My World Scout Jamboree 2015 Kit List (v1.3)

I’ve been lucky enough to be selected to go as an International Service Team (IST) member to the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan during 2015. Having been to a few Jamborees before I know what to pack! Below you can see my kit list, and at the bottom a PDF you can download to print off to use as your own packing list checker.

Continue reading My World Scout Jamboree 2015 Kit List (v1.3)

World Scout Jamboree Tower Panaramas

Some wide views taken facing west (into sunset) and east (away) ontop of the Pioneering Tower at the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Sweden. I’ve overlaid the views on the jamboree map to give you some perspective.

The thumbnails below link to the one third fullsize photos I have uploaded.

Continue reading World Scout Jamboree Tower Panaramas

GlosCamp 2010

When this blog was still fresh in 2006 I wrote 6 entries about my time spent at the Gloucester County Camp in 2006. Eventually it merged into the longest entry on this blog and is simply called GlosCamp. Four years and many, many posts later I have attended GlosCamp 2010.

Last time I attended as Service Crew and between meals was able to get upto some mild antics, this time I attended as Staff and had more responsibilities and less freetime so this post will be short. For GlosCamp 2010 I edited and designed the daily camp newsletter called The Gloscamper. The newsletter needed a name since I didn’t want it to have long website address adding an “er” to the end kept it fairly short and still Newlettery.

To produce this fantastical newsletter I was joined by the brilliant and decorous Helen, we were a brilliant team and once we had a full arsenal of equipment we were legendary.

For the first issue there wasn’t much material floating around so the letter was quickly thrown together (I didn’t even justify the text) with content from myself, Matt (one of the organisers) and the Leader of the Danish Contingent.
(The Danes have a long history with the North Cotswold District dating back to 1985 it was their turn I believe to visit us so they were invited to coincide with the grandest event available.)

On the next day Helen appeared so more content could be generated and organised so a folded A4 booklet was made. Unfortunately we were using a very nasty HP printer that stopped every few pages and required a panel be opened and closed to continue! When we finally managed to get enough copies of the second issue out Helen and I literally walked half the site handing out the Paper and as the sun was setting put her tent up. Then completed the distribution in the dark seeing a lot of gateways decorated with twinkling candlelight.

Not wanting another printing fiasco I managed to get Lesley Herbert’s amazing HP 4050 printer going, I tell you it was more than double the effectiveness of the HP 2200 we had been using :P. At this point we were still struggling for excess content so generating articles slowed us down a bit, but rather than distribution at 21:30 the faster printing allowed us to get newsletters out at 8pm.

I think it was Tuesday when the Newsletter was finally getting an audience, we had the record 22 different people come in with cameras to copy over photos and several young Scouts writing articles. Somehow despite their young age their writing sometimes read better than that from Explorers, difference being the Scouts simply wrote what they wanted and the Explorers tried to show off to no avail!

The next few issues had a lot of momentum behind them making them get distributed earlier and earlier which was great as we both got to attend the camp-fire promptly on the Thursday.

Friday was difficult. Helen had absconded to Cardiff and I had the intention of making 2 issues today, one for the closing ceremony and one for the next morning’s departure. However, without Helen and the need to make a Photo montage I didn’t quite make it. The video got made and was shown on loop with its rather awesome Trance soundtrack and the newsletter along with remastered back issues went out in the morning with the departure rush.

Of the 6 issues I think #4 is my favourite but the best frontpage belongs to to the last day (Friday the Thirteenth!) You can see all issues on the gloscamper download page.

Go Jamboree Service Camp 2009

Two years ago Go Jamboree went to a Build Weekend for the World Scout Jamboree, we arrived Friday, worked all-day Saturday, went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the Evening and went home on Sunday. This weekend we did something similar, unfortunately there isn’t another WSJ to help out with so I picked us out a campsite and cinema for Mary to get us booked on as service crew.

We arrived at Danemead Campsite from 7pm, we had originally planned to be camping but due to the silver tongued efforts of Colin and Dave we managed to get use of a building (which as it turns out was built by Italian POWs). The motives for this weren’t entirely altruistic as there were several jobs for us to do in and around the building! It turned out to be a blessing though as the wind and rain weren’t the kindest this weekend and we were certainly aching by the end of the Saturday.

Once we’d settled in we started cleaning the kitchen, which involved Spoon, Knife and Fork soups! With the cooking equipment and CD player clean we made a start on supper and began to wind down with some Monty Python Fluxx; a game of cards with a changeable ruleset. Its surprising how much I’d forgotten about MP, lucky The Meaning of Life was on the Movie channels on the Monday for a refresher course, coincidence?

