22/07/2019 – Day 3
Day 3 started with a trip to the university breakfast hall for a hearty breakfast consisting of a cooked breakfast, waffles and ice cream!! Everyone loved this breakfast as it was so different from what we’d usually have. The university looked amazing, modern-looking buildings, big football stadium and rather nice accommodation with beds (which I did miss!). We collected out lunches, loaded on the coach and headed on our way again, this time a 3 hours journey to the Jamboree!!
As we approached the site, two things started to happen. The excitement was building the closer and closer we got, and the rain. We drove past the entrance and saw lots and lots of coaches waiting outside the Ruby welcome centre. We turned off the main highway onto what was now muddy road up to the welcome centre. We picked up a rover Scout from Mexico called Maria. She boarded the bus and welcomed us to the site and sorted out some paperwork.
We had arrived at the Jamboree, then the next step was to find our site, which was easier said than done. We drove back out of the site and headed to another entrance to the Summit Bechtel Reserve. We drove through the site and Maria explained some of the ground rules. Watch out for wildlife, talked about Novus and sang about how to drink. She also taught us a traditional Mexican campsite song about bogies. We drove past the 4 other subcamps, with a sea of orange, red green and blue tents. We got our first glimpses of the summit centre and the zip lines. We came to our Subcamp Foxtrot, where we would call home for the Jamboree. Throughout the whole time, the rain had been getting slightly harder and harder.
We pulled up into our subcamp and parked up. We offloaded all the bags under a marquee whilst we got off. The rain was now heavier than ever. We carried the kit to our site, F207. We arrived at a marquee put up by some very kind IST so our bags wouldn’t get wet, and 3 crates: one with all-out kitchen kit, one filled with trolleys and tables and one filled with all of the tents. We all started to put up the 22 tents around our square site. It was still raining as the tents were going up, with their yellow flysheets.
After 2 hours and working together the site was set up. All the tents, dining area, burners and cooking area. As kit was being sorted into tents, we got the PL’s and APL’s together to visit the shop for the first time to get us dinner. The rain was now torrential as we carted the trolley 500m to the shop. We headed around the shop, scanning the QR codes for each of the items, getting ingredients for stir fry. The PL’s and APL’s cooked up an amazing stir fry meal that was well received by everyone, and certainly lifted the mood of the unit. As the rain got heavier and heavier and the eyes got heavier, everyone headed off to bed for their first sleep after a very busy day heading to the Jamboree.
Tip of the day: At least when it rains in America, it is warm!
23/07/2019 – Day 4
We stared the next day with the pitta patter of raindrops on the tents. A patrol headed to the shop at 5:30 am to pick up some breakfast for the unit. Everyone was up by six to have some cereal for breakfast before heading off to explore the site and do the first activities. Everyone had left by 7 am to go try the zip wires and canopy tours.
As there were no participants around, the leaders headed off to collect the extra bags full of the decorations and home comforts for our site. It was a fair old walk through the site to get them, but great to see what everyone was doing and what was happening. We walked through other subcamps and past some of the water activities before arriving at the collection point. Some of the participants transported them back to the site and we started to decorate the site in the afternoon.
As the unit arrived back, we heard of their swapping conquests and activities from the first day. Some had already swapped their UK rucksack for the very desirable US rucksack as it was an Osprey bag. We started to decorate the campsite with all our extra bits and pieces to make it home. We had an early dinner of burgers before the opening ceremony that evening. With everyone dressed up in uniform and some British flags, we walked the 45 minutes to the Summit Centre to join the 45,000 other Scouts ready for the show to start.
As it hit 7:30 pm the show began with the song “The circle of life” and lots of cheers. All the flags of the 152 countries who were attending were paraded across the stage with cheers of the countries in tow. Of course, the biggest cheer was for the UK. Then the hosts of the show introduced Novus and how it can be used to gain points from activities and to meet new people. We heard some inspiring words from Craig Turpie, Chairman of the World Scout Committee about the good Scouting can do in the world and make a difference.
Next, Bear Grylls, abseiled on to the stage, receiving the loudest cheer of the evening. He spoke about the skills the Scouting gives young people and the changes it makes to their lives. Now was the entertainment, a band “Recycle Percussion” came on with their amazing drumming skills. I’d never seen hands move so fast, playing on ladders, bins and pipes. They even played some classic songs with blenders. The whole unit was up and dancing with the other units around really playing off their energy. The last part of the show was hundreds of drones performing a colourful aerial display that wowed everyone. They were making the shapes of some of the activities, some wildlife, a globe and culminated with the Jamboree logo to end the show. It was incredible to see, something that I had never seen before or expected, but would love to see again! We eventually made our way back to our campsite in the dark and got back at 23:30 where everyone then headed off for nap time.
Tip of the day: Aerial drone shows are the best!!