Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

1st Training Camp (JOTA-JOTI)

It's late on a Friday night, and as I look around me I can see the faces of the Oxfordshire Unit to Japan. Already, I call them my friends. This is our first, of many, training camps away together in which we practise skills needed for our adventure. The venue was Youlbury Scout Activity Center, it seemed like only the day before that we were in the same place competing for 1 of the 36 places. But now we were all together, discussing how we each reacted to our letters. We were participating in JOTA-JOTI (Jamboree On The Airwaves - Jamboree On The Internet) an international event that connects Scouts from all across the globe through the use of technology. It was also a relaxed opportunity for us to bond as a unit.

Fundraising was a hot topic of conversation,  and we all had plenty of ideas. One of the more alarming suggestions was some sort of public waxing in which a normal member of the public would pay a certain amount to pull off a strip of body hair. What exactly Doris from down the road would get out of such a cruel and sadistic act, is past me, but I'm assured that it would bring in the dosh. Hopefully we will not reach a stage where this is necessary, but I fear that with such an enormous target of £130,000 you may very well in the near future, whilst popping into your local Greggs, hear the screams of an adolescent publicly losing his dignity (as well as a serious portion of his leg hair).

We managed to talk to fellow Scouts who were also going to Japan, held a virtual campfire with some Finnish Scouts and I even got to discuss the US Government shutdown with some charming US Girl Scouts. By far the highlight for me was to Skype my Scouting brother, Andres, from Columbia. We met on JOTI last year, and have been messaging each other ever since. We managed to set up Skype and it was great to finally talk to him in the flesh, about his culture and Scouting in his country. I persevered in explaining the laws of cricket to him, although I fear I may have failed miserably! I did not have much success, either, with describing what a Yorkshire pudding is! Despite the language barrier we spoke for hours, and I am honoured to call him a close friend. This is a great example of the power that Scouting has to unite young people across the world, and we all left with a taste of what to expect in Japan!