A couple of weeks ago, I met with some of my World Scout Jamboree unit in Birmingham. The reunion included Blue the bear and if you remember Brian the flamingo. Yes, you read that right, we walked around Birmingham with a flamingo and a bear.
We started the day off with coffee before then heading to do a little bit of shopping. We went into the Worlds largest Primark where there was a Disney café, a Harry Potter section, and over 5 floors of clothing and sales. In the make up section, we decorated Brian (the flamingo) with some of the eyeshadow before we headed to get some food to eat. The downfall here was, we all agreed to meet at McDonalds, except we went too 2 different stores – however, En route we did see a Santander building. (I’m still a proud member of the International Anthony Santander Fan Club)!
After lunch we did a bit more shopping and went into all 3 Pandora shops looking for a charm for my friend. In the end, we managed to find the charm in one of the shops. We then wondered around for a little while before, one of my friends brothers (who did attend WSJ) met up with us and so he took a photo of us by the Bullring statue. We all then wondered around for a bit more until it was nearly time to leave – in order for everyone to be able to get the right trains home as in the morning there was a little bit of a train issue.
A couple of us went into Tesco Express before saying goodbye where we brought a meal deal to share between us all. The chicken and bacon sandwich was very nice – thank you! It was then time to say our goodbyes before everyone headed home.
As I then went to meet my parents, we spotted some bears in H&M home, so conveniently, Blue had to have a photo with them. Also, as we headed home we stopped at IKEA for our usual rendezvous before continuing to head home.
Guest blogger Blue here. I’m Blue the Bear and I’m the official mascot of Unit 82. At our last unit meet-up I got the chance to hit the road with one of our more distant members and I was shocked to find out they were the secret blogger! I though I’d hijack their blog and tell you a bit about what I’ve been up to.
I got to visit the Beaver Colony that 84 helps out with and see some of the fun and games they get up to. I met their own mascot Barry the Beaver. We were taught about some of the things to take on a camp and the following weekend I went along to their winter camp. I wonder if any of the beavers I met will be a participant at a future World Scout Jamboree.
I’ve been to visit a museum all about the history of jet planes. It was interesting getting close to the planes. I can’t wait until we fly out for the Jamboree although I imagine the plane will be a lot bigger than the ones I saw. Talking about flying I was really excited when 84 told me about the travel details that had been released.
With Christmas coming up 84 has been out fundraising at Christmas Fayres. I’ve been along to some of these where I was on guard duty looking after the collection pot and keeping an eye on everyone looking at the things she had been making to sell. Fortunately no one tried to buy me because I’m sure I overheard her discussing with her sister how much she could charge for me.
You may have noticed in some of these pictures I’ve been sporting a Double Blue Bow-tie. While I’ve been staying with 84 there was a winter ball for the Explorers and Network members in her county. She went to this with some of her Explorer Group friends, but there were also quite a lot of other Jamboree participants as well and there are some nice pictures taken of them all. 84 made me a bow tie so I could dress the part as well.
As well as all things Scouting, 84 also took me along to a Rainbow meeting. There I met Olivia, the Rainbow mascot. The Rainbows were doing a craft activity with lots of glitter. I think we need more glitter at Double Blue unit meetings. The Rainbows taught me a new song while I was there, a Christmas Nativity song to the tune of the classic campfire “Pizza Hut” song.
This week 84 has been poorly and so been off school and at home during the day. It was nice to get the extra time with her although I am also a bit sad that she is unwell. I hope she recovers quickly in time for Christmas!
Sadly my time with 84 had to come to an end. Today we went to a meetup of all her county’s Jamboree members where we learnt more about what to expect. At the end of this I hitched a ride back up North.
While I’ve been staying with 84 we’ve written some other blogs together to publish in the future so I’m sure this won’t be the last you hear from me.
I have been on another training camp with my Jamboree unit last weekend. On the Friday night, we travelled up on the minibus, jamming out to music for 2 hours and catching up with one another.
