180th goes to CJ!

By: Mark Burge

This past couple of weeks, over 7000 Scouts, Venturer Scouts, Rover Scouts, Leaders and even some Girl Guides spent a week or more at a camp close to Sylvan Lake, Alberta. Why, you ask? For a Canadian Jamboree of course! This also means that many of our Rovers were involved in the planning and execution of of the Jamboree.

For those that don’t know, Jamborees are large-scale camps, akin to setting up a city for a week and tearing it down after. They have their own health centre with Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics and tons of first responders. They have a camp newspaper which in this day and age turned into a fully-firing media centre with photos, videos and more. Food services to feed a small army of volunteers- around 1500 Venturers, Rovers and Scouters, plus distribution of food for all the scout groups attending. They have support teams for Quarter Master and Site Services, which all support the programming of the event. A large scale waterfront with sailing, canoeing, kayaking and other water activities. Fields of scoutcraft activities with a zip-line and climbing wall. Out-trips to to the Calgary Stampede, West Edmonton Mall and even more extreme hiking and whitewater rafting trips.

The Canadian Jamboree is the premier Scouting event and it brings Scouts from across the country together. As such all Jamboree goers are invested into the Jamboree group, where everyone has a the same neckerchief. You’re no longer just a Rover from Vancouver, you’re a Rover of the Jamboree Group making a difference.

Two of our Rovers, Karina Lee and Jeremy Tam took the 33rd Richmond and 69th Kensington Troops, respectively to the Jamboree. Signing up to spend ten days with a troop of Scouts is no small feat, especially considering the wide range of activities and weather conditions they encountered. Years go into preparing their Scouts for this kind of camp, not just in camp skills, but teamwork, communication and fundraising too.

 

180th was involved with the media as well, Andrew Wallwork was responsible for the digital media team, consisting of both photographers and videographers. As you can imagine it was a very large task covering dozens of activities and thousands of Scouts on site that required a lot of prep work. You can check out his team’s work on Flickr. (click here)

As such, the bulk of the work was pre-CJ, getting people prepped and on board with expectations, getting infrastructure and necessary equipment in place and sorting out the workflow so that things went as smoothly as possible.This is the first Canadian Jamboree where official Jamboree images and video are available online, in high resolution for free.

Setting up an event of this scale cannot be done without a Quartermaster department making sure everyone gets the equipment they need to do their jobs. Michael Hryhoriw worked with a team to deliver gear, set up structures and deliver everything we needed to make the experience great for Scouts. The QM team is some of the first to arrive onsite, this time a week before the jamboree starts and some of the last to leave as they need to collect, and decide what is being sold and kept for future Scouting events.

 

 
 

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I helped run the Storm the Castle activity at the Jamboree. We clad a scaffold tower with plywood and set up climbing one side, repelling on the short sides and a bouldering wall on the other.

Two other Rovers and I started the planning process in May of last year, with a major push this May to make it all happen. My primarily job was to make sure everyone on the wall was having a good time, but I did get to help a ton of Scouts repel for the first time. Scouts have the biggest smile when they get to the bottom the wall after successfully repelling for the first time and look up and see how far they repelled and me waving at the top.

 Jamborees are great places for Venturers and Rovers to learn and do in an informal setting things they don’t normally do. I’m a theatre technician by trade, Andrew is an accountant, Michael a contractor, Karina is recreational therapist and Jeremy a mechanic. Jamborees and Scouting as a whole gives us a platform to try new things with people helping us along the way.  We give weeks of our time to because we love what we do and believe in our mission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felipe Gasparino

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