Hi again everyone!
Jamboree news and activities died down over Winter, however from now until I go to Japan in July you’ll be seeing regular, monthly, action packed blogs!
It’s been confirmed that we will fly from Manchester (with Etihad), to Tokyo via Abu Dhabi. Our Home Hospitality (HoHo) stay will be the first three days, then the actual Jamboree, finishing off with a stay in Tokyo for the last three days. Earlier in the year I had to create a list of my hobbies and interests which has been sent to Japan so they can match me with an appropriate host family, and the family has also been asked to try to give a traditional Japanese experience. We will travel to the HoHo destination of Niigata in North East Japan by coach from Tokyo airport.
A little more about the Tokyo trip – the UK Contingent Management team have organised several activities for us, the first being a climb of the Tokyo Skytree which will give us wonderful sweeping views over the city. They have also arranged for us to go to an Earthquake simulator, which will be both relevant and interesting! Thirdly they have organised for us to go to an indoor theme park and let off some steam on the rides which I’m really looking forward to! I have also heard rumours that there will be a huge UK Contingent party (3500 members) one day to celebrate, so as long as I can stay awake, after three weeks of little sleep, this should be exhilarating.
So what’s happened since my last blog – in January I abseiled off the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough with my Unit to help some people raise sponsorship money. It definitely looked higher once we were up there, and the thrill of hanging in mid-air and rappelling down was amazing.
More recently, we went to London last Saturday to practice patrol efficiency and time keeping skills on busy public transport. This trip meant my alarm was set for 4am (groan) however early starts are something I’m going to have to get used to on Jamboree. Once assembled at Durham Station, we boarded at 5:45 and were on the train for 4 hours, picking up the Humberside members on the way. Fortunately, I was sat with my friend James from Durham City, who had brought some cards, so time flew by 😀 We also split into patrols and planned for the competition which I will explain more about later…
Upon arriving in Kings Cross Station, we broke into patrols and bought our tube tickets and set off for Tower Bridge. When we arrived, we went on a tour of the bridge. Firstly we climbed stairs to get up into a video room where a film was explaining the origins of the designs of the bridge. Then we climbed up further to the top and walked along a glass floor looking down at the cars and ships beneath us, that was very interesting! (And a little scary). The picture opposite shows the view at my feet. After this we descended and went to see a mock engine room for the bridge and saw huge machines turning which, if they were real, would have raised and lowered the bridge.
After this we began our competition, for those of you in the District that know about or have heard of Monopoly Run, it is very similar to that. For those that don’t know, in our patrols we had to take selfies with the whole group in front of various famous places and monuments. The competition relied on good organisational skills to get around on the tube to places and score points, and also to be able to get to the finish on time, or risk losing 10 points for every minute late! With a total of 90 points up for grabs this gave us a very narrow window. However my patrol got back in time to have an ice cream in the sun on the grass and laugh as the minutes ticked by and the other teams shredded points. By the time the last time had arrived (15 minutes late giving them a maximum possible score of minus 60) it was clear our team had won, yay!
After this we went into the National History Museum and had a go on the earthquake simulator and saw a huge dinosaur skeleton. Unfortunately one of our patrol members was detained by a security guard for announcing he had a penknife so that held us up a little bit but nothing too major, and it was quite funny for the rest of us!
After this, we tubed back to Kings Cross Station and got the train back up to Durham, getting home at about 11. A long, tiring, but very enjoyable day.
My final piece of news is that today I went to Moor House to collect all my kit! Very exciting! I’m still waiting on a water bottle cover and my uniform shirts so when they arrive I’ll upload a picture with my next blog of me with everything that I’ll be taking this July. So that’s it from me until next time, I have a couple of training camps coming up so I will upload another blog when I have returned from that in a few weeks! J