A long day of travel, including a scary moment where our coach driver had to turn the coach around on a narrow road, ended with us arriving in Canada late on the Monday night. We put up our tents quickly before meeting a Welsh unit (Unit 97 “The Fluffy Dragons“) who were camped opposite us – we were introduce by them spraying bug spray everywhere due to the Canadian bugs. After our introduction, we made our way up towards the main hut where we grabbed some supper before crashing to bed. We did find out that we would be driving to see Niagara falls the next day.
On Tuesday we woke up for breakfast at 8 O’clock. We had a mini lie in before being fed Canadian pancakes with Canadian Maple Syrup. After breakfast we packed our bags while the Welsh Unit sang their nation anthem. I also watched a member of my unit having to climb between the two cubicles in the toilets to open the toilet which they managed to lock from the outside the previous night. We fell in, where we heard the Canada anthem being sung as well as the Canadian flag, St. George’s flag and a St. David’s flag all being raised. As we were waiting for our coach it decided to rain so we decided to sing ‘Singing in the rain’. Our coach arrived and we headed on our way.
We arrived at Niagara Falls where we were surprised with a boat tour. We got given pink ponchos to wear whilst on the boat which kept us mostly dry from the falls and the rain in general. It was phenomenal and the falls were spectacular. I cleverly took my non-waterproof camera onto the boat but only after the ride did I realise that I had made a mistake – luckily it all dried out and worked as good as new soon after. The falls were breath taking close up and from afar. After the boat ride, instead of taking the lift back up, we were surprised again and took the tram up. We headed for lunch where we went to Wendy’s after walking up through Clifton hill. Clifton hill was like a small amusement park and Wendy’s food was amazing. I would like to add that American/Canada Fanta tastes amazing. It is bright red and tastes amazing due to the amount of sugar in the bottle.
After lunch, we did a bit of tourist shopping followed by heading back to camp. En route, we stopped at a giant Walmart. I brought some Canadian maple biscuits to return home with. When we left the store to get back on our coach, the clouds opened and it rained very, very heavily. As we headed back to camp, we saw the site of the 8th World Scout Jamboree at Fort George, Ontario.
That evening, we ate our dinner on a hidden picnic bench. Someone in our unit had a Grandma who lives in Canada and she came to visit, bringing us Canadian doughnuts to eat. We also sang some song before heading to bed.
On Wednesday, we woke up ready to find out the programme for that day, where we found out that we would be going to a mall as well as to a swimming pool to use their showers – we had no showers on our campsite so this was very welcome. At the mall, I spotted some nice clothing stores and brought some sweets to bring back home. From the mall, we headed towards the front of lake Ontario where we walked along the front of it and along the pier. We then headed towards the open-air pool where 120 Scouts invaded the pool. There was a mini waterslide, a mini waterpark but most importantly, they had warm showers. After the pool, we headed back to camp to pack our bags. Once my bag was packed, we had a tent inspection before I realised that a dragonfly had gotten into our tent. It landed on my back and we left our tent door open so it would be able to escape. After inspection, we had a unit reflection as well as a unit photograph before eating dinner. We all headed for an early night sleep as we had to be awake at 3:45 the next morning to leave the campsite at 4:30.
The next morning I woke up and it was very weird for it to be so dark. Luckily we did not have to take our tents down so could just pack a few bits away before heading onto the coach. I stayed awake until we reached USA border control where I got through with no problem. I got to see the sunrise over lake Ontario that early morning. After we got over the border, I fell asleep for 2 hours straight before awaking as the coach stopped for fuel. From there I ate my breakfast of bagels and soon we stopped again where I bought white chocolate M&Ms as well as some watermelon sweets. We soon arrived at JFK (5 hours before our plane was due to depart) after seeing New York from a distance.
At checkin I was surprised that my bag only weighed 22.8 kg (0.2 kg under the limit). I got through security pretty quickly after some confusion over what a random red stamp on my ticket was for. We ate dinner of a cheeseburger and fries before exploring the 2 duty free shops. I then sat for an hour writing up some more of my notes before heading to board. We had a delay in boarding due to a thunderstorm so did not board our flight until it was due to depart. Once we were on board, we still had to queue for 45 minutes before we were able to take off – I managed to finish the other half of the movie I watched on the way out. We were fed another dinner at around 23:00 NYC time. I then watched another movie before sleeping for 3 hours. I woke up with 30 minutes until landing and forgot how bright it was outside until I opened the window blind. I soaked up the view and we soon landed.
As we were in the UK, we swiftly made it through e-scan and collected our bags. We then headed to find our coach which drove past two times before stopping for us. On the coach I slept very lightly, drifting in and out of sleep and we finally arrived where I would be picked up. I said my goodbyes after a last unit photo before heading back home. That evening I slept from 4pm until around 10 pm where I then ate my dinner before sleeping some more. I had asked for lasagne especially for dinner but I just did not move when I was first called to eat.
The following few days I caught up on sleep and gave out all of my gifts. I was given an old suitcase where I have placed all my Jamboree items within.