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My 21st World Scout Jamboree experience - by Alex Sawford

When I was first sent my letter back in November, I had little idea of what the next 9 - 10 months would include, that my knowledge for foreign cultures would expand, my understanding of others and the world we live in would grow and that I would come away knowing that I could make the world a better place.

Our first meeting was on May the 14th at Sherbrooke campsite already the bonds of friendship had began to form. The meetings continued and friendships grew stronger with the leaders as well as the other scouts, this was a busy time for me because I was juggling my Gang Show rehearsals, D of E practise/ expedition and the Jamboree meetings but I still attended as many meeting as possible. The months began to fly by and already we were looking at 1 week to go and I was still packing my bag. The 26th July 2007 arrived and it was time to go, every one was packed and prepared (Danny even brought his guitar). We parted company with our family and waved goodbye now all that was between the Jamboree and us was a couple of hours bus journey.

We arrived to bottled water and an excruciating long walk to the campsite, Fjord (the best), our home for the rest of our stay. We put our tent up in the pouring rain and decided to huddle like penguins under the one mess tent we had managed to get up. Finally the rain stopped and we could attend the British welcome party that evening and from there the Jamboree passed too fast for comfort. As they say "Time passes quickly when your having the time of your life" but not quick enough to forget the memorable experience that was the Jamboree.

The opening concert was amazing and only beaten by the closing ceremony because everybody was wet and couldn’t care less and singing along with the songs the best their strained voices would let them. The greatest concert though by far was the Sunrise Celebration because of Nottingham’s participation in it. I got to run around a field with a flag of unknown origin and renew my promise on stage with 40,000 others and 2 million + from all over the globe watching it on Television. It was a most exhilarating experience. We have Jock to thank for that and for that once in a lifetime Photo event with Lord Baden Powell (Junior) and Herman Huit. Further on in the week I had a meal with the scouts of Taiwan that were camping next to us. This was a lovely meal and demonstrated the way people can mix and overcome language barriers (especially if they speak very good English). I made very good friends with a group of girls I was sharing the table with, mainly with a girl called Chen who was impressed with my knowledge on the story behind Chinese new year. At the end my friend Danny and I were presented with a pair of chopsticks from the group, which was a lovely way to end the meal.

My memories of this event will live with me always and I take from this event skills that I hope will improve the person I am and the way I look at the world because we all live in one world and under one promise.

Alex