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03-Jan-2003 (I)
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UK Contingent update

EBulletin from the UK Contingent Headquarters in Thailand - dated 03 January 2003:

"With the Jamboree in full swing, we thought that we would take this opportunity to briefly describe the site that makes up the Jamboree. The Thai Navy has allowed the organisers to use part of the site for the Jamboree. The site from a plan view resembles a bicycle with a few extra bits!

The 4 Villages that each host 6 sub camps, form the two large “wheels”. Each Village has an air conditioned supermarket that sells all sorts of weird and wonderful food as well as a selection of potatoes, carrots, chicken and cornflakes! Units have been issued with coupons to purchase food with, and after working out the daily budget for food as well as seeing what’s available, most are planning menus well ahead to make the best use of what’s on offer. Post Offices, Internet Café’s, Banks and a laundry are also available for everyone to use. There is also an air conditioned clinic that is the first line of support for all medical matters. The main reasons for a visit to the clinic tend to be dehydration or minor cuts and bruises. There is also a field hospital that is used for more serious matters that can remain on site, and then the Queen Sirikit Naval Hospital is just down the road.

Each Sub Camp has very large wash blocks with plenty of showers and toilets (both western and Asian in style)! They are very effectively cleaned on a regular basis. The Water is safe to drink and is being cleaned on site at the special water treatment facility.

The International Service Team Village is situated to one side of the site, and is made up of three sub camps. There is a SevenEleven mini-mart and two Chester Grills that are open twenty four hours for those working anti social hours. Laundry, phones, internet café’s and shops are also found on their village, as is a huge cafeteria to feed the eight thousand staff. There is also a stage and entertainment area to keep the International Service Team entertained in the evening. The International Service Team also have their own private beach that can be used for most of the day. The Contingent Support Team are camping the other side of the site, in a smaller version of the International Service Team village known as the ”Jamhotel” with other Contingent Support Teams. It also has a SevenEleven mini-mart and internet café, as well as lots of sand!

The City of Science, Global Development Village and Crossroads of Culture are all found between the two wheels. Just above this area is the World Scout Centre, which is where the UK headquarters pavilion is situated along with most of the other countries that are represented on site. 

The UK pavilion is a hive of activity each day between 9:00am and 5:00pm. The traditional Black Cab is very popular with everyone and is quite a talking point! The red, white and blue candy floss is incredibly popular with everyone, as is the sticks of logo’d rock, once people understand what it is! Badge making is a fantastic success, especially with the Thai day visitors. Giant games such as Jenga, Twister and Connect Four also cause a lot of interest.

UK Unit leaders and International Service Team are also catered for with their own special chill out area in the UK pavilion, complete with PG Tips (pyramid bags), Nescafe coffee and Cadbury’s hot chocolate, to give that taste of home. There are also pigeon holes (bull dog clips on a bit of string) through which post and other notices are posted. 

Dotted around the site are countless stalls selling ice cold drinks and green coconuts as well as bottles jamboree logo’d water being freely available. There are also a large number of shops selling all sorts of memorabilia and traditional Thai goods, although the bartering doesn’t seem to be working too well! Bags that were already full before leaving the UK are now truly jam packed, and many people still have HoHo or another tour to go after the Jamboree is over!

The Beach is quite spectacular and being well used by everyone. Security and safety along the beach is tight with regularly spaced watch towers, which is also aided by huge flood lights in the evening."

The whole site is very dusty and sandy, so there is a fine layer of dust over everything! Tans are coming along nicely, that is until you get into the showers and find out that it is in fact dirt! Midges are out in the evening as well as the occasional scorpion and snake, but there is a special bug patrol that deals with any reported sightings… It is very hot, especially in the middle of the day (between about 11:00am and 4:00pm) and humid. Even the Thai’s are saying that it is hotter than they were expecting for this time of year!

The Contingent are doing very well and really are a credit to UK Scouting and Girlguiding UK. In terms of Guide representatives from the UK, there are 4 times as many Guides from the UK than there were in Chile at the last Jamboree. This means that there are approximately forty Guiders on the International Service Team and two on the Contingent Support Team, twenty Unit Leaders and one hundred and fifty Guides, all of which have blended into the Contingent very well, so well in fact that you can not tell who is from which Association. It all goes to show the fantastic integration that has occurred as part of the preparation before we left."