Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day 10 - Monday July 30th

The day started off with a full English breakfast consisting of back bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, hash browns and stewed tomato. Yesterday, started off with a full English breakfast, every day starts off with a full English breakfast which has become a joke at camp while we wait in the meal queque 'wonder what's for breakfast today'.

Spent the day working at the Canada activity area at the World Village program site which was the first day of full program operation at the World Village. The activities the Scouts can do is to paint a maple leaf on a small wooden paddle which the Scouts can keep as a key chain, do soap stone carving, log sawing contest and play lacrosse. We tried playing ground hockey but it doesn't work the best on the grass, however the lacross worked well. Only one injury where one Scout scraped off a small layer of skin while playing lacrosse in which I had to clean up and put a bandaid on. Afterwards he rushed back out to play lacrosse as he was more concerned about missing playing verses his small injury.

Here are some photos of the paddle painting, log sawing contest and some of the soapstone creations that were made which turned out very well. Thanks for the comments that you are enjoying my blog.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Day 9 - Sunday July 29th

The day started out with my 45 minute trek to the World Village program area where Scouts Canada is putting on an activity which consists of soapstone carving, paddle painting (small 3 inches paddles where the Scouts get to paint a red maple leaf on it and can use it as a key chain), lacrosse and ground hockey. On my hike there I met a nice Brit and we had a good chat as to the state of affairs. As we were entering the program area we were told the site would not be opening because the water and washrooms had not been hooked up yet in the area. So, I went to our program tent and the rest of the gang were practicing soapstone carving. Here are three pictures of them and a display of their final creations put together as a scene. I am sure these pieces of art will fetch about $1.5 million at the National Art Gallery.

Some pictures of the Contingent displays at the World Scout Village. This is a replica of Big Ben at the entrance of the UK pavillion where they have set up a walk or tour thru the different areas and cultures in the UK:

Some pictures of other contingent set-ups:

Some of the other displays and gateways at the Jamboree:

Each day is getting busier and busier and I hope to spent a little time each morning before breakfast to add to the blog. Thanks everyone for checking in on my blog. We were told yesterday the weather for the next 4 days will be sunshine which I hope will dry up all this mud. Thanks Sheila for the advice on bringing my wellingtons. They bring a whole new dimenion on being able to squish thru the mud and be happy.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Day 8 - Saturday July 28th (Opening Ceremony)

Well, today was a hectic day with preparations for the Opening Cermony. It was originally plans for the evening, however, had to be changed to the afternoon in order for Prince William to attend. Attached are some of the pictures I took:
A medevil horseman at the start of the Opening to symbolize the UK heritage.

A picture of the Opening.

Some more pre-opening entertainment

Huge ballons representing the four countries that make up the UK.

A picture of some of the Scouts.

The World Scout Centre clock.

Hyland House where the Jamboree using Hyland Park that surrounds the house. Had afternoon tea and scones with Jeanette at Carruage Tea House next to Hyland House which was nice after the Opening.

Since they were unable to have the show and lights in the afternoon the music entertainment show and light part will continue this evening for the Scouts.

Day 7 - Friday July 27th

Spent the day arranging to ship my small suitcase to Ken and Sheila to make it easier to carry my gears out at the end. Took a bus to Chelmsford and had to go to a few places before I could arrange to have it shipped. The Jamboree site came alive with the 40,000 Scouts arriving to set-up. Tomorrow is the big Opening Ceremony with Prince William attending. I hope to be able to walk around and take some pictures of the different gateways now that the Jamboree is in full swing. Here are a couple of pictures of our campsite at sunrise at about 5:30 am (it is cool in the mornings):

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Day 6 - July 26th

After the big IST THANK YOU party last night, the camp seemed to be later in getting up. I went for an early shower at 5:30 am at it was busier than usual. By 6:30 am there was a line up to get in the building now that the IST subcamp is full of IST. The breakfast line-up is much longer now as well.

The Jamboree site is growing everyday as the excitement of the Scouts arriving grows. The UK contingent have started to arrive on site.

My first task today was to head off and check for 3 missing tents. On our way on the bikes we decided to take a side trip to a little town call Writtle where we found a Post Office that was selling the Jamboree stamps and a bank where we could exchange some Canadian $$$ for British £££. Writtle is a nice little village and had a long talk with one of the locals about where I was from Canada.

