Well this will be a rather short post. Maybe. Won’t be as long as the last two (well as I wrote it all in one hit and made that one into two posts). So I left you with us on our way to Amsterdam (the royal we or us is my self and kit), on a bus, having crossed from England to France, having gone through immigration and receiving another stamp in our passports and arriving in mainland Europe. We arrive in Amsterdam early on a Saturday morning. And discovered that amsteradam does infact not open early on a saturdya morning, so after grabbing some breakfast, we boarded the train for a two hour ride to Roermond, for the jamboree in the nederlands. With our arrival in roermond we discovered that our directions to the jamboree site were rather lacking and we had best find out a bit more information, as there was no suttle bus. Well we asked the station staff, no help. We looked for signage, no help. We asked in the pub, and we got the answer we needed. So as we were walking along the road a rather young rover decided to accompany us and proved to be more of a hinderance than a help when we arrived at the jamboree sight. But we got there. So after setting up our tents, we checked in and had a lazy day and a fairly lazy morning, waiting to have our meeting, where we got to choose our roles for the jamboree. Knowing I was going to be working in program again in a few months, I decided to go give subcamp another go. This was a good choice, as the hours are poor, the jobs are wide and viared, but there is a lot more interaction with the kids and the leaders and your own team than what you have if you work on program. Its mearly the nature of the beast. I decided that my home for the jamboree as far as work was concerned, was going to be Subcamp Antartica, why, because they were all named after regions, and that was the closest one to Australia (yep weird logic I know)
For the opening ceremony they moved the entire camp of 14,000 people into town for the ceremony. The city was shut down almost for the few hours whilst the scouts had their party. Unfortuantly there was no location within the town that could hold all the scouts so we were spread across three locations and I think, even though with the live audio cross, it was a bit disappointing. But it was an amzing spectacle and a lot of fun.
If your wondering what I did for my role, I was a general odd jobs guy around the site. I helped with PA systems, works and services, program, information, general mantinace and what ever else was needed to be done. One of the uses they found for me was to present English content in a more natural way than the dutch people in my subcamp felt they could. So this meant that I ended up doing some interesting jobs. Each night they had a meeting of Troop Leaders, and I was used to present the information in English to enable it to be incorpated into the meeting and be done more efficiently instead of having some one in the group translate for them. I was also asked at one stage to assit with the MC duties at the subcamp talent show. This is a difficult job even in English but using a bit of English and a bit of dutch and a lot of body actions I was able to be effective in what I was doing.
On the Saturday of the jamboree, Kit and I decided that we needed to do laundry but the issue is that in roermond, the Laundromat is only open 4 days a week. So here we were, stuck with dirty laundry and no soap. Well when we got back to site, the subcamp team helped us out and we were able to get our laundry done! Hooray for scouting I guess.
Well that same day we were presented with a unique opportunity. When we had first been exploring the site after we arrived, we saw boats being paddled using a single oar, out the back oof the boat. We had no idea what it was but it was very cool. Well one day I was asking Ivo, one of the guys in my subcamp, what Wrikken was, as he was writing it on a notice board on one of the days. Well he told us and we then knew what it was. He then offerd to teach us how to do it. This was going to be a challgeng on a number of levels as he had never taught it anything othern than dutch and it is not the most easy of activites to learn how to do. Also he rarely teaches two students at once. Well the opportunity presented its self one day and he said that we should go. so that afternoon we went outon the water and got tied up with another boat. Well the process of how it works is a bit hard to explain. And its even hard to explain how it works. But considerd it to be like a fish moving its tail. But that’s about as ti gets as far as description of how it works go. we spent the best part of 2-3 hours out on the water, going through the basics and just getting our motion right. Well it turns out that both of us are quick learners and were able to get forward momentum by the end of the lesson. This is apparently quite and achivment and we went to dinner that night knowing we had manged to learn a new skll and have since been considering what various other vessles we could wrikken.
On an less positive note, I had an allergic reaction to dinner one night. It’s the first time in a while I have had my severe reaction, but it happened. But I dealth with it. The moral of the sotry? If you are going to invite internationals, and say the only compluslory language is English, put the form in English. But that was a bit of a recurring theme. They had invited scouts from around the world to the jamboree. And the scouts had come. But at the opening the English was mearly inceidental and most signage was done in only dutch. Well by the end of the jamboree they had learned that they needed to, whilst no being fully bilingual, included a lot more English, and the closing ceremony included a lot, all be it poor, English. Ironicly by the end of the jamboree we had learnt a fiar bit of dutch and whilst we are still unable to speak it, we are able to understand a large amount of it. My ability to systhaise information from dutch thought did presnt me with a few issues. The biggest of these being that the rest of my subcamp team forgot that I didn’t speak dutch. This was because I just seemed like part of the team and I was able to get some information from what was being said, and I was also doing about 50% of the trnsalation of the slides for the troop staff meeting each night and being assited with the other 50%.
So I had a great time at jub jamb. I ask my self would I go again, and the answer is proably not, but that is just because there is only so many weeks in the year and I would like to go and see and explore other bits of the world, besides just the nederlands.
Well you might be wondering what happens next……… well that comes soon