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.

Friday

If anyone has ever had to experience “split shifts” they’ll know how frustrating they can be, up at 7am work half an 8 hour shift then do the other half at the end of the day. Essentially giving you a very long lunch and a very long day. Today was such a day for me, 7 till 11 in the AM and then the same hours int he PM. This had the benefit of opening up the entire day to browse Hylands Park and the bus loads (literally) of activities going on.

Morning shift was a little lame as I still didn’t have any login details so until someone else arrived I could do nought but sit around reading. The time quickly flew by and I was soon touring the site. To give myself some purpose I decided to make it my mission to photograph at least once all of the different sub-camp entrances, first destination though is the Promise PM Radio Station for my Internationally broadcast (via Internet and 87.7 FM) interview about working on the ‘Build Weekend’ and Working on the IST so far. I didn’t freeze up until the end when I forgot which track they were going to play for me instead of Learn to Fly but they did have my backup choice of I’m a Believer by the Monkees.

Went back for the evening shift segment with the other contingents arriving the articles from the Reporting team went up a lot so it was important that our 40,000 night website visitors get something new to read.

Who wants to Party?

After a thoroughly relaxing nights sleep I felt truly ready to take on this leviathan of a Jamboree. First port of call was breakfast, served by the horrendously bad Sedexo whom served at EuroJam. With the shear volume of Health and Safety regulations the broke; serving mouldy food, appalling menu options and often not enough for everyone, so why they got the WSJ contract I’m flabbergasted. Guess the contract they have at HQ, Gilwell is worth quite a bit.

Anyway, they managed a reasonable attempt, scrambled eggs from powder, bacon, sausage, plum tomatoes and if you could find a serving stall with them rather crispy Hash Browns, not a bad start but does this mean they’ll get better or worse?

Then after a quick shower it was off to the first briefing of the day, Generic IST Training at 9:30am in the Global Development Boulevard. They had planned to show us a video via projector but due to how sunny it is ( don’t let it stop now! ) we could barely see anything. We did manage to hear Peter Duncan (Chief Scout) introduce himself in rather good French and then Bill Cockroft in good French but not with Pete’s funky accent.

It was a nice little bonding session, though it made me feel that with all the work that needed to be done, and with so many people willing to work, why were so many coming into help at the 11th hour?

Upon departure from the GDB we were given a special edition IST Newspaper with a 10 letter puzzle that we had to assemble from finding letter scattered around the entire site, baring in mind that the site is a 45 minute walk across it would probably take 3-4 hours to find all the letters alone. So using cunning an guile I guessed that it would be “onepromise” or “beprepared” but the first letter found in the Adult Island Hub was a “J” so that plan was quickly through out as it made the first 8 letters quite predicable, after chatting around with others that had no large amount of training to do today I was told the remaining letters to be “07” so the final answer is “JAMBOREE07”. Not brilliant considering the first 2 thought up.

At the Media Centre generic training on the Energise activity area I discovered that my generic 04-00 job code actually meant I was on the Web Team and not as I suspected on the Reporting Team. To put it mildly I was pissed off, thejamboree.org website is appalling, home grown code that only the creator can understand, ill formatted CSS, high server load, it would’ve been a millions times better if I’d been more involved in February rather than skirting the edge doing the Official Forum. For someone who has just finished a Computer Science BSc (Hons) Degree and run various National and International websites already (with great success) it’s insulting to be associated with a area that you could do better.

When the key individuals aren’t in the MarComms tent I can’t actually do anything because I don’t have login details and even if I did the servers have crashed and no-one else is allowed to maintain them. 🙁 This however did offer me the opportunity to fix the Go Jamboree forum which went down due to flooding in Gloucester so it’s not all bad.

I dismissed myself at 7pm to go get some much needed dinner which was a disappointment, either some sort of purée meat or pink looking lamb with onions, with Vegetables, Chips, Potatoes or Pasta. Dessert was Pears, or Pears with Chocolate sauce because they ran out of the alternative

This is the last evening with just the UK Contingent on site so we’re having a celebration on the Island Hub to get us all in good moods for tomorrow’s arrivals. The party had a nifty game where you had to find the matching half of a playing card given to you, if anyone has the other part of a Queen of Clubs let me know!

World Scout Jamboree has begun!

I’ve finally made it to the World Scout Jamboree! I’ve been counting down to this ever since I went to EuroJam in 2005.

My first day started at around 4am, a quick shower, pack the last little bits in the car, a cup of tea and setting off. I arrived at North Weald Aerodrome at 6:30am to place my car in it’s residence for the next 3 weeks. Not even having arrived at the main site already I was off to a good start, first person I meet was from Germany, and they were emerging from their camper van having driven through the night with the extra kit for his Unit.

Continue reading World Scout Jamboree has begun!

Allstar’s Map

Behold, I present Allstar’s Mischievous Neckered Pedestrian Camper’s Landscape Overview of the World Scout Jamboree. This little map shows Hylands park in photo format from the sky with the planned individual locations of the Tents used by the Jamboree ( ie not Unit or Staff tents ). Whilst there maybe some changes from the plan most will be in the correct location so its a useful guide at least.

Can be printed out on A4.

Thanks to “AS” for the site design that is laid over the Satellite image.

The Jamboree Map reloaded

A lot of people have seen the Jamboree campsite map posted on the Official website. I didn’t like that it didn’t give much perspective of how large the site really is so I composed this map with the above as an overlay and satellite imagery as the base.

Update: Fixed spelling mistake in map image url.