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Discovering Japan

Whew!
4 days since we left the Jamboree, and man, have we been busy!
Since healthy planning is overrated, my patrol and I went straight from the Jamboree to Mt Fuji, to ascend it. During the night. Without proper equipement, and without having slept the night before.
...
Yeah. It was exactly as stupid and hard as it sounds.
BUT! We got to the summit before sunrise, and got some gorgeous photos! It really was a once-in-a-lifetime amazing experience!
After that, we travelled to Tokyo for a 2-day trip with a mix of traditional Shinto shrines, and hyper-modern neon districts.
This giant Torii is from Meiji-Jingu, a Shinto shrine in central Tokyo. It was so tranquil!
After our stay in Tokyo, we went to Kyoto, to discover the historical Japan - aka, se a million shrines and temples. The one above is called the "golden pavilion" - the 2nd and 3rd floor is gold-covered!
And finally, today, we went to the bamboo grove, to the famous Nijo-Jo castle (with the nightingale floor - it really sings under your feet!), to a Japanese tea ceremony, and finished up with awesome vegan dinner! Livin' la vida Scout-style!

Jake





The end of the Jamboree


(this entry was originally posted at August 9, but cyberspace lost it...)

Wow. The time really flies. 
The 23rd World Scout Jamboree has officially ended for good and there will never be one just like it. 
Most of the participants left yesterday, and almost every IST will leave today. The only people who'll still be at the campsites are Heads (people with some sort of responsibility) and a few participants and ISTs waiting for their flight home. 

Eating dinner in the Staff Restaurant, great as always..


Why use the disposable cutlery when you can use a SPORK?

The best breakfast when they just wanted to get rid of all tomatoes and handed them out! 



The last couple of days has been mad, like all days here. Time flies away from the minute you wake up and leave the tent, til the time is too late at night and you get back to the tent to sleep. Everything between that is just a crazy mix of things you do.  

Like I said before the Jamboree, the best thing about the whole happening are the cultural exchanges and how people deal with cultural differences. The struggle with different languages and the lack of same language knowledge might be the most fun, and frustrating, during these kind of events. You try to meet people from every country there is and talk to them, but the conversations can be a real struggle. But no one gives up, people just throw out their phones and translates the words they don't know and just like magic everything is fixed! 
And it doesn't matter if you and your fellow friends doesn't speak the same language. We are all scouts who share the same foundation and have a mutual understanding for how we want be. 
This fantastic behavior is visual at any time, but it is really enhanced at the Jamboree. And everyone just love it. 


Pimping the tents are the best trick to be able to find them at night when every tent look the same. 

Me and my working group - amazing as always!


Amazing picture of the sun going down at the closing ceremony. 


The mail goal now is to go to our hostel in Kyoto and do so sleeping and laundry before we can start our sightseeing trip!








New roads, new adventures

Like all great things, even a Jamboree must come to an end. This is the last post I'll write while at the Jamboree - my next post will be from Tokyo.
It's been an amazing journey, this camp, with many ups and downs. I've met a ton of new friends from all over the world, learned so much about the Scout movement and opportunities within it - like work at a permanent mini-Jamboree in Switzerland - experienced new cultures... The list is endless. 
I swapped my Swedish Scout shirt (darn green one) for a Taiwanese shirt (the one I'm wearing in the picture)! It's a super comfy shirt, much better suited to the humid hotness that is the Japanese summer.
Some of my new - and old - friends here at the Jamboree. Definitely the thing I'll miss the most!
With my mother and brother coming to visit me, we went into town and found a small sushi place - one of the kinds of sushi was raw mini-squids!
At our work with the birdwatching, they had horseshoe crabs - I thought they looked like Facehuggers from the Alien movie...

