Hi, I’m Mike, one of the unit leaders for Unit 67, the Mustang Martlets, from West Sussex. For one of my personal development goals, I decided that I would do a blog about myself and my units experience on the Jamboree trip. I’ve never been much of a writer; it is always something I try to avoid, and English was one of my most disliked subjects back at school. So, what better than to put it as a personal development goal and do something that I don’t like doing!
I always said I wanted to write a record of the trip of a lifetime. It will be the only way to remember everything that we got up to on a very packed trip. It can be used by our participants to tell their loved ones about what they did day by day, rather than forgetting about the little things that make the trip and just going with “I went to the Jamboree and met lots of people”. I’ll add in little tips and tricks that I’ll learn along the way to help other attendees at Jamborees in the future.
A bit about me, I’m 25 years old and have been in Scouting from being a Beaver, so almost 20 years now! I have never been to a Jamboree in the past, so my expectation was only what I had read about and what I’d heard from past participants and leaders. Everyone who I had spoken to said you experience something magical that you can’t describe, you must do it for yourself. I hope by the end that I get this feeling and enjoy it as much as they have done.
Anyway, enough of me rambling let’s get on with the trip!!
19/07/2019 – Day 0
We had arranged to meet up the night before our flight, at Copthorne Scout HQ, which was very close to Gatwick airport, where we’ll catch a flight tomorrow. Getting this location was certainly a case of “who you know”. As the participants started to arrive and goodbyes said, tears were shed (by parents for the most part), as they saw them for the last time for three weeks.
We made up a little check-in table, checking everyone had their passports, they’re travel documents and they’re bags were underweight (let the repacking commence). As they were all arriving it felt like the first day before going to school, nerves and anticipation of what was to come. As everybody arrived, music was playing, songs being sung, and fun being had. It really showed how the unit had bonded from the start 18 months ago.
The plan was to get some sleep before the 3 am start in the morning, but for many of the unit, this wasn’t the case as they simply couldn’t, they were just too excited! Plus, the concrete floor and not wanting to unpack the perfectly pack bag made sure of that. Us leaders tried to sleep ourselves, but one hour isn’t enough.
Tip of the day: It doesn’t matter how old you are, you still get excited!!!