After checking the Canadian World Village program tent and unable to find the missing tents it was back to Canada House. Myself and Freda headed off to the Contingent Support Centre to check on tomorrows lunches for our Scouts arriving and to ensure changes to the participant last was updated. On the way from the Contingent Support Centre Freda fell off the bike and was in great pain, Luckily a student doctor and support staff with a walkie talkie was nearby and they had an ambulance on the way quickly. Found out later she had broken two ribs. Freda asked I continue on to Jamboree HQ to check on the participant list and lunches. After getting thru the screening point and into the heart of the Jamboree HQ you could feel the adrenaline of the Scouters working there.Was able to meet with a couple of great UK Scouters who offered us a cup of tea as we waited. As I was waiting Freda appeared from the hospital and I walked with her slowly back to Canada House.

Since one of the bikes was not working properly I took it to the bike shop for repair. They have a complete bike repair shop where the chain spindle was replaced in about 30 minutes. Here is a picture:

Then I was off biking to Writtle again to fill a prescription for Freda from the hospital. THe UK weather decided to give us a nice little downpour for my bike ride. Found the local village pharmacy and they fill the prescription and I was glad to have my raingear for the bike ride back to the camp.

After about 2 hours of heavy rain it let up and the sun came out after everything was drench which will surely become a mud pitt again.

At Canada House some of the Build Team entertained was with some music. Here is a picture:

On my bike ride to supper it was interesting to see some of the UK contingents building their camp site which I took a few pictures below. Oh what a day!!!!!

Day 5 con't - July 25th

Christmas in July. The gang from Quebec celebrated Christmas in July. What an enthusiastic bunch of young Canadians. One of my tasks was to head off to transportation to pick up the bikes for the Canadian contingent. As we hiked through the Jamboree we sang Christmas songs, much to the surprise to others at the Jamboree. It was so funny when we went by the Scout World Centre when music from the theme 'Mission Impossible' was playing and the gang mimicked some of Mission Impossible and 007 spy movie moves which had everyone wondering what was going on. Where was my camera when I needed it.

Meet a nice lady - Tracy from the bike pick-up, who wasn't going to give us the bikes without a receipt. After a couple of phone calls and fancy talking I was able to arrange to pick up the bikes. The six of us had fun zooming back thru the Jamboree with our new toys. Who would have thought a bike ride could be so much fun.

The construction of Canada House is proceeding. Here is a picture of the moose outside and you can see where Sebastan (the carpenter)and the 'Canadian build team's putting down the floor so Canada House doesn't turn into a mud pit.

I ended up hiking from one end of the Jamboree to the other, trying to find somewhere to determine if the 13 IST's that are missing from my arrival list are on site. The final solution was to have a message put on the computer system to have them check-in with us. When our nametags (which has a bar code on it) is scanned at meal check-in a message will appear to have them check in with us at Canada House. This part of the computer setup is amazing.

The Jamboree organizers had a big THANK YOU party for the IST last night with music and a light show. When you get 8000 Scouters in one spot is allot of people. The quiet get-togethers at the Pub to talk with the rest of the Canadian Build Team are over.

Here is a picture of the Jamboree temprary steel road that has been placed to protect the grass underneath from the heavy vehicles.

Things are slowly coming together as the excitment of the Jamboree opening builds. The Brits are doing a fantastic job if only the weather will co-operate. Today was rain free. Yipee.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day 5 - July 24th

Hooray the Internet is finally working, so will be able to add to the blog. My activities for today is to try and find some of the Canadian ISTs that are missing.and whether they are on site but just that we don't know.The weather is a mixture of sun and cloud (and thankfully no rain). Hard to know what to wear. When the sun shines it is hot. However, when a cloud goes by, the wind turns cold and you have to put on a fleece jacket and long pants, so you always have to have extra clothes with you when you go somewhere. Since my cammera battery just died I will add more pictures later.

