The spirit of the World Scout Jamboree came to a corner of Devon recently when one Beaver Colony waved its Young Leader off on her way with a Swedish-themed evening. Dave O’Carroll flat-packed his pen and paper, and paid a visit
The 22nd World Scout Jamboree is about much more than the thousands of young people and adults who will attend.
The event transcends its location and attendees, and is an occasion for all Scouts to enjoy. In no way is this better exemplified than by the sight of a Barnstaple Beaver Colony having a night of Jamboree fun.
‘Having our Young Leader, Georgia, as part of the UK Contingent has given our Beavers an added interest in it,’ explains Beaver Leader Suzi Smale.
‘She has already excited them with tales of what a Jamboree is, so I was keen to capitalise on this Jamboree fever and put together an evening of Swedish games and activities.’
Future Devon Unit
‘I love talking to the Beavers about it,’ says Georgia. ‘I think they understand the idea of a huge camp with Scouts from all over the world.’
More importantly, she is sowing the seeds of Jamboree dreams. ‘We worked out with them that they themselves might be able to go in eight years. They got very excited by that prospect.’
In fact, the Colony has played an active role in Georgia’s fundraising for the event; with a sponsored candlelit walk and the purchasing of some ‘camp blankets’ for teddy bears which Georgia produced.
On the night in question, the Beavers located Sweden on a map, spoke a few words of Swedish, learned about Swedish midsummer (some were completely stunned by the concept of 24 hours of daylight), experimented with Swedish biscuits and cookies, and rounded off their meeting by playing a game of pinning the antlers on the moose.
‘I was really pleased to see how much the Beavers were able to recall from our last Join-in-Jamboree session in May, when Georgia brought in all her Jamboree gear and talked to them about Sweden,’ said Suzi.
‘All of the activities done were either taken or adapted from the Join-in-Jamboree resource for Beavers,’ she added. ‘We’ve found it to be really useful for providing ideas this year and it’s definitely raised the Beaver Scouts’ awareness of Jamboree in a fun and exciting way.’
Ready for 2019
The activities kept all 19 Beavers engaged and happy. One can only hope that some of the fevered whispering on show was sparked by thoughts of this mystical northern European country, where their friend and leader was about to venture.
‘I’ve been a Young Leader for more than two years now – in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. They look up to me, so it is really important that I can engage them in this,’ says Georgia. ‘So many young people get to their teenage years and think that Scouting is lame. Well, I’m showing this Group that that isn’t the case and you can still have these amazing experiences.’
‘We are very proud of Georgia for her incredible achievement of being one of only 36 young people in Devon attending the Jamboree,’ beams Suzi. ‘I know the Beaver Scouts will be looking forward to hearing all about it on her return, and I’m sure that her experience will inspire them to apply to attend in 2019.’
And the question of whether the idea really does hit home is best answered by one Beaver, Archie, who, when asked what a Jamboree was, replied: ‘Hundreds of Scouts, maybe thousands actually, come from all over the world to go on a big camp and have a big party.’
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
To join in with all the fun leading up to the 2011 World Scout Jamboree download the Our Join-in-Jamboree resource scouts.org.uk/wsj2011