Tomorrow is the closing cermony for the Jamboree; in three day's time, my friends and I will be on our way up Mt Fuji. So while this adventure - this wonderful, stressful Jamboree adventure - is coming to and end, another one is about to start. And I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.
Jake




Jam, jam, Jamboree

Jake again, sitting in a quiet corner, enjoying the coolness of the evening.
There are only 4 days left of the Jamboree, and I don't know how to feel about it. On the one hand, it'll be nice to travel around and explore Japan, and sleep in a real bed again. On the other hand - I'll miss this. I'll miss having friends from Brazil and the UK just a minute away. I'll miss the chances of trading scout stories from across the world over dinner. Most of all, I'll miss the incredible feeling of unity and solidarity that all of the people here seem to share - the feeling that we are all one big scout family.
Today was the last day of soccer for me - tomorrow, I'm on bird watching, and then I don't have any more work until the Jamboree is over.
One of the great things to do at camp - learn about different religions. Here, I'm trying on a Sikh turban.
For cultural day, there was an airplane show where they made the Jamboree symbol!
My friends and I built a Brittish Winterfell, for the Friendship Award.

All in all, things are still wonderful, even if they're coming to an end - like all things will.

Jake.







Midway through the Jamboree


Hi! Louise writing again, and this time it's Monday and we're already midway through the Jamboree. At lot of things have happened since I posted my last blog entry. Where shall I even begin my story of the last few days? 




Our IST campsite is not the best, but we have a beautiful view over the sunset every evening. 

What do we do during daytime? Apart from staying away from the sun and the heat, every scout at this camp have something to do.
The participants have seven special programs for every day (of course they have some day off). Three of them are on-site, three of them are off-site, and one of them could be both on- and off-site. I'm not going to tell you detailed info about every program, but that's mostly because I really don't know a lot about them. Some of the programs are recurring ones for every Jamboree, and one of them is the Global Development Village (GDV). At the GDV, the participants learn and discuss about many global issues and how every individual person can tackle them in their daily life. They discuss subjects like Human Rights, Health, Poverty, Environment and Sustainability, and what we as humans can do to affect them. If you ask me, I think the main reason of the Jamboree is for people from different cultures to meet and exchange greetings. Clearly someone else have they same idea since one of the participant programs is Culture. As I understand it, the participants will be given the chance to try things from other cultures, maybe some clothing and games, and then they discuss what they experienced. The main idea of the Culture program is the understanding of differences between cultures and to ease our mutual understanding and to embrace the spirit of unity. 



I managed to catch some of the beautiful red moon the other day. 
So that's what the participants do. What do I fill my days with? My job is in the Marketing and Communication Department, and it's basically everything that connects with media. I got sorted into the department that handles our Young Spokespersons, which are about 70 scouts from different countries with the assignment to talk to media. Their job is to talk to media like TV or radio, but also to do some interviews or participate in video shooting for activities on-site. The major task my group of scouts got to do was the interview with NASA and the International Space Station. I can't relly mean the REAL International Space Station (ISS) in outer space? Yes I do. A few days ago there was a planned radio contact between the World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) and ISS. The radio scouts in charge of the technicalities had some trouble getting contact with the station, but when the astronaut finally answered we all got so exited! It's hard to put it down in words because of the many mixed feelings that went through our bodies that night. We were actually talking live with a person in outer space! It all became more real when we actually saw the station fly above our heads across the sky. It was a fantastic experience for the young scouts but for ourselves as well. 
When I'm not working I hang out with other scouts both from home, my IST job and random people I meet at the campsite. It's very easy to start talking to random scouts, hang out with them and then not seeing them again. Or you do. But that's the beauty of scouting at camps, everything is casual and you can talk to every person you meet! 


My friend trying to squeeze the moon. 


The radio tent where people sit 24 hours a day, talking to people from all across the world.




Happy scouts preparing for the NASA/WSJ radio contact.



This is the recording of our NASA/WSJ radio contact. The pictures in the background is some old footage. 

