Twickeree was a word that struck fear into even the stoutest Scouting hearts, a weekend camp held in Marble Hill Park every few years where each group was expected to come up with a themed activity, take part in sectional displays that required weeks of preparation and create camp gates of ever-increasing complexity, all in competition with the other groups. It was in short exhausting and all for a weekend camp! Fast forward to 2023 and one sunny afternoon at camp I mused how this year’s jamboree camp was much like this, but held over an entire week… how sensible!
We cheated a little and set up camp on the Friday, a day before our Young People came down and Explorer dad John H started building our camp gate, a traditional design built from pioneering poles and rope. This was in a maple-leaf design to complement our choice of Canada as our country to represent.
Numbers of Young People were a little lower than we hoped for, especially as we’d advertised the date pretty much a year ahead, but 10 Scouts and 18 Cubs were signed up and duly arrived on the Saturday, celebrating with a jamboree opening event with music, albeit probably a little old for many of the Cubs and Scouts given they were playing tracks from the 60s and 70s!
From the Sunday, it was activities, activities and more activities as Richmond District had taken over the entire camp site and to enable this (sometimes they had three activities in a morning alone) we had a catering crew come in to provide lunch and dinner. My immense thanks to Bryony, Lisa, B, Hannah and Mari for the brilliant food they provided. Sunday evening saw us at a camp-fire with our Explorers.
Monday saw all of 3HH off by coach to the Coral Reef for the morning and then back for more activities in the afternoon and then a wide game for the Cubs, a bit scary for them in places as it was dark. Tuesday was onsite all day on… yep, more activities. Wednesday was the Korea celebration day where each group ran an activity, ours being ‘ice-hockey’ but without the ice! The Cubs and Scouts just toured the site the whole day, trying out the different activities. During this time they also took part in Rounders and Volleyball competitions, our Cubs making the final of the Rounders and then winning with a final flourish from Horatio! Our Cubs left for home Wednesday evening after an unprecedented four nights away and it’s a testament to the Cub team that we saw no home-sickness and that all Cubs ate and slept well.
Thursday and Friday were much quieter with just the Scouts onsite and they were able to revert to more traditional camping by catering for themselves. Friday saw them all off to the Zoo, so I volunteered to stay back at site and look after things (read pack as much stuff away as possible ready for tomorrow). Friday evening’s closing ceremony was loud and proud with a live band to close proceedings, but now before the winners of the best camp gate were announced and congratulations go to John H for his fabulous two-day build which even ended up featured on the County website.
Here’s how the event was recorded on the District website – An unforgettable Jamboree | Richmond upon Thames (richmondscouts.org.uk) The District should be rightly proud of the immense job they did on providing a real Jamboree experience in Chalfont, they really pulled out all the stops.
And you can see just some of the fun in the gallery here!