Saturday, 18th June 2009

Mary and Dave Painting Wagons and Trailers at Danemead Campsite

We all emerged from the dorms at around 7-8am, Dave was cooking us all a wonderful cooked breakfast to start the day with. We expected the Warden around 9am so quickly sent out the fetchers for supplies, for those left behind we finished off some tidying and Colin and I introduced the Explorers to the game.

Danemead Campsite Car Park before and after Go Jamboree

Started off branding the sites new Trailers with paint and quickly moved on to trimming the brush from the Car Park, not an easy task (photo right). It was a little weird because most Leaders would avoid giving sharp implements to their YP but we gave them scythes and the Combustion Powered Quad-Blade Rotator (or Brushcutter for Short).

Rather than leaving the brush were it fell we were asked to burn it which we grudgingly accepted. 😉 To get it there we had to transport it to the new Fire circle, later we would find that the old one was under 4 feet of shrubbery! Anyway, getting it to the campfire was going to be difficult as all the trolleys/trailers were flat beds, seriously what sort of campsite doesn’t have them with sides? So we ended up going back and for a bazillion times with Wheel Barrows.

Mike and Colin's Shrubbery Burning Campfire

Team Scout started the campfire with 1 match, having lost two to the wind, honestly the wind caught them, I forgot to light from an up wind position! When the fire reached a sufficient heat we piled on the vegetation and put the entire campsite under cover of smoke which made for some spectacular photos one I’ve used for the title image.

After breaking for Lunch and continuing more of the same all afternoon we sat down to finalise the plans for watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Considering the amount of hard work during the day we decided that stenching out the cinema wouldn’t be the kindest thing for the other patrons so we opted out. Instead, with a little jury-rigging we fed the Xbox phonos through the main deflector and into the Pig Music Box. This enabled us to watch, for those following my tweets, Keeping Mum but due to unforeseen technical difficulties and a Moth we changed the in hut première to Kiss Kiss Bang Gang.

Sunday, 19th June 2009

Sunday was like most last days of camp, we very slowly packed up our own kit and began scrubbing the hut down behind us. Leaving the building a lot cleaner than when we arrived was a very satisfying experience, Fred and John, the Wardens were very pleased with our work and gifted us some site badges aswell.

I thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing with my Fellow Go Jammers and I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much. The comments and suggestions have been positive that we will attempt to do something next year, probably not to the same site but it would be nice to come back some years later to see how thing have changed.

3 Districts, 2 Counties, 1 shirt sleeve!

On Thursday I was walking my dog Oscar when I bumped into my local GSL, we got chatting about what they get upto and how the group was doing in my relatively new housing estate. The three youngest sections have been filled for the last 2-3 years so I’ve keenly been waiting for the Scouts to mature into a fine Explorer blend.

I’ve been really looking forward to this because the beginning of my career has not been as rewarding as I need so I’ve been strictly following the super-secret[1] ninth Scout Law: “A Scout is Thrifty” and being selective in what I commit to. I’ve been helping at a Explorer Unit for the better part of a year now, its been good and I’ve learnt a lot but I’ve not been very dedicated to it, with a local group I don’t have to worry about the cost of travel, I can walk/ride there every Thursday so I can make a greater commitment.

What I really like about this is apart from the 4-5 year old practically new and good condition equipment is we’ll be starting starting everything fresh. With everything blank we’ll have the first meeting sorted trying to create an identity, what do we call ourselves and the up and coming generations? Eagles, Panthers, Stags, Cobras? (My Scout Patrol names) or go for something abstract like Viking, Ayers or Solar? Its going to be very exciting!

However this raises the considerably minor problem; I’d be then working in 3 Districts in 2 Counties, I already have a a lot of badges on my right sleeve I can’t put them all on there! I could have separate shirts for each Unit but thats 3 times as much Ironing, not to mention how hard it was getting one new set of badges for my new Uniform I brought especially for Gang Show this year, let alone three!

I expect there are several people in multi-district Cities that don’t really mind that their badges are either wrong 1 or 2 times a week or just have the county badge on their right arm, but I spend the majority of my time in Northamptonshire and do some Scouting in Buckinghamshire a whole other county, I can’t even be unspecific about my district!

I’m not so keen on being right but now that I am taking on a greater commitment I want to show a greater dedication, even if it is just a 2 inch patch on my arm. As far as volunteers go Scouters (and Guiders) are very passionate about what we do so I imagine I’m not the first to deal with this sort of quandary, how do you show your involvement?

  1. * Actually its not really a super secret its one of the original 9 Scout Laws.