Tim McGovern, Oxfordshire Scouts Jamboree Unit, 22nd February 2011

Tim McGovern is one of 36 Oxfordshire Scouts and one of 4,000 UK Scouts between the ages of 14 and 18 to have been selected for the Global Scout Jamboree in Kristianstad, Sweden in July 2011. 38,000 scouts from 120 countries will spend two weeks at the Jamboree.

Tim is fourteen and gave us a very informative and entertaining presentation. He told us how the Jamboree is an opportunity to meet Scouts from different cultures, religions, countries and contingents. Living in a field for two weeks, they will explore ways to better protect the world we live in and build solidarity between Scouts while promoting unity between Scout Organisations globally.

The jamborees have been held every four years since 1920. It has been cancelled only twice – during the Second World War, and in 1979 when it was scheduled to be held in Iran. The theme for the 2011 event is Simply Scouting.

In Oxfordshire, there were 90 applicants for 36 places. Tim told us about the selection process, where team leaders were looking for teamwork, leadership skills and participation. 25 boys and 11 girls were selected. He told us about the Unit Leader Paul who insists on silly hats and so the Mad Hatter’s unit logo developed from this.

Tim and his colleagues will attend six training camps in preparation for the July camp. Each camp has an ABBA name – again Paul’s idea we were told. Their second camp included a visit to Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour – the site of first ever scout camp run by Baden-Powell in 1907.

The Oxfordshire scouts are also raising funds so that scouts from Armenia, Papua New Guinea and Sierra Leone can attend the jamboree. The fundraising target is £100,000 and so when not at training camps, the scouts and their families are busy with all sorts of fundraising activities.

The scouts will spend two days in Copenhagen in advance of the Jamboree, where they will meet with other UK scouts before going to the main camp in Kristianstad.

Club members only – see Tim’s postcard from the jamboree
Tim returned to speak to the club in October 2011. Read about his second presentation.