One year ago, I returned home from the best summer of my life. Over 21 days, I made new international friends, learnt about different cultures and was able to share my stories. Since my return a year ago I have been on a reunion camp, raised funds for EJ2020 (let’s not talk about that), met up with my Shropshire friends, been on a day trip to Poland, become Maths captain, written some more blog posts, been in lock down and finished year 12. I am still so grateful that it was COVID-19 and not COVID-18 but I never expected a year after returning from WSJ the world would be a completely different place.
Yesterday I received the news I’d been waiting for; the European Jamboree has been postponed until next year.
To be honest I was expecting this outcome but it’s still a big disappointment, mainly because I now have the added uncertainty of whether I’ll be able to go next year as I will be turning 18 before the event.
I had a good chat to Blue about it all and he’s sure that whatever happens next will be just as amazing. He’s also feeling blue about the situation but is excited by the prospect of a new adventure.
Anyway back to the revision for my year 12 assessments – 84
I have been selected to attend the European Jamboree next year (as I like to nickname it EJ2020). The Jamboree is based on ‘ACT’ which is the idea of acting upon the environment to make the world a better place. A few weekends back, I went on my first unit camp with my EJ2020 unit.
On Friday evening we set up camp. We helped to move bags up to the kitchen area before I set up my tent and sorted out my roll mat, sleeping bag etc. I then talked to other people before heading to help put up another tent. The thing with this tent was that someone got told to take down their one man and sleep in a 4 man by themselves. As clever Explorers, we put the outer side of the new tent over the old small one man tent to save time taking down one tent and putting up the whole of the other tent.
That evening we headed to the campfire where we were told who was in each patrol. We were told some of the programme for the weekend including that on the Saturday we would be helping clear some of the site as part of our ACT mini project. As my patrol would be cooking the next morning, we played 2 truths and 1 lie to get to know one another before we soaked up the rest of the campfire. We ate supper and then headed to bed.
On the Saturday morning, I had to wake up slightly earlier as I had to cook breakfast. We cooked bacon for bacon sarnies and then eggs for the vegetarians. After breakfast we washed up before helping put up tents as part of our ACT project. We had to check the quality of the tents before taking them back down again. In the end, the tent I put up was one of the worst tents as so we swapped the good poles of the tent with the broken ones from other groups.
After a quick snack break, we were then on weed cutting duty. My group cut all the weeds around the traverse wall as well as some near a car parking area. The rake I was using kept breaking so at first I fixed it with some rope, but that only lasted for 5 minutes before it broke again so then I used some duct tape which lasted for longer. After this activity, we ate lunch before proceeding to the afternoon activities.
In the afternoon, we stayed in our patrols during a rotation. Our first activity included going around the traverse wall and coming up with our patrol’s name. The name had to include the word ‘ACT’ so our current name is ‘PACT man’. Our next activity was tunnelling where we played hide and seek in the dark followed by a talk from one of our leaders. Our final activity was Tomahawk throwing before we had some free time before dinner.
During this free time, we went back into the tunnels and had music playing through the tunnels. For dinner, we had chicken curry, rice and naan – so a variation of chicken and rice. After dinner, we plotted grid coordinates onto a map for our hike the next day before toasting marshmallows on a fire to make smores. I then headed for an early night to bed.
The next day, we woke up slightly late for breakfast but fortunately did not miss it. After breakfast I packed my bag for the hike before heading off in our patrols. The walk was around 7 miles long and halfway through we met with another patrol and walked the rest of the route with them. After our hike, we returned to the campsite and helped move a few things to help finishing taking camp down. We moved a trailer of weeds before being rewarded with an ice lolly to then take down our tents. Our parents then had a meeting before we were collected and headed back home.
Over the weekend we found a bit more about what our Jamboree experience would be like. We were informed that we would fly to Amsterdam, then travel by train to Berlin and then on to Poland. As part of the main Jamboree, there would also be a 2 day hike as part of the programme. We would then fly directly home.