Viking staging post
3,560 Scoutsin 89 Units have arrived in Copenhagen over the past few days as the UK contingent to the 22nd World Scout Jamboree – but first they made the most of the opportunity to explore the wonderful city of Copenhagen and to take in some amazing activities.
Something for everyone
There really was something for everyone among the activities laid on by the Contingent Support Team (volunteers who, along with the Contingent Management Team, support the UK contingent).
For some it was taking over the local convention and sports centre to provide activities as varied as hip-hop, zumba dancing, blind painting, climbing the rather high outdoor tower, human table football or urban sports (a good excuse to run along the stair rails if you ask me).
Or for the more cultural, there was the chance to explore the city and take in the many sights and cultural centres. The Tivoli Gardens, the famous amusement park in the centre of the city, was packed not just with the UK Contingent but other Scouts from around the world who were also gathering to visit Copenhagen on their way to Sweden.
A river cruise?
The highlight for many however seemed to be the activity billed as a 'river cruise' which in reality turned out to be an exhilarating ride on one of six high-speed RIBs which had been chartered for three days for the Contingent’s exclusive use.
A poignant moment
Amongst all the excitement, it was good to see Scouts stopping for a moment’s reflection as they passed the Norwegian embassy where large numbers of flowers have been laid as a mark of respect in light of the tragic events in Norway.
The pre-event experience culminated with a massive party in the centre of Copenhagen where the contingent were entertained by a variety of acts from both Copenhagen and the UK, compered by two stars from Hollyoaks and headlined by Alpha Beat (the Scouts told me that they were 'awesome' – and I’m sure they were right)
Rarely do I get the opportunity to listen to so many members and hear nothing but praise, whether for the activities themselves, the accommodation in the city’s hostels or the organisation by the contingent team. And to think this was only the staging post to what will surely be the Scouts' most amazing experience and life-changing opportunity that is the Jamboree itself.
What it’s really about
Amongst all of the hubbub and excitement it is sometimes easy to miss the truly inspiring stories that Scouting brings to life. Getting to know Scouts from other parts of the world that we have invited to join us, including young people for whom an opportunity to enjoy something as simple as a bar of chocolate leaves them almost speechless. Now that’s what it’s all really about.