We arrived at the campsite after pulling down a very very bumpy lane. Once the minibus had parked up, we were told by one of our leaders that there were no proper toilets – instead it was a wooden shed with a hole in the ground which fed the soil. In the dark I was not prepared for all the spiders I was going encounter especially after Strategy.
Before we set up our tents, we had to help the rest of our unit put up the cooking tents and say hello again. Apart from the disaster of me not being able to find my spare batteries and then finding them in the only pocket I hadn’t looked in I could help. We then got to set up our own tents before sitting around the campfire.
Around the campfire we had an introduction where we got new numbers to call out when someone would shout ‘number off’ and we’d count in order our new number. We got put into our patrols for the weekend and agreed on a time to wake up and start to light a fire to cook on.
I woke up on time to meet with my patrol to collect fire wood and start the fire. We collected lots and lots of wood as there is no such thing as having too much wood and we started cooking once the fire got hot enough. We cooked the eggs first, then some veggie sausage on a giant saucepan until I found a smaller saucepan so we could start the bacon. I was on putting the bacon onto the frying pan duty and saved my egg to have a bacon and egg buttie. Our patrol then washed up and gathered with other patrols, 20 minutes late, for flag break.
We would be doing 4 rota activities in the morning including; social media, personal hygiene, airport security and washing.
At the social media station we learnt about how landscape should be the natural photo shot with the photo not being staged and hence natural. So, our task was to take natural photos of the other groups without disturbing them.
At the personal hygiene station we learnt that our main goals would be to be happy whilst keeping clean by washing our hands and to always tell a leader if something is wrong. Our task was to be blindfolded with paint on our hands and to wash it off and to stop when we thought they were clean.
At the airport security station we had to work out what items we would be able to take in our holdall going to the USA from the UK and visa versa. I learnt that you can only take liquids of 100ml and your water bottle has to be empty when taking it through security.
Finally at the washing station we had to make our t-shirts muddy and then cleaned them. First we rinsed them to get the majority of dirt out and off of them and then we used hot water with washing powder to wash our t-shirts and then rinsed them in cold water again. We then wrung out excess water and hung them up to dry and went to get lunch.
After lunch we got set the challenge to decide on what our patrol wanted for tea and decide on 2 people to go shopping whilst the rest of the patrol helped with the big bonfire/ campfire we would be having in the evening. By a fair game of rock, paper, scissors it was decided that I and a other person would go shopping. So, with our shopping list and £25 we checked the kitchen pantry and went to catch the minibus to the supermarket.
After a quick stop to a scout hut to get extra utensils on the way, we arrived at Asda to go shopping. We got our trolley and were off. We met the vlogging patrol with their body camera and compared our shopping trollies. My patrol’s trolley contained; pasta, carbonara sauce, bacon, muffins, fizzy drinks and cheese. The other patrol’s trolley contained vegetables and noodles for their stir fry.
Once finished, we travelled back on the minibus to see the others had built a huge campfire whilst we had gone. As soon as we got back we started cooking our tea. Everyone wanted some of our carbonara and we served many of the VIPs who joined us. There was plenty to share round. We then washed up and headed over to camp break to finish the evening, to name our mascot bear and to play a few games.
After the games we had our massive campfire which the circumference was the size of a trampoline and the height of a traffic light. It went from freezing cold to boiling hot in the split of a second. We then did our sketches in our patrols as well as our campfire song.
The next morning we cooked pancakes with bacon and went full out on toppings. We then broke camp and had campflag where we were told we’d have to walk to the village hall to listen to the parents’ meeting. It wasn’t a long journey walking and we listened to the meeting while eating homemade cake. We said goodbye to our friends from the other county and then we were back on the minibus home – where we stopped off at the services on the way back quickly. We arrived back in our own county and went back our separate ways after our karaoke session in the minibus.
Our mascot’s official name is now Blue – in the photo you can see Blue having a go at hand washing our clothes.