New Zealand jamboree challenging activities a great success
A tent city sprung up at the Mystery Creek Events Centre in Hamilton as over 4,000 Scouts and leaders moved in for the 19th New Zealand Scout Jamboree from 29 December 2010 to 6 January 2011.
Camp Chief Ross McKenzie said that organising the transport arrangements for Scouts from all over New Zealand has been a big logistical exercise. “They’ve come from one end of the country to the other. We’ve got something like 30 buses coming from Auckland alone.”
Scouts and leaders from other countries who participated were Australia, Cook Islands, Hong Kong, New Caledonia, Samoa, United States and Cambodia.
On the evening of 31st December, Scouts ended the year with a great night of entertainment and music. Lights, music and enthusiasm provided the perfect atmosphere making the party a huge success. Though, night was long, the energy was high that kept all eyes awake until the clock hit 12:00 midnight. After the party, Scouts rushed back to their tents for the next day's activities.
Ross added that as Waikato was an excellent location for the jamboree, the organisers provided activities that accommodated 3,500 Scouts each day over the nine-day period. He said that at the Mystery Creek Events Centre there were plenty of locations around the region and were utilised for run activities. A major hit was the notorious but everyone's favorite Challenge Valley, a very muddy activity that most Scouts needed to throw away their clothes after.
Another major hit on off-site “bases” for activities was the Findlay Park, where 450 Scouts and leaders were offered a range of water sports and land-based activities each day. Other locations include an abseiling and caving activity at Te Akau and walking over Maungatautari Mountain. Great Race competition events were done each day at Cambridge and Te Awamutu.
All Scouts and leaders had a fantastic moment in this nine-day jamboree. The colour, enthusiasm and excitement of the jamboree life were visible throughout the camp making the participants excited for another round of activities in the next jamboree.
Coinciding with the 19th NZ Jamboree, SCOUTS New Zealand conducted a 2-day Advanced Wood Badge Course for eight Pacific Island Leaders (5 from the Cook Islands and 3 from Samoa) from 31 December 2010 to 1 January 2011.
Mindful of the limited infrastructure in the participants home countries and a lack of an established adult leader training schemes, SCOUTS New Zealand resources were used widely in preparing the course programme and other materials needed. An introduction to SCOUTS New Zealand for Leaders was used as pre-course material to establish a common foundation for discussions for group structure and the relationships between leaders and youth.
Considering the limited resources and facilities that may occur back in the islands, SCOUTS New Zealand designed the course to equip them with practical skills for running a troop programme and leading a patrol camp. While some of the leaders have access to the SCOUTS NZ National Programme, some time was spent teaching limited programme planning skills to help them develop a local programme which is more suited to their environment and developing youth award schemes.
Presently, Samoa has one troop based at St Andrews School; Cook Islands has 3 land and 1 sea Scout groups and are now expanding with inclusion of the outer islands.
At the end of the course, participants rated the course highly indicating that they have acquired many new skills and had a good balance of learning between theory and practical lessons.
Picture 1: © SCOUTS New Zealand