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My first impressions of the site were WOW. The first thing we saw was a huge gate way that everyone who entered the jamboree site would go through. The gate started with the word Jamboree in big letters between two poles, followed by the flag of every country represented at the jamboree, on either side of where you walked. At the very end was a pole in the centre with the scout flag on it. This was a site in itself but with the German black magic tent, a tent which on the inside looked like a German pub, behind it was even more impressive.
After a long journey none of us really wanted to set up camp especially as we could hear the rest of the UK contingent having a party. But we had to set up our tents to sleep in and so that the next day we could help the other contingents set up camp. So my ‘tent buddy’ Toni and I set about putting up our tents. When we finished we went down to join the rest of the UK scouts having a party. We got to see Liberty X and Lemar as well as getting to know some of the other scouts there. The first thing we noticed was the ‘Free Hug’ campaigning that had gone on even before the rest of the world arrived.
The next day we got up bright and early to go and collect the food. Only to discover that we would be helping the Indonesian Scouts to set up their camp as they had just arrived. So after breakfast we helped them set up their tents. They were very grateful for the help we gave them. They came over to our camp to say thank you and to swap badges.
The Jamboree was laid out in Hubs and Sub camps. There where 4 Hubs:
And within each Hub there where 4 sub camps. For example I was on the Ocean Hub and Beach Sub Camp. There were lots of units from around the world on each sub camp.
On each sub camp there was a stage but within the hubs there was also a big stage. Also on each hub there was:
A Quite Area
An Internet Café
A Lost and Found
A Tuck Shop
Places to eat
A place for charging phones and I-pods ETC
And a Games Room
To gain the friendship award you had to complete a number of activities:
If you completed all of these things and had your book stamped to prove it you got given your Friendship badge.
Trash was a zone that only lasted half a day with in this you had 4 different activities:
In this you were given a card. Each card had one of the four elements - wind, fire, water and earth. I was given fire. We learned about fusion and energy from the sun then went off to do different activities. I went to the Planetarium and made a solar power racing boat.
Energize was my favorite choice time activity. In energize you can learn how to skate, play football, play badminton, have a go at Thai Chi, sleep in a hammock, try some circus skills and read, sit or sleep in the lounge. My favorite things to do was learning how to skate and sleeping in the lounge with Jack, Greg and Matt from my unit.
As far as I’m aware we broke three World records when on the Jamboree:
Badge, Necker and uniform swapping is possibly the biggest thing that happens at any Jamboree however big or small. Every single person at the Jamboree went there expecting to swap something. I swapped around 70 badges, 3 Neckers, a hat and a T-Shirt. After looking at all my swaps we discovered that I had something from every continent of the world.
Leaving the site was a sad day for everyone. I don’t think that anyone wanted to leave and everyone misses it now. We all made friends from all over the world whom we had to leave. I think it was particularly hard for contingents like ours who come from all over Europe because it is not very easy for us to all get together. This was an experience that I will never forget and has changed me into a better person for ever.
By Penny, Edenbridge Scouts. Penny visited the 21st World Scout Jamboree as part of the BSWE and Kent Contingents. The Jamboree was attended by over 40,000 people making it the largest youth gathering ever held.