Day 4 - Tuesday July 24th

Spent the day receiving Canadian ISTs. From the time of arrival at Heathrow to the Jamboree site was taking about 4 to 5 hours. The sun is shining and starting to dry up the mud but it is still very mudddy in spots. While sitting and waiting at the Arrival check-in with Mo-Mo from Montreal, we had a good talk about french and english culture and she felt that instead of being french and english, like back home, that she felt we are Canadian and how everyone was willing to practice both english and french. I learned some interesting french swear words. After a long day, finally hit the sack around 11 pm and slept like a log. I am glad I waterproofed my tent before leaving as it has not leaked and I am keeping dry. There are about 8000 IST on site now. The excitment of te Jamboree starting with the 40,000 participants arriving on July 27th and the Opening Ceremony on July 28th continues to grow. The mud has not put a dampen on things but helps carry on a friendly conversations with people from around the world. Here are some pictures of the mud:

Day 3 - Monday July 23rd

Spent day preparing for Canadian ISTs to arrive and assign them to their tents. It was back to pen and paper as the Internet and computers were not working. There are about 2000 IST in camp. The big flood of IST will be tomorrow. It rained steady all afternoon and the site turned into a mud hole. My 'wellingtons' (rubber boots)came in handy and were worth their weight in gold, as I squished in the mud walking around. Some of the early IST arrived in the rain and were happy to see their tents up, so they didn't have to put them up in the rain. Here is picture of our IST campsite with all the tents:

Day 2 - Sunday July 22nd

Spent the day putting up the Canadian International Service Team (IST) tents and planning the IST camping area. The Jamboree is huge and what looks like a short distance turns out to be a fair hike. Spent the afternoon helping to put up tents for what we call 'Canada House' where we will have a display of Canada for Jamboree participants and visitors to check-out. We then hiked to the World Village activity area to where Canada will be putting on one of the activities. Then a long hike back to the IST camping area for supper. Amazing how the Jamboree is growing so fast with lots of tents and IST's arriving. Here are some pictures of building Canada House:

Day 1 - Friday July 20/Saturday July 21

Well, my Jamboree experience started with a pleasant surprise when I flew from Ottawa to Heathrow. Since I was assigned a seat in the front of the economy section when I went to board, the gate agent said 'shows already boarded' just as another agent was announcing 'anyone else for London'. I jokingly said I was planning to fly to London but maybe not, since I don't have a seat. Just then the gate agent said 'you have been assigned another seat in Business class - here is you new boarding pass.' My surprise was the plane was one of Air Canada's new 767's which has these new angled individual compartments for Business class, where you can recline the seat so you can actually sleep like a bed. Many THANKS Rod for making my start of the trip a very enjoyable one.

When I arrived in Heathrow, after such a nice flight, I arranged for my coach (bus) ticket to Stansted airport to catch the shuttle bus to the Jamboree site. While waiting in the waiting area a lady noticed a small duffle bag tucked behind a payphone/vending machine area, kind of hidden. She asked if it belonged to anyone and when no-one answered, she informed the bus security who imediately radioed in to report it. After two quick announcements, for the owner to claim the bag, they started to evacuate the area and brought in the sniffer dogs. It was amazing to watch a beautiful beagle and black lab work with precision to snift the entire area. Since it didn't show signs of explosives, they removed the bag and gave the all clear. An interesting welcome to London, but a fantastic demonstartion of how serious the Brits take security.

After a 1.5 hour bus ride to Stansted and a 1.5 hour wait for the shuttle bus I finally made it around 1 pm. After a long hike and check-in, I was directed to where I could set up my tent where I found other Canadians seting up their tents. Here is a photo of my tent with the Canadian flag on it.

After setting up and getting everything inside my tent there was a huge downpour which lasted 30 minutes, then cleared. Glad to have been able to set up before the rain. Helped other Canadians set up their tents, then we went for supper around 6:30 pm. Here is a photo of the Canadians that arrived early to help build Canada House and our activity area at the World Village called 'the build team' at supper. Tomorrow is up for 6 am breakfast and then a 7:15 Canadian built team meeting.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A couple of pictures.

Thought I would add a few more photos: One of stain glass tower from Japan and one of the ice carvings from Ottawa's Winterlude this year.

Welcome to my blog.

Time for me to enter the new cyber world and start my very own blog. I am planning to attend the World Scout Jamboree in England from July 21st to August 9th and will try to add to this blog during the Jamboree. So check back as often as you can and see what I have been up to. Thanks for checking out my blog. I thought I would start off my blog by adding a picture of Hanako my dog which is japanese for "flower girl".