Midway through the Jamboree, a lot of things are happening around the campsite. People and departments arrange activities both on-site and off-site. I have seen people playing football, going on picture scavenger hunt, taking the bus in to the city for some tourism and to bath in hot springs. And because of the massive heat, humidity and the crazy sun, there's a lot of people that suffers from sunstroke and other related illnesses. Here and there you see people faint and the Jamboree hospital is never empty. A big shoutout to all the ISTs that's currently working in the hospital and at all First Aid Tents, you're doing a great job!

That's everything I had for you at the moment, but I have a lot more to tell you about in my next blog entry! 



Over and out

a sunburned Louise


One of the best wi-fi areas with lights and benches. There's always a few hundred people hanging out around these spots. 


















Sunny, happy days

Whew! Jake here, feeling quite faint from the heat! It gets over 40 degrees during the day, so it's no wonder!
I'm having a blast here at the Jamboree! It's super fun, even though I often feel like I'm melting. We're usually sitting in the shade when we're not working, playing cards or just talking.
A picture of our camp, baking in the sun.
Sunset over the camp.
We're super lucky to have a beach at camp; every evening, we go swimming to cool down.
There is a festival going on here as well; last night, they had the most amazing fireworks show!
All in all, it's going pretty well. One of the best things about a jamboree is that it's so easy to make new friends, and have new adventures. 
Until next time! Jake




1 2 3, shout Jamboree!

Wohoo, Jake is in Japan!
The Jamboree is oficially open now, and it. Is. Amazing.
I just can't believe that I'm here! Apart from the heat (which is a killer) everything is fantastic - the other volunteers, the participants, and the feeling of being in a separate, miniature world.
A picture from the opening, where all 33000 scouts gathered to sing and celebrate that we're lucky enough to be here, in Japan, sharing this adventure.
A costume of a Taiwanese child god, believed to bring good luck.
The people I work with, going over the rules of soccer (our work station).
My friend and I, enjoying life at the Jamboree.

Of course, we've done things outside of the Jamboree, too: we've been to Miyajima, an island just outside of Hiroshima, where the famous torii (water gate) is located. On the camping where we slept, wild deer wandered free. I don't know about the "wild" part though - a lot of them came pretty close!

To be back soon (with plenty of pictures and stories) - Jake




Japan and the beginning of 23rd World Scout Jamboree


Hello everyone, it's Louise here again. 
For this and the next three blog entries my writing location is Japan and the campsite for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree. 

Swedish scouts happy to leave home. 


We had a long way going here, both in distance and time. We left Sweden and Arlanda at the afternoon on Thursday 23rd, and we arrived to our first stop at Saturday 25th, one and a half day later. The trip included flying from Arlanda to Doha, some waiting for the next flight, and then flying from Doha to Tokyo. Finally arrived in Japan we did some waiting for everyone to come out of luggage claim and customs. Later on we went on the night bus from Tokyo to Miyajima Island where we stayed our first official night. It was a long trip and when we arrived to the island we were all sleep deprived and sweaty. 
But there was no time to sleep. Quickly we fixed with our tents and packing, and after a great and well-needed shower we set our heads towards Hiroshima Peace Park. The peace park was really peaceful, but it was when we went into the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum when the real and heavy info started. At the Hiroshima exhibit there was written info but also pictures and some personal belongings from people who was affected by the nuclear bomb. Our interpretation of the museum was that they wanted their visitors to focus on the future, and at the same time have the past in their memories. For example, in the park there was a fire that will keep on burning until the last nuclear bomb is destroyed. Hopefully it will be soon. 

The deers at Miyajima Island were too friendly and you could even pat them!


Japanese food for lunch, I was so happy for the vegetables! 

The famous Itsukushima Shrine was even more beautiful live than in pictures.



One of few things that (almost) survived the nuclear bomb in Hiroshima.



