An easy way to raise funds for my trip is by bag packing at local supermarkets. Some keen parents have organised this with supermarkets around the county.
My first such adventure was on a Sunday morning, the supermarket was 30 minutes away so hardly local! I spent the morning helping to pack bags, smiling sweetly and explaining why I was there.
It turns out that bag packing is a great way to fundraise and I’m kind of looking forward to next time.
My first meetup with my unit was on a Sunday evening. They first did a talk about the over view of the trip. They then talked to us about fundraising ideas.
We gathered in groups of our districts and talked about fundraising ideas. Our new county commissioner came over and told us that if we achieved 50 or more fundraising ideas, he would give us £1 to go towards our final total cost.
We achieved his goal and now he owns us £1 each. (edit – I’m still waiting!)
After that, I gathered with the other participants in our joint unit and we introduced ourselves to one another, had a chance to ask questions and got told about our first whole unit camp. I can’t wait.
The post came and there was a letter for me. I opened it and inside was a letter about the jamboree.
It confirmed my place and told me that the Bear mascot for the UK contingent was holding a special gift for me. It was my very own unit name tape badge for my county unit for the 24th World Scout Jamboree. Happy sewing Mum! (She’s a bit OCD when it comes to how badges are sewn onto my uniform – but that’s less sewing for me)
I’ve also found out that 3 others from my Explorer unit have got places along with Backpack and Shorty.
I waited for what felt like eternity to get my email.
The first weekend after the camp came around and there was no email. The next day, we got an email saying they would tell us by the following weekend because it was a difficult process.
The email finally came on the Wednesday night when I was asleep. My mum came rushing into my room and woke me up to tell me the news.
I got a place!
I was overfilled with emotions but, I was very confused. It was late and, so I thought it was all a dream.
The next morning it hit me. It was real. I would be going to America in 2019 and I could not believe it.
I walked down to breakfast with Shorty and her explorer friends. We managed to skip the breakfast queue accidently and did not realise until we walked down to the campfire circle and spotted that there was a queue, Whoops. We ate breakfast quickly and then I went back to my tent to pack.
My patrol for today were all in consecutive order in the 30’s with myself being the odd one out as number 84. We completed more activities including tunnelling, a giant tower of Hanoi made from old tyres, suspension bridge and charades. My favourite activity this day was the suspension bridge.
After we completed all of the activities we split off for lunch. I joined the queue with Potato and collected my lunch, no queue jumping this time. I ate with Backpack and Twinkle Toes until it was time to pack up my tent.
After my tent was all packed, I walked back to the campfire circle where we were all debriefed. We were told that they would email us shortly if got into the Gloucestershire unit.
That was all I could do, it was time for them to decide who would participate in the WSJ2019.
I had an awesome time and I am still in contact with all of my friends.
I arrived early Saturday morning with my rucksack. I headed up to the daunting marquee where I registered and got my photo taken with my new name: number 84.
I was told to walk up to the top field and started to set up my tent. Once my tent was all pitched, I helped two scouts next to me, who were struggling, to pitch their tent. I then had to collect firewood for the evenings campfire and then it was time to get briefed.
At the briefing they introduced themselves and briefly explained why we were here and what we would be completing. After this, I grabbed my day sack and walked to the field to meet those who would be in my patrol for the first day.
Our first activity was titled ‘Minefield’ – here we had to cross the grid through a path without stepping into a mine. We completed many of these tasks quickly and renamed all our patrol members with odd and interesting names: Twinkle Toes, Potato, Curly Wurly, Backpack, Shorty and myself French Fry.
Once we completed all our activities it was time for tea, a choice of casserole or chilli with a pudding of cake and custard. We all ate quickly and then rehearsed our skit: The Enlargement Machine.
We gathered around the campfire and waited for our turn to perform our skit. It was a hit. We watched the rest of the performances and then I sat around the campfire with my new friends.