Essex International Jamboree 2012

EIJ2012 is now over and just as previous ones it was a fantastic week that is well organised by very dedicated teams of staff, thank you to them all.

This year involved myself and Ali Andrews taking 6 of our Explorers, all whom had a fantastic time there [or we think they did]. We decided to do it differently and went by train with Ali towing a trailer with the kit. It was a fun experience despite getting called ‘brownies’ by some football louts (which adds to my theory that football is for idiots) as we are clearly Scouts and not 7-10 year old girls or yummy and chocolate flavoured.

The site was a different one to that used in 2008 and in many ways much better but one issue was that at this new site all waste water had to go off site and so resulted in around 86,000 lts a day be shipped of to be dealt with. The new site had a new circular design to it, which in my opinion worked very well making it easy to get to anywhere quickly with the main entertainment arena in the middle. The design was also good should a fire have happened as it formed good fire breaks and allowed easy methods to escape.

The main issues that the site did have was not enough facility’s in the form of showers or loo’s, but the ones they did have were always in a good clean state, thanks to the weather and the site services team. Although the statement was made that we shouldn’t expect these facility’s as its a greenfield site and that having them is a bonus, the issue is unlike 15 year ago when everyone had to bring their own, its a facility that most have come to expect. Personally I could have survived all week with out a shower most lads/men don’t find this to hard, however it is nice to have one after a long sweaty day. Ali and I in fact didn’t queue for a shower all week, not because we didn’t have one but we got the timing for having one spot on.

We were most fortunate to have a lovely sunny week of weather, only getting rain on the Friday night at the closing ceremony.

The Explorers had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves with each day broken down into an activity from 9-12.30 and 2-5 this ranged from survival skills, it’s a knockout [fun team challenges] to eco-zone [learning about environment with E-on and Shelterbox], craft-zone [pyrography], water zone and many more. It must have been hard work as they all feel asleep on the train home.

They also had ‘Greenwich’ an area to go and have fun in which included the soft rock cafe [ummm milkshakes], cinema, EIJ Shop, Coffee bar [was good coffee] and internet access.

The opening ceremony was fantastic and was great to see so many people involved, everyone had a great time. The Jamboree was like others catchy and I actually like the song, just would have preferred a small house band with some different singers, anyway ‘Our World, Our Future’ good song and available on iTunes should you wish.

Ali and I had a good week of see what the Explorers were up to and relaxing, but not to much as we are professional Pot-washers. After being roped into 41st Cheltenham’s washing up, Paul Walker [Deputy Camp Chief, old friend of Ali’s] got us in to wash up the cooking the marines had done for the staff. I have to say in true Explorer leader style it was a right laugh and I even got a second dinner out of doing it.

On the open day we had to run an activity and the Explorers were struggling with what to run but luckily Ali came to the rescue with the Olympic Torch and I provided my new shiney camera for them to take picture of people with the torch so they could later download them from

All in all a fantastic week that like most Jamboree went far to quickly and I’m now looking forward to Essex 2016 just can decide to go as IST or a Leader?