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My 21st World Scout Jamboree experience - by Simon Verhoeven

To say the Jamboree was absolutely massive would be an understatement. Have you ever noticed that a really excited person can be more noticeable than four or five unexcited people? Well, imagine 40,000 people on an adrenaline rush the size of a tidal wave having a great time together for nearly two weeks.

I feel very privileged to have gone to the Jamboree. The activities were some of the best I’ve ever done in Scouting, looking back, I realise that the Jamboree would still have been brilliant if all we’d done was communicate with each other. During the Jamboree I met a group of hyperactive Finish scouts in the sunrise promise party; I practiced a bit of my very limited Swiss German with some of the 1000 Swiss scouts; I met some very interesting Australians and the list goes on… Not to mention all the scouts I talked to through swapping badges, neckers and random tack that some foreigners’ thought was as good as gold.

The sunrise promise ceremony will stay etched into my memory forever – it is immensely important to me and, I think, to the rest of the world too. I got up at 4:30am to prepare for the ceremony; at about 8:00am I was just coming to terms with the fact that I was awake when the ceremony started. My unit got to renew out scouting promise on the main stage in front of the whole jamboree, some of our unit flying the flags of the scouting world. Standing on the stage I could see people everywhere!

Simon Verhoeven
Pioneer ESU