Submitted By: Christopher Maltais ,#20 St. Paul’s Scout Group, Sault Ste. Marie
Everyone wants to take the adventure of a lifetime. For some, the adventure might be to another country to visit another culture. For others, an ocean cruise might be the dream. For thousands of Scouts, the adventure of a lifetime will come in July of 2017.
Every four years, an event takes place for members involved with Scouts Canada called the Canadian Jamboree, better known as C.J.. This summer, C.J. will be held at Camp Nedooae about 45 minutes outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. A group of Scouts and leaders from Sault Ste. Marie will join somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 Scouts from across Canada, and other countries around the world, to take part in the adventure of a lifetime.
An event this big takes years to prepare for, which is one of the reasons it only takes place once every four years. A large site is needed and in many cases it has to be altered to accommodate such a large group. Scouts Canada tries to alternate the location of the Jamboree from the east coast to central Canada to the west coast, in order to diversify its sites. As well, on average a youth can be in Scouts for three to four years before their age requires them to move up to Venturer Scouts. This allows every youth to get at least one opportunity to attend a Canadian Jamboree.
C.J.is a week long camp that participants attend, fully contained, with everything from tents for sleeping, camp stoves for cooking and enough clothes to last seven to ten days, depending on how far you have to travel to get to the event. While Scouts are at C.J., there are games and events that take place every day of the week to entertain everyone. Approximately six months before the Jamboree, groups can go online to register, and pick their program from the many available options. Some examples of games that participants can take part in at Camp Nedooae this year, are: building challenges such as catapults and towers, highland games, cooking challenges, obstacle courses, hikes along the coast, deep sea fishing, ocean kayaking, the list goes on and on. Also included in the week are the opening ceremonies, with everyone to kick off the event and a Canada 150th anniversary celebration.
In order to put on an event this size, there is a registration cost to attend. The registration along with travel expenses, food, and various camp expenses must be paid by each person. Most groups will fund raise for up to three years prior to C.J.. All money that is raised gets split between whoever is able to attend each fundraiser. The more money that they are able to raise, the less money each family must pay out of pocket.
This year’s Scouts attending the Jamboree are excitedly planning their travel, their activities and working hard to raise funds. As the month of July approaches, plans become more in depth, from equipment to be packed, right down to what everyone will be eating each day. It’s a lot of work and planning, but the youth get to use the planning for this camp as a basis for other camps and activities they will attend in the future.
In the end, all of the hard work from planning and fundraising is worth it when the Scouts and leaders get their chance at the experience of a lifetime!