All the ISTs came to the campsite Sunday the 26th, and the participants arrived Tuesday 28th. As they spent their first day with free time, we had IST job training. 
And as the Jamboree goes on, participants have their daytime programs, we work on different hours during day and night, and we all meet at the supermarket where there's great air condition. (more info on the program's later on) 

Even though we're in the great country of Japan the campsite is like a non-mans-land. All 33 000 scouts from 153 countries and areas live together, and will do so for 12 days. We are a large group with many different cultures, but we are all scouts so the whole surrounding is filled with a spirit of unity, which is the theme of this Jamboree. Wherever you lay your eyes you see scouts, tents and cultural clothing. And when you need help with something, everyone around you will do everything they can. As scouts, we are nothing more than just a big and friendly family. 
Imagine how wonderful it would be if all people around the world would have this spirit of hearts towards each other. 
Maybe someday we will. 


(quite short) Breakfast line to the IST restaurant.

Some scouts from the Opening Ceremony.

A good example of how modern technology ease our lives. 

Beautiful night view over some food international houses. 



Until next time, or until I melt away, have a good time wherever you are! 












Exploring Japan

These days are passing way too fast, even though we do a TON of things on the days (and nights). Quickly reflecting over my first week here in Japan - the land of my beloved soduko, my face rapidly bursts into a smile, I'm currently living a dream, I do all of my favorite things here, I experience new cultures, and new places, and I get to meet new kinds of people, make friendships, and learn a little of a new language. Can you imagine that this is NOTHING compared to what awaits us in 2 days? I just dipped my toe into the Jamboree-pool, filled and mixed with all kinds of people, genders, languages, cultures, activities, etc. 



Me and my squad of 40 persons went this sunday to Mt. Fuji, where we had 3 relaxing days, with hikes to nearby mountains along the countryside, and small, traditional villages. It sure didn't feel that one of the most populated cities on the planet just was 1-2 hours away. We used our new awesome tents from Hilleberg, which takes aprox. 5 minutes to take down and raise, not kidding. Next stop - Tōkyō. The pulsating heart of Japan, and it was perfect. Not my first time there, but with a completly new state of mind, and expectations. We went to museums, parks, walked around in various blocks, and parts of the city, like Shibuya, a Times Square, but japanese, and Akihabara, the Electric Town. Just listen to that name! The heat makes us drink liters of water, and eat regularly every day, and I can tell you that it has not been easy, but now we're used to it, and it's not a biggie. It's worth it. Now we recently arrived to Nagahama, and we will spend an entire day in Kyoto, the old capital of Japan. They say it is filled with temples, parks, and alot of history. My thing. 



Man, I just really want to go to the camp now. My body is itching. It's just 2 days away, lucky me. 

An excited Eric signing out

Less than 24hours to go


It's really close now.
My backpack is filled with all of my stuff and there's not much space left, and I can only hope I haven't forgot anything.
I wouldn't really like to admit it, but I'm a bit nervous for the trip, I rather say that I am so exited that I could burst. I have been waiting for four whole years for this adventure to Japan and the opportunity to attend a Jamboree abroad. And now I'm finally ready and the flight is about to leave in about 16 hours. It's completely crazy.
When we fly off tomorrow we will be the last Swedish scouts leaving Sweden for Japan. Most of our contingent are already there, and I've been stalking my friends on every social media there is for pictures and videos from where they are. The more I see and read, the more exited I get. However, at the same time the whole thing feels unrealistic. During these four years the trip has been so far long in the future. And as we're standing here, less than 24 hours from departure, it feels very odd. I cannot get into my head that I will be leaving Sweden, home, friends, job, family, for a whole month to go to Japan for a major scout camp. Hopefully my mind will be ready for the present events in time for tomorrow, and hopefully nothing important will be forgotten at home.

How the home might look like when someone is about to leave for a scout travel in a whole month..



With everything packed in special bags, some of them waterproof, it is easier to know where all your stuff are.




