Hi, I am writing this hurriedly to meet the deadline from Kirara- hama, site of the 23rd World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) in Japan. We are now almost half way through this great Jamboree and despite the heat, dust and lack of sleep (what’s new, isn’t that every Jamboree) the energy levels of the 30,000 participants are really high. Today, Sunday, started with a great Fellowship where 10,000 campers shared their religious observations at the arena in a special ecumenical service where we all worshipped together and then later in the afternoon the Crown Prince visited our Better World tent and spent time talking with Scouts from all over the world as they shared in new aspects of the Scout youth program.
In the evening he welcomed all Scouts at the Jamboree and then reminded us of the great times he had as a Scout and how these opportunities gained from Scouting and the Jamborees he attended has assisted him in later life. On the previous night, we were able to track the space shuttle as it moved across the sky over the Jamboree site and for a brief nine minutes of the ninety it takes to circumnavigate the earth twenty campers including one Queenslander had the opportunity to ask the astronaut, who is also an Eagle Scout about life in the space shuttle. For others it was a chance to think about the menu for the next meal- a successful Jamboree needs great food well prepared!
There is no doubt, the theme of the event is “和: A Spirit of Unity”, and this is evident throughout the campsite. The 23WSJ offers a wide choice of attractive programmes where our scouts are experiencing at firsthand, the diverse lifestyles of different countries, and build a wide friendship network in the world.
From the presentations offered and the comments of our young people in attendance, it is evident that Scouts Australia is pulling their weight in delivering current and exciting programs including WOSM initiatives such as Scouts of the World, SCENEs, the World Environment Badge and Messengers of Peace.
Our current national review of the Youth Program across all our Sections, will ensure we continue to deliver adventurous programs that are current and meaningful to every young person in Australia. Next month I will talk more about the Youth Program Review and how you can get more involved.
Best wishes to all and Great Scouting,
Peter Blatch, OAM
Deputy Chief Commissioner
Youth Program, Qld