So. First off. The Jamboree.
Scout camp is always fun. And I do mean always. Even when it is pouring rain, scout camp is a pretty good time. So going to a Jamboree, even when I don't speak the language, was pretty good. Even more fun, sometimes, exactly because I don't speak Dutch, since me trying to speak Dutch was occasionally hilarious (I tend to substitute French words for the ones I don't know when I'm speaking anything other than English) In any case, some of the highlights of camp were:
Adventures in Hand Sewing
While working at Outdoor during program sessions, I'm meant to be wearing an Outdoor tee. Of course, being a somewhat last-minute addition to the team, there were no shirts in my size left when I got mine. There were Larges, and X-Larges. Now, I am neither an L nor an XL in shirts. No problem. Three nights of sewing later, I had a me-sized Outdoor t-shirt. All sewn by hand. And it fits darn well, though I had to adopt diamond-gussets in the underarm because I didn't cut the body quite right…
It used to be a mens' XL, honest. The tag even says so. (Photo care of the HotAir Vents, aka the Canadian Contingent to JubJam)
Inclusive Scouting night at Outdoor
One night, we set up Outdoor specifically for the scouting groups focusing on "Inclusive Scouting." Those would be the groups set up for, or at the very least, including, individuals needing special care or those with disabilities. We had part of the rope course open, as well as part of the climbing wall and the abseil tower. The best part of the night was just watching these kids' faces light up when they were able to come and play "like everyone else." Also, playing koala when I wasn't helping people stay safe.
This is Kit, pretending to be a koala, but really just bored and waiting for the next person to come along. (Photo taken by Joren, on his iPhone. Not bad...)
Hanging out in Subkamp Antarctica
Now, I've never spent a large portion of any Jamboree in a Subcamp. It turns out that I was missing a lot of fun. Because Gonzo was working for Antarctica (something about it being the closest subcamp to Australia…) I spent a good portion of time there, for the sake of sanity and sensible (and fast) English. Later, I also went out there because the subcamp staff became my friends, too, and because it was good to hang out with people who knew my name, after a day full of 30-second interactions with people, usually in Dutch. And the evening program activities were always interesting. Talent shows, and food festivals, and boat regattas… the list goes on.
This is Ivo. He's very proud of his marshmallow-and-licorice penguin
Leaning to wrikken
First, I suppose, I have to explain what, exactly, wrikken is. The very first day of camp, when Gonzo and I had nothing in particular to do (the IST weren’t assigned jobs until the evening of the next day) we were wandering around camp, watching different groups set up. And we saw some people out on the water, with boats (usually 2) rafted together, and they were bringing them in towards shore using a single oar from the stern. Never having seen this before, we thought this was pretty much the coolest thing ever. Since then, we’d sort of put it in the back of our heads as something interesting, but we weren’t sure what to do about that. But a few days into the jamboree, we were hanging out in Antarctica, and Ivo was making a poster about water activities. We figured out that two of the titles were sailing and rowing. But the third, wrikken, had us totally stumped. So we asked. And he explained, and then we got really excited. We got even more excited when he offered to teach us. So the next free day we all had, we went out on the water to play. And spent the next hour (or more? We kinda lost track of time) teaching our bodies (and our heads, which I think was the harder part) how to wrikken. We’ve since learned that the english word for it is sculling, though most people assume we’re talking about a specific kind of rowing, then. So wrikken it is :) And no, I really can’t explain how to do it. I understand how it works, but it’s an awfully complicated movement. That being said, I now want to see what else I can wrikken, Dutch-style steel canal boats being somewhat scarce outside of the Netherlands…Perhaps canoes, or maybe kayaks, or, just for fun, surfboards?
This is me, trying to wrikken. Apparently, I have already spent quite some time in the sun...
Chocolate Fondue at Outdoor
On one of the last nights at the Jamboree, the Swiss contingent got together and made fondue for their respective work groups. They managed quite well, actually, because 3 of them were working for Communications (2 photographers and a writer) and the other 3 were working with Outdoor, versus being spread out all over the place. As it was, there were still an awfully large number of people waiting for fondue when the time came. 30-some-odd of us from Outdoor, and about 20 (I think?) from Communications. And so fruit was cut, and chocolate prepared, and in the end, the fruit ran out first. But everyone had fun, working their way around the tent, conga-line style, forks (or chopsticks) in hand, getting chocolate everywhere. I don’t know how much chocolate there was left at the end, but it was a lot. And of course, while waiting in line, there was singing, and teasing, and all the things that go along with a bunch of scouts who are (patiently?) waiting their turn for some dessert.
At the end of it all, the Jamboree was excellent. Are there things I would change? Of course there are. Would I go back? I just might. You never know. But I might also take the chance to go somewhere else entirely, just for fun.