I’ve been in Scouting since I was a Beaver, Scouting is a huge part of my life. This blog post looks at the international aspect of Scouting.
It all started back in 2006, I did
something that… (it may sound cheesy), but… I did something that changed my life.
Not being one of the most confident of people, I really had to think hard before submitting my application.
I had just applied to attend the 21st World Scout Jamboree, in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, in the summer of 2007 as a member of the International Service Team. This was going to be a huge event, with over 40,000 people from all around the world, and me – Mr Shy ‘lack of confidence’ Haigh – had just signed up to attend an event where I didn’t know anyone else who was attending, not a single soul, none, nil, Nada.
On the 17th July 2006, I received an email, “Welcome to the 21st World Scout Jamboree”, this was it, I was going to the largest Scouting event in the country which just so happened to land on the 100th anniversary of the original trial camp on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour back in 1907.
Over the year leading up to the Jamboree, I was obviously nervous, excited and to be honest, not really sure of what I would be experiencing during the two weeks in Chelmsford.
The Jamboree was amazing, I met some great people, people who made you feel welcome, people who became friends, we were a family, a world-wide family, with one common connection – Scouting.
The 21st World Scout Jamboree left me with some awesome memories, memories that I will never forget. One of these memories was on the 1st August, standing in the main arena for the mass promise renewal. Words can’t simply explain the atmosphere in that arena that morning.
On my return from the Jamboree I was told many times, that I had changed. I had become more confident, I actually stood in front of a cub pack and ran a game, keeping them all under control without having to have backup. It may not sound like a huge thing, but for me, it was. The strange thing was, I didn’t notice.
The 21st World Scout Jamboree opened many more adventures for me, as I had become much more aware of International Scouting, and the opportunities that it brings.
I’ve been abroad representing Scouting many times;
- 21st World Scout Jamboree – Chelmsford, UK (not technically abroad but it was a World Scouting Event) – July / Aug 2007 – International Service Team
- Calais, France – Aug 2007 – The Scout Troop visited Calais for the day while staying in Kent.
- Kandersteg International Scout Centre, Kandersteg, Switzerland – May 2009 – Leader Pre-visit – To plan a trip for the following year.
- Kandersteg International Scout Centre, Kandersteg, Switzerland – July / Aug 2010 – We took the Scout Troop and Explorer Unit for 10 days.
- 22nd World Scout Jamboree – Rinkaby, Sweden – July / Aug 2011 – I attended as a member of the International Service Team.
- 19th Australian Rover Moot, Perth, Western Australia – Dec 2013 / Jan 2014 – I attended as a staff member.
The fact that just 4 months ago, I flew half way around the world to attend the 19th Australian Rover Moot as a staff member, only having met one person who was attending for a few minutes previously, all goes to show how much I have changed during my time in Scouting.
I won’t be attending the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan, but instead, I’m taking our current Scouts and Explorers to Kandersteg for 10 days. But I really do hope that Ella and Isobel – who i’ve mentioned previously, get to experience as much as I did during my first Jamboree and that it also opens up as many adventures for them, as it did for me, in the future.
Scouting changes lives, FACT!