Well it is time for me too sleep, and soon it will be time for my friends in Japan to wake up for a great new day with a lot of sightseeing. For me, I will be waking up to the beginning of an amazing adventure that starts with ca 36 hours of traveling. 


Until next time, and by then in another country!

Louise







Day before departure

Oh. My. God.
Jake here, with indescribable nervosity and excitement running through me.


In just 12 hours, I'll be on a plane to Japan - one of the last Swedish scouts to go. I've been seeing posts om social media for days on end about my friends leaving, arriving, living life - you get it. And now, tomorrow, it's my turn!

Everything is packed; I've checked my lists at least three times. My camera's charging, my travelling clothes are laid out, and OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO JAPAN??

I just can't believe it. Over a year of dreaming, planning, preparing, packing, and worrying, and now - now it's happening. Wether I'm ready or not, my adventure starts now. The next time you hear from me, I'll be (almost) on the other side of the world!
Jake




WIld.

Late as always with my entry - forgive me 

Starting this post with one of my top Scouting-tips - sorting bags! What is the most common struggle being away with a bag pack for a longer time? That's right. You can't find anything in your backpack after a while! So how can we improve our hard lives as scouts? Reusing old T-shirts that we rarely use, sow the bottom of it, use a rope to tie it together and voila - You have a pretty, eco-friendly (well frankly, scouty) bag to keep your backpack tidy!

 
          The three ones that I'll bring 


When I said earlier that the date of departure was close - I was wrong. Now it is. Recently arrived in the Stockholm of summer, I now have a TON of things to do before we leave, as I haven't been able to before. Today I collected my profile-pack that the Swedish scout contingent sent us, and I am amazed of the amount of things they sent us (6 sporks included...). I think that further down the blog, the others have posted pictures!


Words cannot describe how excited I am (which I've been for a long time, aprox. 4 years(!)) for this experience! I know that we will not return to our homes the same persons that we are now, and all the friends and persons that we will meet in Japan, the other side of the World, are now on their designated paths to our point of arrival, just like us, and they don't have any idea of what's infront of them. Well neither do we. 

I even managed to get my hand on a 2000-yen bill, which is a sign of good fortune in Japan! Yey!

Checking in with you guys in a couple of days, 
Eric 

PD. A move tip for you guys to hype a little bit extra, and because it's a good, relatable movie: Wild. 








Ants in my pants


Adventure is getting close!
Louise here again, and my head is filled with Jamboree-related things all day long, every day.
The best (or the worst-nerve-wrecking?) thing is that for every day we get more and more information about the camp, what might happen and how things will look like. For every new kind of information I read I just want to the date for departure to come closer, and at the same time not. I have so much that I need to do before we leave, all manageable in two days basically, but with my planning and organisation it will take some time.. I ponder on which sleeping bag I have to buy, which bedroll I have to decide for, what kind of clothes and shoes I need to bring, and planning for the trip after the Jamboree. When something with a deadline only affect me, I tend to do it too slow and often in the last minute. Great.

Get some Japanese Yen for the trip - check!
The Head Team of the Jamboree has released the map over the campsite, and it's impressively small for the amount of 30 000 scouts who will spend 12 days together! At the space of 1km x 3km, we are going to live in tents, endure different weather than we are used to, and of course, share laughs and experiences.
For us IST (you remember, the people who will work) the official information from the beginning was that we would be assigned to our jobs when we arrived to the Jamboree campsite. However, for little more than a week ago we got an email containing the IST job. That morning I woke up too early for a day off, and restless and not want to get up I went through my email. There I saw it, sent to me just minutes earlier. That info really woke me up, and I immediately contacted every scout who's going to the Jamboree. So what will my job be during the camp? I actually don't know, not exactly. I know which department I'll belong to, but not the specific work assignment. And just to be a little bit mean, I will hold on the little information I know until we reach the campsite.

The fantastic yellow Kånken backpack that every Swede will wear!

