Written by Caitlin Dace
“It was an honour and a privilege to be part of the South African contingent that recently participated at the 24th World Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia (USA). An experience of a lifetime which I will never forget. The pre-tour of New York and Washington DC was also an amazing and educational experience. It allowed us time to get to know and bond with our fellow Scouts from around South Africa.
During the opening ceremony the South African Contingent went on stage with the international star, Lebo M. This was a huge eye-opener for me! Whilst dancing on stage I got to look out over more than 40,000 Scouts from across the world, which was only a small privileged percentage of the over 50 million Scouts worldwide. Only then, did I begin to realise how big the Scouting Movement actually is.
My highlight from the jamboree was cultural day, where Scouts dressed up in their traditional or heritage clothing. Being able to see different races, cultures and religions from all over the world, all in one day was spectacular! One of my many memorable moments of the day was seeing all the South African Scouts united as one as we competed against Australian Scouts, as well as Scouts from England in fun rugby matches. We sung our National Anthem, blew our vuvuzelas, served Rooibos tea and Ouma rusks and attempted to teach Scouts from other countries how to ‘sokkie’ or Zulu dance. We were truly proud South African Scouts!
At the Jamboree there were many adventure activities such as rock climbing, zip lines, forest canopy ropes, scuba diving, white water rafting, mountain and BMX biking and skateboarding to name a few. The ques to participate in these activities were long, but time passed quickly as I chatted to Scouts from other countries and made new friends in the worldwide Scouting family. Some of the other activities included a live video link with astronauts on the international space station, discussing the United Nations sustainability goals from the perspective of Scouts around the world and exploring new ways of doing things – using new technology – thus unlocking a new world, which was the theme of the Jamboree.
Of course it sadly had to come to an end. In a flash, there I was standing at the closing ceremony, watching a magnificent fireworks and laser display marking the end of the 24th World Scout Jamboree.”
Caitlin Dace, Taung Troop
Puff Adder Patrol
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