UK Contingent update
EBulletin 7 from the UK Contingent Headquarters in Thailand - dated 05 January
"Today marks the last day of programmed activities, a true indication that the Jamboree is rapidly drawing to a close! Units are rotating around the activities, making sure that they have covered all of the different areas giving them a balanced Jamboree experience…
To help ensure that the two thousand four hundred Guides and Explorer Scouts really do have the experience of a life time, there are almost seven hundred adults from the UK supporting the young people.
No doubt the most important role in the Contingent is held by the Unit Leadership team. This group of four people have really shaped the Jamboree experience for the young people in their Unit. Over the last two years the Leaders have trained the participants in their units about the Jamboree and how to get the most out of this life changing experience. There is no one way that this was done, but the hours of hard work and preparation that these dedicated people have put in to help the young people in their care enjoy the Jamboree, is truly amazing.
Whilst at the Jamboree, the Unit Leadership teams are stretched in all sorts of ways. The pressure on them is relentless, ensuring that the Unit they are responsible for are happy and healthy at all times. There are countless meetings that need to be attended to ensure the smooth running of their Units camp, and so rarely have respite and time to enjoy themselves. The joy and excitement on the Explorer Scouts and Guides faces after they have been invested as a Scout of Pakistan, or when they have managed to successfully stand up and wind surf or it could simply be swapping something special! That’s what it’s all about, and why they have paid all that money to work so that Scouts and Guides can have the time of their lives.
The other hard working group of adults are the volunteers who have paid their Jamboree fee to be part of the International Service Team; to work and serve the Scouts and Guides at the Jamboree. Most of them signed up not knowing what they would be doing when they got out to Thailand. It could have been anything from cleaning toilets to running activities, working in shops or lifeguarding. Of the four hundred UK International Service Team, over a quarter are working for the internal security patrol; over twenty are working as part of Sub Camp teams and many more are running various activities. A number of UK International Service Team who are running activities, had to prepare the games and displays that they would be running at the Jamboree, particularly for the Global Development Village and the Crossroads of Culture. Without the eight thousand strong International Service Team, the Jamboree would be all but impossible to run and operate, within budget!
There is also a Contingent Support Team, led by the Contingent Management Team who’s job it has been to support and manage the Jamboree experience for the UK Contingent. Their job is to ensure that the Units are functioning well, everything to do with transportation and general logistics, the four containers of equipment we brought with us, pastoral support, organising Thailand Experience and Home Hospitality, the website and communications. With team members from GirlGuiding UK, the Contingent Support Team have ensured that Scouts and Guides have been treated fairly and in the same way to make a unified UK contingent. They are also responsible for the production of the UK video that every member of the Contingent will receive as soon as possible after our return.
The Chief Scout, George Purdy and the National Commissioner for Programme, Roger Starr, the Chief Executive of The Scout Association, Derek Twine and a number of other senior members of the UK Scout Association are attending the Jamboree, and are trying to visit every one of the sixty UK Units! We have also been joined by the 2007 team, who will be organising the 21st World Scout Jamboree which will be held in the UK, to promote the 2005 European Jamboree as well as the next Jamboree. They have also been shadowing the organisers of this Jamboree to help them with the Preparation for 2007.
The two thousand four hundred Explorer Scouts and Guides from the UK really are having the times of their lives. There is so much to do and so little time to fit it all in, so the more boring activities like sleeping and washing up are not as appealing as talking with people from so many different countries and walks of life that they would never be able to get the opportunity to meet, let alone live with out Scouting and Guiding! The fact that there is this huge thing in common called Scouting that makes it even more magical."