Berkshire’s Scouting Summer – Postcard from South Ascot

We continue our look at some of the highlights from a sensational summer of Scouting.

One group who got their holidays off to a rip-roaring start was 1st South Ascot who joined the fun at Kent International Jamboree from 30 July to 6 August. Along with 5,200 other Scouts and Guides from around the world, the attendees enjoyed over 100 activities with a broad appeal.

From learning about sustainable development goals to climbing and axe throwing, it was an eclectic mix with something – in fact, many, many things – for everyone. At the same time, it offered the chance to build skills for life, such as communications and independence in a friendly international atmosphere.

Explorer Scout Hannah reflected on the experience:

“When we arrived, the first challenge was to set up camp and organise the equipment followed by a spectacular opening ceremony (claimed to be the ‘best night there’ by all the Explorers).

“On the second day, we were given the opportunity to explore the 5,200-person wide campsite during orientation day.  There was an incredible roar as the whole camp witnessed the Lionesses winning the football on the big screen, followed in the evening by the first silent disco – one of the many fun activities run by our subcamp Venus.”

The theme for the Jamboree was ‘Our Celestial World’, inviting the young people to explore beyond international borders and discover our place in the wider universe. Organisers called on participants to challenge their mind, discover themselves and to find their inner strength: to reach for the stars and be who you want to be.

They were certainly not short for entertainment with activities including clay shooting, axe throwing, archery, the Army Mechanics badge, and climbing with abseiling, zip roping, crate staking and free fall jumping.  

“We all enjoyed ‘It’s A Knockout’, a fun-filled activity session which involved climbing through inflatable obstacle courses and jumping through foam,” added Hannah. “You could also earn badges by learning about Scouting history in the Heritage Zone.  Some of us enjoyed zorb balling and power kite flying in the afternoon, as well as an open-air cinema in the evening.”

Ironically, considering the summer temperatures, the chosen film was Frozen.

A day trip to Dover Castle and Canterbury saw the Scouts and Explorers go off-site to learn about life during the 12th Century as well as discovering the role of Dover Castle during the war. An Explorer-led treasure hunt of Canterbury was followed by fish and chips – breaking the shop record for the greatest number of meals ordered in one go.

“The closing ceremony was awesome, especially the ending fireworks,” said Hannah.  “We followed this with our exclusive 1st South Ascot after-party, with YCMA and Teenage Dirtbag among the big hits. On the last day we packed down and said goodbye after a week of forming lifelong relationships. We had such an amazing time that we are already making plans for our next jamboree.”

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