Shere and Peaslake Scout Group had the honour of representing UK Scouting at the International Jamboree “Everything is Possible” Organised by Scouting Australia and Scouting Thailand and held at Thailand National Scout Camp near Chomburi for a week from the 14th to 21st December with 13 participating countries: Australia, South Korea, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, Maldives, UK, Thailand, Cambodia, United States.
It was a week of making friends, having fun, playing games from different nations – imagine playing rugby with an oiled coconut! It was also emotional to hear the life stories of scouts from the Philippians who shared with all the other Scout about their daily lives in their exceptionally poor slums and how scouting has literally given them a “ticket to life” and a means to think differently and to study – One of the girl scouts shared how when Shane Earnshaw (Camp Chief) first saw her, she was living in a cardboard box in a seemingly hopeless situation but now, she has just completed university and is about to become a teacher through the support of Western Australian Scouts. We also completed an afternoons training by the internationally recognised American and Australian “Leave No Trace” team. The principles are based not only on a respect for nature and other visitors, they are also based on and supported by scientific research. Over the next few days we put our training to good use by cleaning up the local beach and the Scout Camp too.
The training we received will be used by us at the group in Shere and Peaslake. Our Scouts enjoyed sleeping outside in hammocks for the week and the monkeys made a heck of a noise.
The Cubs had a go at sleeping outside in hammocks too. Although, one thought that the monkeys had taken their drink during the night! Fortunately, when they found poisonous snakes on site they were on the other side of the camp and were quickly moved.
We were challenged, in Challenge Valley, by 17 physical assault course type activities in the jungle – some were quite tough! The pioneering projects we tried were full size trebuchet, a bridge, a tower, and a very nice picnic bench with integral bench seat (I will definitely be repeating this one). You will be pleased to know that I had my Surrey Six Knot guidance card with me, which was used by
Australian and Thai Scouts. I was surprised that my fellow leader on the Trebuchet didn’t know the Constrictor Knot! We also participated in the Philippine Games and Shooting. We had fun at an open zoo, where we fed giraffes and hippos. We had a whole day at Cartoon Networks Water park where I and others from the UK, learnt to surf and body board and to do boarding tricks from the Thai surfing champion, who currently is 7th in the world.
One of the highlights of the jamboree was having a police escort into Bangkok and having special access to the Grand Palace (The king who has just died in Thailand was their Chief Scout) and Wat Pho (Temple of the reclining Buddha). The other highlight for me, was meeting the Indonesian Ambassador who came to the Jamboree and spent the night under canvas. He is a very keen Scout and I believe has been to many World Jamborees. As we were travelling into Bangkok with the Indonesian contingent we were also invited to dinner with the Ambassador in the Embassy in Bangkok. What a fabulous finish!
It was an amazing enjoyable adventure. Everyone was so friendly and I have made so many friends that I want to stay in contact. Never pass up a chance to go on a Jamboree! It’s a once in a lifetime experience.
Tristan (14) Explorer Scout