International Tasters - Part 2
In this blog: Another busy week, with visits to another four international camps and the Guide Centenary Fusion. Plus Wayne extols the virtues of Scout Active Support.
Sunday and it must be Norjam 2010 at Norfolk County Showground near Norwich where 5,500 Scouts and Guides from 21 countries are camping at the County’s 13th international camp, held every four years.
With over a hundred activities to choose from there is plenty to do at Norjam, including a day visit to the Royal estate at Sandringham where participants get to try out a number of country sports and activities. I also got to go on the go karts and, although avoiding a crash or spinning off, I did get overtaken!
These are run by Scout Go Karts, a Lincolnshire based Scout Active Support Unit who are happy to visit various Scout events and provide karts for use by younger or older Members. A very popular activity here and elsewhere.
I was struck by how many other Active Support Units play a key part in helping to organise Norjam and other events. Eastbourne Scout First Aid, is another specialist unit providing all the medical facilities on-site including a small hospital as well as two ambulances and full radio communications unit.
Do you know on average how many participants they will see at such an event?* Chelmsford Fellowship provide the full catering for 700 of the adult staff on-site for the week, Trefoil Guild run a café and several local Fellowships provide everything from guest catering (thank you Pat) to a variety of other tasks.
As well as chatting to the leaders and Scouts visiting from Uganda, we also met up with the 1st Randalstown Scout Group from Northern Ireland who, like three other groups on site, are celebrating their Group centenary this week – what a great way to celebrate in style with a party for 5,500!
* 2% of participants on a week long camp will seek medical attention of some sort
Bear’s Island Adventure
Eight Scouts, winners of the competition open to Scouts holding their Chief Scout's Gold Award, joined the Chief Scout for a 24-hour survival camp this weekend where they travelled in a high speed rib, climbed, abseiled, caught rabbits and pigeons and learnt a variety of other Scout crafts on a small island off the coast of Wales. Congratulations to the Scouts who can boast that they survived 24 hours with Bear Grylls. Look out for details of next year’s opportunity to join Bear on his Island.
Dorset Scouts are fairly new to the International Camp circuit, this being the fourth Goose having started in 2001 – they have certainly learnt quickly and I was able to join 1,200 Scouts and Guides at their Buddens Activity Centre as they started out on their week of fun and adventure.
The on-site facilities include a large lake (the land is reclaimed from an old quarry site) where we joined a group canoeing and raft building as well as a great caving complex and climbing walls. The camp was also taking advantage of some unique attractions nearby, especially Brownsea Island and Bovington Tank Museum and track for day trips as well as power boating from Sandbanks and dry snow skiing!
The sun seemed to have followed me from Norfolk, although this didn’t stop the craft tent being busy where members from the Christchurch and neighbouring Active Support Units were running a wide range of traditional and new crafts.
I wasn’t quite so impressed with the proximity to the Bovington Army Training Centre as I left Buddens for my drive north when I realised I was in the middle of a convoy of tank transporters and so started a slow drive out of Dorset heading for Chamboree in Cheshire...