As a part of the whole Jamboree-experience every foreigner scout will have a trip before or after the camp itself. The trip differs between every country, but mostly people travel trough the country that host the Jamboree. It also differs between adult scouts (such as IST's and some sort of Management/Head/In-charge-people) and participants. For us Swedish IST's, the trip is quite extraordinary. Since we are 376 IST, it would be difficult for us to travel as a whole group, so instead we are traveling in small patrols. Every patrol will plan their own trip around Japan, as long as we arrive to the Jamboree on time, and then make our flight home again. Thanks to our amazing Contingent Management Team, we will have a railway pass to ease our traveling through Japan by train. For me and my patrol, basically every important part of planning for our trip is done. All nights in every city are booked, the high-recommended Ghibli-museum in Tokyo are booked and paid for, and we have a basic plan of what we want to do in every city. The best ground for a healthy and fun tourist trip is to have likeminded people to travel with, and I am happy to say that my group is perfect! Which is quite fortunate since we were matched together based on four questions and that non of us knew each other before February 7th 2015.

But are we different? We are all scouts and we are, if I may say so, amazing people.
(however we still don't have a tent to sleep in during the Jamboree.. ah well, it will resolve itself soon)

As you might noticed I have a lot to think about, and all of this is just five or six percent of all the Jamboree-related things I think about all day long. I would love to write about it all, but it might not be as fun for you to read as for me to write.
Until next time I hope that I have everything bought and ready for Japan. You know, it's all about being prepared.



Louise



(puzzled about the title for this blog-entry? It's quite funny....)





Hopes and expectations

Hey folks, Jake here.
Now it's two weeks and one day until I take off to Japan. I still haven't quite understood it yet - where did the time go? I still feel like I have so much left to do and prepare!
At the same time, I couldn't be more excited and impatient - I've been waiting for this for over a year. Waiting, preppring, getting real psyched. I'm going to have one full month in Japan, a country I've dreamed of visiting since I was 14.

I just have so much I want to do there! I want to meet scouts from all over the world. I want to talk to them and, more importantly, learn from them. Get new perspectives on life - not just diferent kinds of scouting, but how it can be living as a teenager in different parts of the world. Make new memories. Share stories. Mess up and go the wrong way or grab the wrong person, only to laugh it off with a new friend afterwards. Try scouting in a whole new enviroment. Get to know myself a whole lot better, being thrown into new situations and seing how I handle them.

Then, there's also the other stuff that we're going to do in my small patrol, when we're travelling around Japan on our own. We've planned to go to Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, and Mt. Fuji. I am so, so excited about Mt. Fuji - since I'm a climber, anyting big and vertical is an immediate interest of mine. Last time I travelled, to New Zealand, I think I climbed three or four different volcanoes!



















Me, on the slopes of Mt. Doom. (No, really. It's Ngauruhoe, the volcano used as Mt. Doom in the LotR movie trilogy)

Another huge thing will be going to Tokyo. I've been dressing in the Japanese fashion style Lolita for a really long time (check out my picture blog here if you want to see what it looks like!) and Tokyo is the one place to go if you want to see the very best of it. I'm expecting to see so much stuff from different cultures while on this trip, and this will be extra fun, as it's something I'm already familiar with.

It all just feels so surreal. My next post will be the evening before we depart; I get so nervous thinking about it I get hysteric giggles! But in the end, I don't think there'll be a moment to regret. I'm ready to have the adventure of a lifetime.




















Last note: My IST package is finally here! Look at the cool bag! And the shirt! And all of the sporks! I was kind of bummed that we didn't get the chopstick ones that Light My Fire have designed, but they are still super cool and pretty! I feel like a rainbow with all my gear out, haha.

