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.

Scout Network Gathering 2008

For the Milton Keynes Scout Network, the Network:MK, this is the one time of the year we can expect to see all our members. Whether it be University, work or disinterest that stops a member coming to the weekly meetings they are almost sure to turn-up for the Long Easter weekend in West Lancashire. It’s hard not to understand why; drinking, food, adventure, fun, friends and tents what more could you not possibly want from a weekend?

As such there is usually a major effort to co-ordinate transport, this year 8 cars full of people, equipment or both made the expedition. My chariot, the Aluminium Falcon, would be transporting the cheerful Faye, the cherubic Lisa and the tempestuous Kat. Originally I would’ve had Matt as well but a reshuffle meant I didn’t so there was more room for everyone else.

With my trusty Sat Nav I set off for Great Tower Campsite, however that is not where it was taking me! Luckily I corrected this problem mid journey however the arrival time I had told the passengers was much earlier so I had to bare the brunt of their dissatisfaction. I probably would’ve been able to get away without a sully to my character if I hadn’t lost faith from passenger doubt on the last leg; I turned the car around and asked for directions! Yes, I know, a bloke asking directions, but if I had just kept going for 100m I would’ve made it and no-one would’ve thought the less of me.

Most of the first day we just spent catching up with each other, you know how it is when you’ve not seen your closest ‘old skool’ friends in months. We kept to our own little site on the first evening, with beer flowing, good music and old friends why would you need much more? Although we weren’t on our usual site with our own private ‘lake’, admittedly we couldn’t fit on it anymore but it really was a nice site, the new tenants certainly seemed to be enjoying it.

Saturday, Day Two

The second days tends to be a lazy one, I was originally going to do Wii games in the morning just because it would be nice to play against some similarly aged Scout that most likely play a lot more than me, I figure even if I get my butt whooped at least I might pick up some tips. In the end I opted against this for a lay in instead, Saturday night always has the big band that you stay up for.

My afternoon activity was Horse riding, I can’t remember ever doing it before so this would be something new. I was expecting a quick introduction course, a trot journey seeing the local countryside then perhaps a little cantering or galloping back at their pasture. With a quick get to know you we went for a trot around the local village and we were done. It was a pleasant experience, I was riding a 15 hand tall Stallion called Father Ted (there was a Dougal in the herd too). He was well behaved and I enjoyed several conversations with him during our time together.

During the wind-down before dinner, we gathered wood and relaxed around the campfire waiting for our hiking team to return. There was a slight unease in the camp as the whether can gotten colder than expected on the hilltops and winds were picking up. They made it home safely and with a few picture of them hiking on snow laden footpaths. To distract ourselves there was some larking about, particularly with my camera, which is why I’ve got some awfully bad artistic shots, but you have to take some bad shots to learn what your doing wrong!

After dinner and a quick change into our fancy dress, between us we had a Traffic Warden, a Jedi Knight, Pirates, Optimus Prime, a 90s Scout, a Pilot and a whole lotta in between. The costume seemed to get us a lot of attention at the Bield, were the band was playing. The band are rather awesome, I particularly look forward to their With or Without You and I’m a Believer each year.

Sunday, Day Three

Every year we make our own little trip offsite, we did consider going further a field than Ambleside Park but considering how late it was when we finally got our arses into gear the journey time just didn’t leave us with long enough there to be worthwhile. We had a lot of fun in the snow, making snowmen, chillin’ our drinks, climbing the mound and in the children’s adventure playground (naughty us!)

I pretty much handed over my camera to Abby that afternoon, she wanted to get some practise in taking shot with an dSLR camera before she starts her course in the autumn. Her shots weren’t half bad, she tries as hard as me to get some artistic ones, I think she does a little better, not sure if that’s luck or me being over critical. I don’t think I’m a natural for that sort of thing, I’m naturally oriented to take photos with purpose not creativity so go for her and her raw talent.

With the full moon this weekend I was hoping to get some lovely campsite landscape photos, particularly from the top of Tower rock, but I didn’t want to go all that way on my own just for some photos and nobody made a point of going up all that way so I didn’t. I did get this cracking shot from our site, I’ve embellished it a little with photoshop but its a nice one nonetheless.

Monday, Day Four

We wanted to make a quick getaway with a meetup at the M6 services, I wasn’t too keen on this as I’m not one for driving fast which meant I was likely to be getting some stick for everyone seeing my car occupants walking in rather than us watch everyone else.

