselor for ten weeks and the BSA back then laid on a week long bus tour of the east coast.

The bus was full of International Scouts from all over the world.

 

It was in 1977 that I first met the young Lady who would 1983 become my wife! (No I didn't rush into anything!!)

We had a son who became a Cub Scout.

I was serving as a District Commissioner when we went to Philmont.

While I was attending the conference OJ was busy with a program offered by Philmont.

He teamed up with a little Lad from Mexico and a little fellow from England.

They spent almost all their waking hours together. I think that the Lad from Mexico and him are friends on Facebook. 

 

In 2001 and in 2005 I was the SM of one of the Troops that we sent to the National Boy Scout Jamboree.

In 2001 my son went as a Troop member which did mean that I had to pay for the two of us.

In 2005 he went on staff. 

Him going as a staff member meant that he wasn't part of the Council contingent and being able to plan his own way to and from the event saved him a ton of money.

In 2001 I was the Council Training Chair. Being able to work with real live Scouts was a real treat for me.

I really enjoyed all the Troop members and like to think that I went out of my way to ensure that they had the best experience ever.

In 2005 I was on the Area Committee and a District Chair. Again spending time with Scouts was just great.

I did attend a couple of meetings with the group who came over from the UK that were tasked with the planning of the World Jamboree in England.

I was on the selection team that was selecting both youth and adults members for that event.

The plan at that time was that I would attend.

However when I looked at what the BSA was planning to do and the cost. I seen spending $10,000 for my son and myself as being just too much.

We visit England fairly often.

I did my first Wood Badge course at Gilwell Park , back when I was a young Scout Leader I'd landed in hot water for building a monkey bridge on the Training Grounds!

So, at least for me and my family the event just didn't look like value for money.

 

I was really surprised by the number of adults who contacted me when they found out I was on the selection committee.

Many were older guys who seemed more about adding another Jamboree to their resume then about ensuring the Scouts were going to have the experience of a life time.

One of my sons best friends did go to the UK.

The Lad is just about the nicest that you could ever meet, very outgoing with a smile that lights up everywhere he goes.

He arrived home full of the joys of Scouting.

 

These events have become very expensive.

Maybe more then many if not most families can afford?

My hope would be that Councils find a way of reaching out to ensure that Scouts do get the opportunity and do what they can to select youth members who will benefit the most from attending.

The "New" National Jamboree site is just down the road from where I live. Asking parents from the area to spend a lot of money for a week or so is really a hard sell. But with the cost of summer camp being $350.00 -Maybe not?

Eamonn

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