Until next time,
Jake

Marcus checks his gear - vblog in swedish

Publicerades den 27 juni 2015


Scoutmonstret - the Scout Monster

fredag 19 juni 2015

About me
My name is Marcus Johansson, 22,5 years young, and a leader for scouts in the age of 10-12 years old in Örnsberg, Stockholm. A absolutely great age for scouts!
First I must say how very pleased I am to have the opportunity to visit Japan, and to see the country.
I have always dreamt about Japan as well as other Asian countries. I will participate in the Jamboree as an IST (International Service Team) which means that I will work during the Jamboree with all kinds of tasks that keeps the camp running.
I am originally from the deep woods of Värmland and I have a great interest for hunting, fishing and hiking in the woods. When I first arrived in Stockholm, I missed the wildlife so much... but luckily I discovered the local scouts in Örnsberg. Their assembly room was situated just one block from my apartment.

ALUINT

Last week I participated in a course called ALUINT. ALU is short for Allmän ledarutbildning (general education for leaders) and it is a 6-day couse for scout leaders. It consists of presentations and practical examples in an outdoor environment, including many ceremonies - some which I will describe here.
My patrol Skiffer - all patrols had names referring to stones.
The first day we built a portal to our camp site, before we raised the tents.  We organized the camp site. Among the things needed to be done, my contribution was a rack for drying clothes and gear.

In the evening our patrol made visits to the others patrols to see that they had settled alright.  After this it was time for all patrols to gather around the camp fire in order to get our initiation, which in this case was a ceremony in which you received a buckle for your scarf.

On the second day we went on a sailing hike. And so the days passed quickly with many memorable experiences: up at 6-7 and in bed by 22 - 00.
The sixth day was our last day of camp and the evening turned out to be very special.  We started the evening by sing along together by the fire. After this we received our badges as a proof for completion of the course, and declared our vows as scout leaders.
Then it was time to go a track marked with small lights in the dark. It was very beautiful and led to a place called Circus.  We were served food and a delicious dessert and ate in the dark. It was as magical as a scout camp can be!

About knots
These are some useful knots 
Dubbel skotstek
Dubbelt halvslag

"Dubbel skotstek" to hoist and lift things like a flag, and "Dubbelt halvslag" to hitch and lash things when you for example want to make a portal or a drying rack.
- say hello to Alvin - he is also going to Japan as an IST :)

100%scout ;)  Var redo...

Always be ready! Once a scout, always a scout - remember that!
For  all of you that not yet are scouts - it is never too late :)

LAUGH MORE! :D

Marcus Johansson




Common Denominator

In this moment sitting cold, feeling frustrated at the heating system here, the fireplace, which for your information, never reaches my room. It's crazy how fast the time is passing by, I'm currently looking down in my countdown-app in my cellphone, and it tells me that I'm boarding the plane to Japan in 25 days. Whoa.

Testing my gear for 🇯🇵 in the mountains of Machu Picchu 


I always enjoy looking for the small common denominators in persons, what connects us to one another. Comparing my life here in Chile, to the one in Sweden, the people, the families, my classmates... And while the differences are huge, there are always things that connects us, it can be the passion for the same international popstar, or the same brand of our shirts, etc, and the common denominator in the camp in Japan will be scouting. Each and every single scout in that camp has one thing in common, doesn't matter the distance. Scouting. We all share the same solidarity, the same compassion of scouting, and we all share the same interest of learning about other human beings. I think that it is pretty amazing that even though we all come from different backgrounds, we all gather in that campsite in the south of Japan to exchange cultures, neckerchiefs, and thoughts.

Expectations are never good to have in excess, even though we all do have them. Sometimes you actually have to be a little cliché and say Carpe Diem, C'est la vie, and all that stuff. Live in the now. I'll be happy if I don't have to sleep on a rock in the tent, which I actually do almost EVERY year. Call it bad luck, or destiny or something. It is fun to think about the camp though, think about all the new food that we'll try, wonder if you'll see Pokémons, and it's good to prepare yourself! I'm trying not do it in excess, that's all.