We did alright for time on the journey home, taking a scenic route around the first part of the M6 out of Lancaster, a longer route but with a higher constant pace. I’d rather be driving slowly for longer than crawling for shorter. Overall the return journey was the same as the full voyage time home.

This was another fantastic Gathering weekend, unfortunately I pushed it this year being ever so slightly too old to attend but luckily the organisers didn’t mind so much seeing it was my farewell to Network event. I’ve got the option to go next year as staff but I’ll make my mind up on that one closer to the time.

Jamboree in Space!

I’ve just listened (live) to the Astronauts on the International Space Station. Ten Young Correspondents from across the World asked 20 questions to Clayton Anderson in the 10 minute window Hylands Park, Chelmsford was in the ISS field of vision.

Continue reading Jamboree in Space!

Wednesday

To keep the World as concurrent of events as possible thejamboree.org had to be updated after the Sunrise ceremony so it off to work for a few hours before a cooked lunch at 1pm.

Being the birthday of Scouting I decided to treat myself, and the rest of the Web team, to a soft frozen Ice Cream commonly known amongst other guises as a ‘99‘. Seeing as all the content for the day had been pushed into the Online Jamboree News I decided to investigate the Ice Cream, the ice cream cone originated sometime before 1806 as that is the first known picture of one. The soft frozen ice cream discovery has a far more interesting story, whilst at Oxford University Margaret Thatcher ‘invented’ it, that’s certainly something interesting to remember for a pub quiz.

Having just achieved a warm shower and feeling rather fresh at the time I bumped into Hoppo and others of the Web Team, somehow Hoppo and I drifted out of the conversation and began playing with a novelty flying Halo (Frisbee is a brand name) when several of the Go Jamboree turned up and we started meandering around the Adult Hub.

Some a reason unbeknownst to me we ducked into the Adult Support Centre whilst looking around aimlessly I checked next to my name for post and shockingly I had some, the IST badges had finally arrived! So now I had to track down the 6 lucky owners out of a sub-camp of 8,000! Knowing how long it had taken Members’ Matt to get the WSJ t-shirts out I knew it might take several unfortunate days.

Taking the evening to chill several of the Go Jamboree lot and I sat playing cards in the cafe with a unexpected appearance from the eccentric Caro that prompted a group photo, a prelude if you will to the full shot tomorrow.

Walking around the IST Bar a hysterical Charliestar phoned Mary saying that Coldplay were playing at the Gifts for Peace concert in the main arena. Eventually when everyone had gotten over the hype it turned out to be a tribute band Coolplay which, despite not being there, I believe were a rather good gig.

Sunrises on a New Century

Here it is, the actual 100th Birthday of Scouting, 1st August 1907 to 1st August 2007, some 23 Scouts (everyone forgets that Baden-Powell counts as well) started the movement on Brownsea Island at 8am to the sound of 3 blasts from a Kudu horn. Now a century later, at 28 million members Worldwide, we’re the largest uniformed youth movement.

To mark this special occasion an entire day of the 21st World Scout Jamboree has been moulded to fit a special programme including a 6am wake-up for a 8am ceremony to mark exactly when the first camp started. To dawn in the new century Peter Duncan, the current Chief Scout, blew the Kudu horn. This event was witnessed by hundreds of Scouts at Brownsea Island, by thousands via Satellite link-up at Hylands Park (Jamboree site) and millions across the World through television.

After some moving words Peter Duncan led us with The Promise, a promise at the root of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, from country to country, from person to person its different but the meaning is the same; to do your Best, to keep your allegiance and to follow the Scout Law.

Keeping politically correct Peter Duncan performed the international promise but most spoke their own version, myself I opted for the UK Version:

On my honour, I promise that I will do my best,
To do my duty to God and to the Queen,
To help other people,
And to keep the Scout Law.

After this moving experience we were treated to a fitting speech from HRH the Duke of Kent, President of the Scout Association UK and a reading of a letter from the Queen of England.

All in all a very impressive event, but something completely unexpected, the Current Lord Baden-Powel, the founder’s Grandson, graced us with a letter written by B-P to be read after his departure.

And to round off the mornings celebration to a selection of musical performances we all tried to get our special Sunrise Neckers signed by everyone around us, preferably from as many nationalities as possible.