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News

Behind the scenes: volunteering at the jamboree kitchen

2nd Aug 2011

Megan is jovial and a good storyteller. Her jamboree ID reads, Megan Lo Wing Shan, from Hong Kong. Although work at the kitchen – where she volunteers – can be frantic, no panic is her maxim. Back at home in Hong Kong, Megan works as a Chinese/English translator and volunteers as a Cub Scout Leader.

All the way from Hong Kong, this 31-year-old came to Sweden to join the jamboree IST to serve as part of one the biggest catering operations in the history of Scouting: the 22nd World Scout Jamboree kitchen.

In this beehive of activity, in an attempt to serve the multitudes of about 10,000 patrons (only ISTs eat at the jamboree kitchen, while the 29,000 participants eat in their sub-camps), 2 plates are served per second at 24 canteen places. The jamboree’s dining hall consists of two big tents with the cumulative capacity of 4,000 seats.

To ensure a seamless catering operation, volunteers, who include both professionals and general staff, work almost round the clock. There are two shifts: one from 05.30 to 15.50; another from 17.30 to midnight.

On some occasions, Megan confesses that she has shed a tear or two. The work is at times tough. They have to wake up very early in the morning or work till very late. “While serving for instance, it is difficult to know what size of portion each person would like to have. Some want a big portion, while others want small ones”, she explains.

All the same, for Megan this is a unique opportunity. She feels lucky to be part of the kitchen team. She benefitted from on the-job-training once she joined. Thanks to this stint, she has learnt more about herself and about how to take care of others.

Photos: Nuno Perestrelo Chorão
Story: Euloge Ishimwe