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06-Jan-2003 (I)
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UK Contingent update

EBulletin 8 from the UK Contingent Headquarters in Thailand - dated 06 January 2003:

"As the Jamboree draws to an end, it is a time for reflection in our last bulletin direct from Thailand. It is a time to think about what has been achieved by the twenty five thousand young people and eight thousand adults from over one hundred and fifty countries over the last ten days. It really has been a lesson in international peace and friendship. Young people and adults from almost every country in the world, living together in harmony!

Friendships have been forged that will last a lifetime; memories made that will last forever and experiences that have occurred have profoundly changed peoples outlooks on life… 

Camps are beginning to be dismantled, dust is flying everywhere, and odd sock keeps appearing that no one will claim. The last meals are being bought and prepared on campsites as the slow strike commences.

Over the next forty eight hours, until the last units leave this magical Jamboree site, addresses are being swapped as are scarves, uniforms and pretty much everything else! Preparations are well underway for the closing ceremony, during which the Jamboree flag will be passed from the Thailand Organisers to the UK, who will be hosting the 21st World Scout Jamboree in 2007, which will also mark the one hundredth anniversary of the first Scout camp on Brownsea Island! It promises to be a great party although many tears will no doubt be shed.

Gradually, the vast number of coaches needed to transport the twenty five thousand Scouts and Guides will be weaving their way around the site, sticking to a tight schedule to try and ensure that people make it to the airport in time (especially as there are absolutely no empty seats on any flights leaving Bangkok for three days after the end of the Jamboree)!

The UK Units will be departing from the Jamboree site for home hospitality in Taiwan, Japan and Korea where the temperature will drop quite dramatically; and also to Malaysia and Singapore where the weather is about the same as it is here in Thailand. Eight Units will be remaining in Thailand, in a hotel in Bangkok whilst a further eight will go onto hotels in Singapore. These are the Units that were due to be staying with families in the Philippines before the decision not to go was made on the grounds of safety and security. Wherever they go, all will have another totally different and unique experience with even more stories to add to their collection.

From now until everyone has had a chance to unpack and wash back at home in the UK, there will not be any further updates to the Jamboree website. 

Everyone has had such a fantastic time, with so many new and different experiences, it has been everything we had anticipated and much, much more! The International Service Team worked and played very hard, joined in with the international spirit and all the Leaders have done a terrific job helping to ensure that the Scouts and Guides in their care really have had the time of their lives. We lift our hats off to them all!

We are all really looking forward to telling you all our stories and adventures when we get home, although don’t be surprised if it takes a while for all the stories to come out. So much has happened that as time goes on things will jog our memories and we will remember something new and different!

It’s been amazing, dusty, magical, friendly, knackering but most definitely the experience of a lifetime!

From all of us in Thailand, Sawaddee…"