30/07/2019 – Day 11
This morning we were greeted by early morning fog and mist across the foxtrot. I decided to get out early and go for a run to explore the site and make the most of the cool weather. I was rewarded by seeing some wild deer on the trails of the site. A group of participants went to do some mountain biking trails at the site, something they enjoyed. Some again headed to the canopy tours which was equally as great, but it was an early start for them to beat the queues. For some of the participants that weren’t selected for the white-water rafting, they headed down early to try and get a spare space, which the group of 4 were able to do. They came back after saying how great it was which only heightened the excitement of the others going later in the week.
The afternoon brought around some change at the Jamboree, gone was the hot and sunny weather, what came was the thunderstorms that would stay with us for the rest of the Jamboree. We got some heavy rain and some impressive thunder and lightning storms moving in. There were a lot of Jamboree lightning warnings going off which meant most of the activities were shut and the participants needed to shelter from it.
Luckily, there was a slight break in the weather which meant we could sort out dinner. We did something a little different this evening. Before the Jamboree we had been given a Jamboree buddy troop we could talk to, they were from Texas. So, this evening we split the unit in 2, half went to eat with the buddy troop and the other half hosted some of the troop.
On the menu for the Americans were bangers and mash (well hot dogs were the closest to it) and Angel Delight with doughnuts for dessert. The half visiting the Americans were treated to lasagne, which is no mean feat using the equipment available to us! Lots of stories were shared, questions about culture and dances performed! We gifted some British things to the Americans, and we exchanged some badges too. After a great evening of experiencing another troop we reunited at camp where card games were played, trading happened and lots of zzz’s were had too.
Tip of the day: America does everything bigger and better, even the storms!
31/07/2019 – Day 12
As always, an early start at the Jamboree, with a breakfast of cereal and cereal bars. A group headed off to do some of the shooting activities and I tagged along. There were several types to try, pistols, hunting rifles and clay pigeon shooting. We started with the clay pigeon shooting with shotguns, something none of us had ever tried before. After a couple of safety briefings and some helpful guidance from the staff, we were hitting targets left, right and centre. I had to head off to the camp centre after, but the group also tried hunting rifle shooting. There was some super shooting, with one participant getting all her shots in the 10! A few participants headed up to the top of mount jack as it was an open day meaning anybody could go up and explorer the activities.
One of our unit, Niamh, was asked to give a radio interview for BBC Sussex. After paying a visit to the UK Contingent office for a quick briefing, about what to and what not to say, she was live on the air. She gave a superb interview about her fundraising, her experience of the Jamboree and what she has gained from it. The UK media staff said she was the best interviewee they had!! Big well done!
Quite a few of the unit returned to the site early afternoon to crash out and sleep in the shade, meaning some got taken advantage of, with pegs and stamps! That evening rather than have a meal at camp, the leaders decided to treat the unit to a meal at the UK food house for something a little different. The main speciality of the food house was chips with toppings, and they did a good chip. Once everyone had stuffed their self-silly with them, some of the unit headed to a base camp bash in another subcamp and some headed back to camp.
On the way back from the pavilion, a massive thunderstorm came across the site. Everyone had to run for cover as it came right over the site. There were cracks of thunder and flashes of lightning right overhead. As one went off right above me, It made me jump in the air and run for cover! It even was making the ground shake. Some of the lightning was striking hills just outside the site and one even hit a toilet block too in subcamp C. It was an impressive feat of nature to see and experience. It eventually passed over meaning everyone could safety return to camp, upon which everyone headed to bed.
Tip of the day: A French fry is not the same as a chip, the UK does the best!!
01/08/2019 – Day 13
Today was the last day of the Jamboree, after 10 days of adventure and friendship this was going to be it, so the unit members made sure to make the most of their last day. The day started very misty across the site, but the sun soon burned it off. With sausage and egg muffins in their belly’s, it was the day of the whitewater-rafting for the lucky 18 that had got a space for it. I was able to get a spot too as a leader so I couldn’t wait! After checking in we loaded up on to school buses to take us the half-hour trip to New River, which is the oldest river in America. After arriving we collected gear and split into 2 groups then met our guides.
After a short briefing, we carried the boats to the water and headed off. We were greeted to some of the most spectacular scenery of the trip to date, a river surrounded by high mountains all covered in luscious green trees with blue skies and eagles circling above. We spend two hours paddling our way down the river, traversing rapids, jumping in for a swim, playing some games, singing a lot of songs and having a laugh. It was a shame it came to an end, but all very wet, we piled back onto coaches and headed back to the site.
Meanwhile, for everyone else who was left on site, they went out to do their favourite activities one last time. They also started the task of packing up their kit and the camp ready for departure. When everyone else arrived back it was a hive of activity as kit started to be packed away, sorted and some tents were taken down. We had our last supper, which was tasty rice, chicken and beans. Once we were all finished, we got changed into our uniforms and best British attire before heading down to the closing ceremony.
With our flags flying high and singing voices on, we made our way towards the summit stadium to join the other 45,000 Scouts for the big closing show. We passed other units on the way and had some sing-offs. We found a spot to settle and we were all getting into the party spirit. As the sun went down, the rain started to fall, and the show ended up being delayed for an hour as there was lightning in the area. Even though the rain was falling the energy wasn’t dampened as songs were sung as we waited for the show to start. There was a huge cheer as the show started with a reflection on the Jamboree. We had some great inspirational speeches from the Secretary-General of the Scouts, Ahmed Alhendawi and former Secretary-General on the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. They made me proud to be a part of the movement and showed how Scouts can make a difference in the world. Next was the hand over to the South Korean organisers as they prepare for the 25th World Scout Jamboree in 4 years.
Next came the entertainment for the night which started with Pentonix, a world-famous acapella group. Their voices and singing were insane, how did they make all the sounds with just their mouths! The crowd was singing and dancing along to some famous songs performed by them. Next came a LED dance group that got the crowd going, dancing to famous songs but in darkness. They were covered in lights which made for a cool effect and produced some breath-taking moves and with clever cerography. The show was then topped off with a spectacular 20-minute firework and laser show all in time with music which stole the show. Fireworks were going off all around the stadium and everybody’s Novus was lighting up too. In the firework smoke, the lasers made for a great effect that topped off the event. It was a brilliant way to finish the show and to top off some fantastic days at the World Scout Jamboree. If you want to watch the show, it can be viewed here.
Tip of the day: Save the best till last!