Andrew’s countdown to Japan

Published on 26/06/2015 by jion.

Hello again everyone, not long to go now!! For those of you who aren’t aware, the departure date is the 25th July.

As Jamboree gets closer, the amount of things to talk about is increasing as details and activities are becoming more frequent. Very exciting times last Wednesday when I found a mysterious package had been delivered… and inside were all the Jamboree items I’ve purchased from the catalogue. There were lots of badges, woggles and neckerchiefs to swap with my fellow participants, extra t shirts and shorts to last me the three weeks in Japan, and lots of other handy accessories. Christmas in June!

A few weeks back I went to a training camp at Moor House which was both relaxed and informative. On arrival we pitched tents from the last Jamboree (similar to the ones waiting for us on site) and we were told who would be in our tent with us on that camp (and for the Jamboree) and also which Unit member would accompany us on our Home Hospitality stay. To my delight the people in my tent and on HoHo with me are all in my patrol and are good friends of mine – excellent.

After pitching tents we had a bit of supper and retired for the night looking forward to a 6am rise the next day. The following morning we cooked breakfast, a strange concoction of vegetables, soup, bacon, bread and milk. It will be common on Jamboree to receive random pieces of food and for us to be expected to do something with, so after an odd breakfast we had a talk on which items should be packed in our daysacks on Jamboree. We then packed them, and travelled into Durham for some free time around the city. The day was lovely and sunny and we all had a great time in Durham.

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After getting back, we grouped into patrols and practised an activity that we could present to others visiting our unit. We decided to go for the human pyramid rather than a song as you can see above.

All my exams are now over, but when I was at this camp I was in the middle of them, so had to spend some time revising, but still got to play a few games. Lewis, one of our leaders, had bought a great Frisbee which we played with from one end of the field to the other. It got stuck in the trees several times!

After more games we prepared tea for a special guest – Ian Hammond (Durham County Events), and ourselves. Tea turned out to be a variation on stir fry, just with stranger contents. It was edible and Ian enjoyed it so it can’t have been that bad. I also had to give a welcoming speech to him, just like I will have to do many times on Jamboree when I go to a village or meet someone of importance etc.

After some unit games on the night time we retired to our tents at around eleven. The fun didn’t stop there though, because some played cards for a few hours in the tent till the early hours. BIG mistake, and one we won’t be keen to repeat on Jamboree. Another 6am rise the next morning left us feeling groggy and unwell, nevertheless we enjoyed our breakfast (odd again!), and had a very basic Japanese class learning some common phrases that may come in handy whilst over there. We also had talks on the travel plans and each section of the Jamboree. You may see me and my HoHo partner, Ben, wearing a Newcastle flag in this picture as it was match day and either Newcastle or Hull would be relegated. Since half of the Unit support Hull and about 5 support Newcastle we thought, why not? We had the last laugh….

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After more Frisbee time and packing our things up, we undertook “community service” cleaning the area around the “under construction” low ropes course at Moor House to reflect voluntary work we will do whilst at Jamboree. Finally, we dropped the tents, had flag down, and were picked up. Great weekend.

The next Jamboree activity will be the 3rd – 6th July where I have my final training camp at Raywell, Hull.

See you next time!

Andrew.