Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Have made friends with folks from many countries. I have had rotating partners from Brazil, Mexico, Ireland and Scotland. Last night I was paired with Owen Smith from Scotland. It was fascinating talking with him about politics, the Royal Family, etc. As a Cub Scout, he attended the last World Jamboree hosted by the UK, the 1957 World Scout Jamboree which celebrated 50 years of Scouting. He wears his traditional Scottish kilt as his uniform regardless of the weather. Last night we had two 2 hour stints as security guards checking nametags to make sure that everyone is an official Jamboree participant and keeping anyone under 18 out of the adult camping area. As fate would have it, we carded Mr. and Mrs. Mark Baden Powell. He is the younger grandson of Scouting's founder, BP. Naturally, I made sure to get a photo with Mark BP. His older brother, the Lord Robert Baden Powell, spoke at the Sunrise Ceremony on 8/1. Mark moved to Australia decades ago and is camping with that country's contingent in the adult area.
While I look forward to returning to the USA in a few days, I must confess that I will miss hearing folks speaking multiple languages (other than English and Spanish ) simultaneously.
My knowledge of the world has definitely broadened these few weeks. Mike and I watched a group doing prayers in the Muslim area. We also sampled foods from multiple countries in the international foods tent. Mike especially liked the cod liver oil pills from Iceland! I have enjoyed catching Scouts from different countries do their talent demonstrations. I watched a groups of oriental Scouts to a marvelous drum routine only to discover that they were all from Brazil rather than the far east. My Mexican partner explained to me that Brazil has a large oriental population. That same day, I watched Scouts from the Netherlands and Belgium do their presentations. They frequently have bands from different countries playing around the Jamboree.
Last night a groups of three young ladies from India came to our check point for the adult area. We had to stop two of them from entering the adult area because they were under 18. They sat while their adult friend went to her tent to retrieve something. I chatted with them briefly. They are in the same subcamp as Troop 220, the Jamboree troop in which Mike's son Michael and my son John are members. I asked what foods they cooked for the international food festival. They explained the exotic Indian dishes that their camp prepared. I explained that our Scouts handed out VA peanuts. I asked whether they visited the peanut site. They replied that they did not as they only visited camps to which they had been specifically invited. Just goes to show you how formal some cultures are about things.
Last night, we had to be stewards at the Elements activity area. At 10 pm, 10 lucky Scouts had the opportunity to speak with the crew of the international space station via a direct hookup. A large number Scouts and adults watched this exciting opportunity.
Good day, mate!
See what you're getting into…before you go there See it!
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
At 3 a.m. it's another evening of sorting out the jamboree issues of the day. So far tonight:
**Two Indian girls just arrived at camp with their two leaders at 12:30 a.m., and we had to be sure they had sleeping bags and a tent to keep them warm.
**There are thousands and thousands-and more thousands-of neckerchief scarfs being distributed to the sixteen subcamps as we speak. The scarfs will be worn by the scouts at tomorrow morning's sunrise ceremony. Some of the subcamps are not as patient as others, and I have one particular chap at the Atoll subcamp who has called me three times in the last two hours wondering where his 300 missing scarfs are...I think he wants to put a special scarf around my neck.
**The propane at the on-site hospital is apparently not working properly, and I am in the process of getting it back up and running with the help of site operations. There is only cold air blowing out at the present time, and the doctors want to get the situation fixed. There's the phone now....
(---The propane tanks are full, but still no hot air coming out, so there must be some other problem. We may be in for some extra blankets until morning arrives.)
**A scout from nearby Sussex showed up at the entrance gate around 12:45 a.m. and wanted to come and spend the night with his troop located in Wadi subcamp, but he had no credentials, and he will have to watch the ceremonies tomorrow from the news footage.
There have been a number of lesser dramas this evening, and all in all, just like Mark and Chip stated in their earlier entries, the weather has been great during the day. Warm, sunny weather all day today, and the weather forecast is for more of the same for the remainder of this week. We have certainly been fortunate so far. Troop 220 scouts were due to participate in a service project for the local community today under the "Starburst" offsite program. I will have to check up on what their assigned task was, and how they did, when I go over the reports here at headquarters.
