Scouting is a movement filled to the brim with life skills and opportunities for young people like myself, and one such opportunity is the International World Scout Jamboree. Last held in Japan four years ago, the World Scout Jamboree unites around 40,000 scouts and leaders, hence creating a magnificent event that thrives with almost all cultures and personalities. From the snowy summits of Alaska and the sandy shores of Australia to the soaking streets of Surrey, scouts will gather at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia in the summer of 2019 – all the countries seen below in purple will be represented.
However, only a select few lucky individuals from every country have the chance to attend, as they must first endure the vigorous selection process.
Tom Branney, Sonny Cruikshank and I (with Ilan Kotik as 1st reserve) were the ones eventually selected to go to North America – but only after we filled in a detailed application. After writing the perfect final paragraph on why we were ‘the best scouts ever’, we continued onto a long interview, held in front of a board of around six leaders and people in high scouting positions, where we were grilled (like sausages on the sizzle) with tough questions such as, “Why do you want to go…?” (Come on, nobody knows the answer to that!)
We finally emerged from the building, our cheeks sore from smiling and backs aching from maintaining perfect posture; clutching in our hand a sheet of paper… that informed us of a two day selection camp. I thought the interview was bad enough.
At the camp, tension filled the air as we all suddenly became ‘perfect’ scouts, asking if we could help, displaying fabulous leadership and being really, really nice. All the while in silent competition with our peers, and constantly under the eye of the leaders, evaluating how nice and how bossy we were. Over the course of two whole days we did a range of activities from team building exercises and pioneering to presentations.
We were each of us awarded a place out of a total of nine given to the Esher Scout district. Hinchley Wood took up a third of all places because we are obviously the ‘best scout troop ever’. A few of our fellow scouts were unsuccessful and this is a great disappointment as every person who applied truly deserved a spot and it is a great shame that there weren’t more spaces. But in one way they are the lucky ones, because they don’t have to fundraise thousands of pounds to pay for their places! Although we do have our units and our scout groups to help us fundraise by holding events, packing shopping bags in local shopping centres and doing group jobs like car washing, most will be done alone to raise funds with small acts such as gardening, sponsored activities and selling cakes and donuts. So if you see us please be generous!
After we got the news that we had been chosen we were then given our unit numbers, my unit is #64. Units are mixed groups of 32 Scouts, Ajax Sea Scouts and boys and girls from other scout divisions from all across Surrey, ensuring we are forming new friendships within the group and meeting new people from the wider area. With our different units, we will attend lots of ‘training camps’ teaching us essential knowledge about the Jamboree, to allow us to bond and to practice skills like putting up tents with millimetre precision.
The World Scout Jamboree offers a brand new experience for every person that is there, and opens their eyes to a myriad of different cultures and people from countless countries from six different continents. An opportunity like this is literally once-in-a-life-time. Everyone who got chosen is, I’m sure, hugely grateful and excited; and the work and commitment that goes into getting there will be well worth it.
“The 24th World Scout Jamboree” – here we come!
by Will Cruddas
Esher Scouts Orienteering Club has won the 2016-17 Southern Navigators Saturday Series trophy, for the second year in a row. There were some great individual performances with four scouts – two from Hinchley Wood – finishing first and second in two of the age groups.
The scout team scored 64 points from a maximum possible 66, with five event victories and one second place. Second place St Andrews School scored 54 and Tomlinscote had 50 in third.
- In B7 and under, Idris Wills came first and William Emmerson came second, both from 1st Hinchley Wood.
- In B8-9, Benedict Davidson took first place and Thomas Arnison came second, both from 1st Oxshott.
Also in the B7 age group and in their first season of orienteering, Alex Dall came ninth on the back of four runs, and Jamie Bingham came 15th with only three runs and a great result at the penultimate competitive event – both from 1st Claygate – showing great improvement over the series.
Esher Scouts Orienteering Club (ESOC) has had a great start to the orienteering season, winning the first two events in the Southern Navigators’ Saturday Series. This gives the club 22 points, six points clear of St Andrew’s School and Tomlinscote in joint second place.
At the first event of the season – Frith Hill near Camberley – ESOC runners Thomas Arnison, Idris Wills and William Emmerson took third, fourth and sixth places on orange. On yellow, newcomers Sophie Hutchison & Lucie Tinkler took 9th place and Christian Nicholson 14th.
The club had strong results at the second event at Bramshill in Berkshire. On the yellow course, pairs of scouts secured tightly-contested third, fourth and fifth places with less than 20 seconds between them. On the longer and harder orange course, individual runners William Emmerson, Benedict Davidson and Idris Wills were placed second, third and fifth respectively. Individual runners and those running without adult support score higher points in the competition.
The third event of the Saturday Series takes place on Saturday 12 November at Eagle House School, between Sandhurst and Crowthorne near Bracknell. This is a change from the previously advertised location (Ash South).
ESOC is an informal orienteering club affiliated to South London Orienteers which draws its members from the ten scout troops in the Esher District. Recently the most active troops have been Claygate, Hinchley Wood, the Molesey troops and Oxshott. The club won the 2015-16 Saturday Series and the 2016 Surrey Schools & Youth O-Festival.
Esher Scouts Orienteering Club has continued its run of form in 2016 by winning the Surrey Schools & Youth O-Festival. The competition was organised by Mole Valley Orienteering Club and held on Monday 27 June in Norbury Park, across the River Mole from Box Hill south of Leatherhead.
The two courses – Yellow and Orange – were more challenging than the team were used to and vegetation was particularly high after the recent rain. However that didn’t hold the team back.
William from Hinchley Wood won the Yellow course by 40 seconds, with Idris also from Hinchley Wood, in fourth place. Their younger siblings Cai & Bronwen and Harry & Nicholas finished as pairs in eighth and ninth place.
Oxshott Scouts Thomas, Benedict and Sofié secured fifth, sixth and eleventh places on Orange respectively.
Despite fielding a relatively small turnout, and with everyone still in their first year of orienteering, Esher Scouts took first place with 72 points ahead of George Abbott School with 65 points and Tormead and Boxgrove in joint third with 63.