Tuesday 8 August 2023

Squid ink pizza and barbarian doughnuts

 The problems at World Scout Jamboree have been in the news but I though it might be useful to share what we've heard directly from the attendees.

The first inkling of problems was on Tuesday last week, when Unit 59 leaders announced that they would delay going to the WJS by 24 hours as the camp wasn't ready, but they did arrive the next day on time for the opening ceremony which was a spectacular event for the 40,000+ scouts attending.

 (above Members of Hamble Sea Scouts attending WSJ)

It was on the Friday that further problems started, Scouts were asked to stay in their camp, and most of the WSJ activities were suspended due to the heat. Following day the whole UK contingent announced that they were pulling out of the WSJ camp and going back to hotels in Seoul. We had a tearful call from Joseph who like most of his until were really disappointment to be leaving, not least as they had invited the local Portuguese Scouts over for dinner and a cultural exchange which is one of the central points of WSJ. They were also relieved to be leaving as the heat was a problem, the tents being designed for temperate climate had become uninhabitable ovens, the overall total lack of shade on the site, poor facilities and ferocious insect bites (what else would be expected on reclaimed land on a tropical river delta? ).

The first night at the hotel was difficult they managed to get the girls into rooms 4 to a double, but many of the boys had to "camp out" in the ball room, as compensation they got to use the hotel spa so wasn't all bad. They've now got rooms,  and Sunday night a local football club offered 4000 tickets for those who wanted to see the match plus the Mayor put on bus tours around the city for those who didn't want to see the foottie (Joseph included).

 I've been tracking Typhoons since a couple of weeks prior to the event and Khunan which was moving toward Japan is now heading right for Korea  scheduled to arrive on Thursday when 4" of rain fall is predicted in 24 hours which would have undoubtedly flooded the campsite. The scouts in Seoul will probably have to stay indoors as it passes, but it will be an experience to see a Typhoon from  a safe location. Winds in Seoul are probably going to be 40-50mph which we get frequently at home,

Announced Monday that the remainder of the WSJ camp is now being closed, and the scouts being moved to accommodation.

Overall really disappointing that something all these scouts have trained for, not to mention all the fund raising they did hasn't lived up to expectations. That said traveling half way around the world, being part of the event and meeting and making friends with scouts from around the world and most of all coping with adversity are all good life lessons and apart from the disappointment when he called Saturday, all the reports we get are full of enthusiasm and delight, stories of making friends and people helping each other. The generosity of the Korean people to help has been been really great and hugely appreciated, as is all the work by the UK contingent leaders, arranging accommodation and activities.

And the Squid Ink Pizza and Barbarian Doughnuts? Away from camp cooking the scouts have been trying a wide variety of local food, a black pizza tastes better than perhaps it looks and the doughnuts were a definitely a spelling mistake.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, the cancellation was news here in NZ - disappointing, but as you quite correctly point out - dealing with adversity and disappointment are life skills. In the big picture nothings really lost.


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