Located in the center of Hylands Park is Hyland House, and behind it is a garden that is probably the best kept secret of the Jamboree. The chief gardener for the Chelmsford Borough Council (which owns the Jamboree site, and is on the management team for the entire Jamboree) gave me a tour early this morning.
The gardens are beautiful, and on Saturday Prince William and the Duke of Kent attended the dedication of the One World Garden that is to be the lasting legacy of this jamboree. The attached pictures can only partially convey the beauty of the area. There is even a large Sequoia tree in the midst of this secluded area. And to think that this space is surrounded by over 40,000 scouts, only several hundred yards away.
Well, that's all for now. There's another call on the phone...
Today I visited the tents for a number of countries. I gave the fella manning the Tanzania tent a bag of VA peanuts. He was not familiar with peanuts as I tried to explain how they are grown, how good they taste, etc. Hopefully he will enjoy them.
I brought American flag lapel pins and bags of shredded US Dollar bills from the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond. I have about given away all my flag pins, but still have a number of bags of money (approximately $80 each) to give away. I try to give the pins to young folks from other countries. Last night I gave two flag pins to two Arab scouts show were in white robes sitting on the ground with all their patches to trade spread out before them. I have given several pins to Scouts from Sudan who are most courteous in thanking me in excellent English for my gift.
We have been blessed with a beautiful couple of days with no rain. We're glad that the Scouts have have not had as much rain as we have experiences.
Tonight as dinner we saw a Scout band comprised of Scouts from the UK, Ireland and Holland who are going to perform at tomorrow morning's sunrise service.
Watched an interesting presentation form the Singapore delegation who are trying to land the next World Jamboree in 2015 after the 2011 World Jamboree in Sweden. We don't know what other countries they are competing against for that 2015 Jamboree.
Met an older gentleman from Scotland who was a Queen Scout (the English equivalent to Eagle Scout) back in the 1950's. He said that a BP relative awarded him his Queen Scout award. He was a big golfer who wanted to talk about Tiger Woods so I gave him a Masters golf tee that a Scouter from Augusta, GA gave me earlier. He really appreciated it. I had his buddy take a picture of the two of us.
Ran into Stuart Tucker, a doctor from Charlotte who grew up in my hometown of Warsaw, VA before moving away. While I was in a camp patrolling last night, I was a Scout from NC with a list of everyone in his Jamboree troop. I noticed the name Stuart Tucker and asked the Scout if Mr. Tucker was a doctor from Charlotte and he said yes. I next asked where Mr. Tucker was and he directed me to their campsite. When I got there, they said Mr. Tucker was back at the stage area for that subcamp where I finally found him. (I already knew that Stuart was a doctor in Charlotte from the 2005 National Scout Jamboree after he looked me up while on break from serving on our subcamp's medical staff. It's interesting that in 2005 Stuart looked me up and in 2007 I did the same with him.) I had to break the news to Stuart that our old Scoutmaster, Clint Carlin, recently passed away. We both chatted about all the fun we had in Troop 203 which is still sponsored by Warsaw Baptist Church.
Lots of day visitors from all over the world are bused into the Jamboree every day.
In this technological age, Scouts and adult leaders exchange business cards with their contact information particularly their email addresses. Some folks have every elaborate business contact cards with extensive artwork, photos, etc.
Mike and I each have a son here with the VA Jamboree troop. We have not seen much of them as they are too busy running around with their friends. I saw John yesterday and asked if he needed anything. He only asked for some more patches to trade after which he said goodbye and went off with his friends.
Local listings, incredible imagery, and driving directions - all in one place! Find it!
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Yesterday Jamboree Troop 220 composed of Scouts from our Heart of VA Council and most of the rest of VA arrived and set up their camp. They flew out of Dulles on Monday, arrived in London on Tuesday and had been seeing the sights around the London area up until they arrived at the Jamboree. The Scouts all seemed to be excited about finally arriving at the Jamboree.
