Sunday, 27 September 2020


Jamboree an unforgettable experience for three local scouts

Life lessons and a myriad of awesome adventures were the rewards for three Whitianga Sea Scouts who fundraised their way to the 2020 New Zealand Scout jamboree at Mystery Creek Events Centre outside Hamilton.

Caitlin Bird, Cerys Green and Cameron Lee have just returned from the 11-day camp, which welcomed more than 4,000 Scouts and leaders from across the world between 28 December and 7 January.

The three were all part of the troop representing the Eastern Waikato region who travelled under the banner, “the Surf Breakers.” Whitianga Sea Scouts leaders, Chrissie Reilly and Darrell Bird, each accompanied the troop for half of the camp.

“Each troop had their own jamboree village, each with six patrols of six kids. It is very much a youth led programme with the kids taking responsibility for managing their camp and themselves. Us adults are just there to support,” said Chrissie.

Darrel agreed. “It was amazing to see the growth within the kids and how their confidence developed. It was a really safe environment where they felt comfortable pushing themselves,” he said.

Throughout the jamboree, the Scouts were involved in a range of fun activities designed to challenge themselves and encourage teamwork. “The day at Karapiro was my favourite. We were on the water for most of the day, we had to build a raft and we did sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking and tubing,” Cameron said.

Collecting and swapping badges was another huge part of the camp social scene. “It was next level and the adults were worse than the kids,” laughed Darrell.

Caitlin also chose Karapiro as her highlight, while for Cerys, rifle shooting was her favourite activity, which was part of a day programme that also included archery, mountain biking, drift cars and changing a tyre among others.

“The whole thing was so well organised, it felt very safe, there was a strong focus on health and safety, and hygiene and everything ran like clockwork,” said Chrissie.

Each patrol also had a duty day when they needed to look after the camp maintenance and do all the catering for their troop. “So, in the morning they had a cooking lesson showing them how to prepare the meals for the day. They then had to go to the site supermarket and collect all their ingredients. It was a huge task, but it was amazing to see how the children managed it and how much they learned,” said Daryll.

The children also loved meeting other Scouts from across New Zealand and around the world.

Caitlyn enjoyed the experience so much, she is already setting her sights on attending future jamborees. “The next one happening near us is in Sydney in 2022 and I’d really like to go to that. There is also the World Jamboree in South Korea in three years, that would be cool,” she said.

Any Scouts who had achieved their bronze badge was eligible to attend the jamboree at the Mystery Creek Events Centre, but needed to raise the $1,000 cost. “I made necklaces and windchimes and sold them at markets,” said Cerys.

One of Cameron and Caitlin’s fundraisers was collecting and selling pinecones. There were also several sausage sizzles and the Scouts also received a donation for handing out water during the Whitianga Half Marathon. “They put the effort in and they definitely earned their spots,” said Darrell.

Pictured: Whitianga Sea Scouts, Caitlin Bird, Cerys Green and Cameron Lee who attended the New Zealand Scout Jamboree in Hamilton, along with leaders (back) Darrell Bird and Chrissie Reilly.


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