The Isle of Wight 'Allsorts' return from the World Scout Jamboree

After 2 years of preparation, meetings, camps, jokes and good times the Jamboree was finally upon us. On 24th July 2011 we left the United Kingdom for Denmark, the first country in our Jamboree experience. Now, 3 weeks on, it’s all a memory. Or should I say memories… every part of the overall event was something new, something different, perhaps even something uncomfortable but something definitely worthwhile doing. Over the time at the Jamboree each member of our unit learnt something new, whether it be a game that health and safety laws would forbid in the UK or a crazy handshake. There is so much I could say that I have decided to split the following into bite size sections.

Pre-Jamboree

The pre-jamboree experience in Copenhagen really had people charged up for the Jamboree experience. It allowed people to slowly dip into experiencing other’s cultures, starting with the Danish. A trip to Tivoli gardens soon had people buzzing and within a short space of time everyone was eagerly anticipating the Jamboree. The final night included a UK Contingent party featuring tributes for the Kings of Leon and the Kasier Chiefs. Oh and they also had some band called Alphabeat which people seemed to like quite a lot.

The Atmosphere

The atmosphere on site was probably one of the most amazing things at the Jamboree. The fact that you could ask for a high-five from anyone and they would oblige with a smile is definitely something that stood out for me. Ella comments on how she ‘really liked the way everybody was so friendly and you could just talk to anybody without worrying what they would think’. This was something all our unit members experienced and will probably stay with us forever.

The Various Ceremonies

The Jamboree included three ceremonies. An opening, a closing and one called ‘Cultural Festival Day’. The opening ceremony really drew everyone together (even with the pouring rain) with a display of every nation’s flag and performances including ABBA and of course the official Jamboree song ‘Changing the World’. ‘Cultural Festival Day’ was a way in which to show off one’s individual culture and to experience that of other’s. Abbey says that she specifically “loved the different musical acts”. The closing ceremony really sent us off with a bang and included performances from the King of Sweden and Europe (playing ‘The Final Countdown’ [twice]) and a massive firework display.

The Activities

The activities all had an educational slant whether on health, the environment or hammer throwing in Viking times. This was important so that we, as the future, may identify and find solutions to the world’s problems (not sure about the hammer throwing though?).

Home Hospitality

Home hospitality took the pressure off us slightly as we could relax and enjoy the Finnish experience. It also gave us a real full picture of another’s culture. Each has their own story in this section.

Overall

The Jamboree has been a life-changing experience for each and every one of our members. Life-long friendships have been forged and minds have been opened. I don’t think any of us would have missed it for the world.

For more information there will be a presentation evening with performances, photos and video with all our Isle of Wight unit members. Details to follow, watch your inboxes.