We have been blessed with the past two days with good weather AND NO RAIN. Tomorrow, which is Sunday, the Scouts have an opportunity to experience other faiths by visiting the faith and beliefs tents from many of the world's religions.
Mark and I have to report for the graveyard shift (i.e. 11pm to 8 am) as stewards. That should be an interesting experience. Sam is blazing the trail by doing the graveyard shift tonight beginning at 11 pm. By settling into our regular Jamboree jobs, we are starting to get into a routine.
Got to run. Yours in Scouting,
Missed the show? Watch videos of the Live Earth Concert on MSN. See them now!
The other 3 were able to see the ceremony but I was on duty at an entry gate to restrict people from entering without credentials. There are a lot of folks who just show up expecting to see their youth.
Our shift work begins in earnest as we will now be on very different scedules including the 11PM to 8 AM shift. They move us about every two hours to avoid the boredom.
It is hard to explain how many different outfits there are around here. It is a challenge to figure out where a person comes from. Today, I had extended conversations with people from Nepal, Nigeria, the Netherlands, and Thailand. I hope the young people from the States seize the opportunity to reach out and learn from others. They will experience few opportunities this rich and varied.
Scouting in all other countries is a co-ed program from the beginning. You can tell the young people are used to being together. There are nearly as many girls and young women here as the boys and men. It seems to work.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
All is packed and ready to go. Amazingly, I managed to get 3 weeks worth of gear into the Jamboree duffle & backpack and it only weighed 41 pounds. We were told that we must be able to carry everything about a mile once we get to Hyland Park. If I don’t have it now, I probably don’t need it - or will have to buy it or borrow it.
The four of us who are on the IST will be meeting at the airport and then have two days merge together as the London flight arrives in the morning. The organizers are no longer picking up IST at the arriving airports but asked that we transfer via bus to a smaller airport nearer the Jamboree site. I guess this makes sense as the folks arriving on Saturday are the first real wave of volunteers. The majority of volunteers will be arriving on the 24th.
We decided to wear our field uniforms during travel. The contingents are required to wear it and we shouldn’t need it for our job assignments. If we’re to be ambassadors for scouting, we might as well look the part. I’m sure it will start several conversations along the way.
The site of the jamboree is easy to find via Google Earth. Type in Chelmsford, Essex, England and see the aerial or hybrid view. Once you find the town of Chelmsford, scroll about a mile to the south west and find an estate along route 414. Hyland Park is 570 acres with a gray mansion in the middle. I figure it’s about ¾ of a mile wide and over a mile long. This should be a very densely packed place in about one week.
Hopefully we can send emails to this blog so you can share in our adventure. Yours in Scouting,
Friday, July 13, 2007
This blog is set up to allow fellow scouts and friends to hear of our experiences while at the World Jamboree. There will be 30,000 scouts from nearly every country plus 10,000 adults at this event.
Four Scouters from the Heart of VA Council are preparing to be part of the 8000-person IST (International Service Team) at the World Jamboree. Sam Saunders, Chip Delano, Mike Ballato, and I signed on to help behind the scenes. We'll be leaving on Friday July 20th to prepare for the event that starts on July 27th and goes until August 8. The Southern Region contingent includes an ASM and 11 youth from our council. They will be traveling and camping separately.
This Jamboree is special as it marks the 100th anniversary of scouting in the place where it all started. A coordinated worldwide celebration will occur on August 1 to mark the date when Lord Baden Powell took scouts on their first adventure to Brown Sea Island.
While communication from the Southern Region has been great, the communication from the English Scout Association has left us in the dark on a few things - like what job we'll be doing when we arrive. It makes being prepared a challenge.
Anyway...It should be quite an adventure. My hope is that we'll have occasional access to the internet - to post reports. We understand that internet service will be available at some level. However, with 40,000 people vying for it, we can't predict how often we'll get access. We'll maintain "rigid flexibility" and see what happens.