I have absolutely no fears for this journey, and why should I? This is going to be one of the best experiences of my life, I'm going to travel, do scouting, meet new people, open my world a little bit more. I have actually already been in Japan one time, so maybe that's a reason why I don't have any fears.

                                                                                                                                                                                             
                         
                                                              Some expectations at least...

My advice is shortly briefed, live more, think less. Learn some japanese, keep on packing, and counting down the days. Carpe Diem. 

Cultural exchanges


Third entry and 30 days left until we lift off to the Jamboree!
The main purpose of a Jamboree is just a big and crazy meeting between scouts from all the continents with different cultures. The best thing about meeting scouts from other countries is to compare how their scouting activities look like. You might believe that the scout movement look similar in every country, however it's completely different when you compare some countries. Comparing scout activities is the first thing I talk about when I meet a new scout. For us scouts in the north, like Sweden/Norway/Finland/Denmark/Iceland, we base our activities on being outdoors. Unless it's raining like crazy, that's when I prefer do be indoors.. So what do we do? Well, we actually do some things of what people often believe we do. Some.  We do knots, learn how to do different kinds of fire(places?), arrange over-night stayings in tents for either a night or week-long camps, learn how to use a map and compass, build amazing things with ropes and poles, and other outdoor-related stuff. When I asked a scout from Kenya at the last Jamboree, he said that they spent most of their time volunteering in the city and the society. For instance, they sometimes helped out in the schools. And based on the very reliable source (or not) movies from all over the world, we know that most scouts in the US sell cookies. However I am not so sure that is safe knowledge.. 


The countdown is getting close..

Another major difference one may encounter on this kind of cultural meeting are the food and how we eat! The Swedish food traditions are basically built the same way for every meal. We have some sort of carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and then a sauce, do not forget about our sauce. We collect everything at the same plate and then we eat it all together. When I went to Italy, we ate our food the traditional way people eat in Italy, at least that what we were told. First we ate our plate with the carbohydrates, like for example pasta. Later on, on the next plate, we ate the protein and some vegetables. A bit weird, but it worked for me. As we're going to Japan and Asia, the food culture is a bit way more different than ours. Not to mention the most obvious, the things they eat with! I am glad that I already know how to eat with chopsticks, otherwise it would be a major task to learn how to use them. Sushi is one the most famous dishes from Japan, and share one of my secrets: I don't really like it... Witch is sad, since we're going to the country of sushi! But I will make myself eat some, it kind of belongs to travel there.
After all, it's all about embracing other cultures and enjoy the best of them!

Our attempt to do Japanese inspired food at one of last Japan-scout-meetings here at home.

The way we act and appear are one of the funniest and most interesting examples of how we differ between the countries. Us swedes, we like to stand in line, we rarely talk to people we don't know but when you get to know us we're quite nice, we like our private bubble and do not like to stand to close to others, and we like our meatballs. Feels like I forgot something, but I don't know what.
Living in a country where most people act like yourself, it's sometimes fun to meet people who are completely different. I am looking forward to meet polite Japanese people, crazy Italians, happy Australians, and all other people!


Even if every country have it's own form of activities, it's special food culture, and the way people act, the scout movement is based on the same ground - making people ready for the world. 
It's not for nothing that the motto of Scouting is: Be Prepared - Always Prepared!

Over and out 
from Louise


The Scout uniform - a heap of Scout attire

Hey everyone, Jake here! Hope you're enoying summer (I sure am!)

Today, I'm gonna talk a bit about Scout attire, and what it can be in different situations. I'm sure a lot of you have an idea of how a scout uniform looks, but the fact is, for different occasions, the attire change. I was also going to show you the package with special edidtion scout things we got in the mail for the Jamboree, but life got in the way, and I still haven't been able to pick up my parcel. Bummer.





















I just want to say, before I explain all of the clothes, that I have a lot more Scout clothing than I thought - and the things in the pictures aren't even all of them.

So, in these first two pictures, you have casual scout clothing. The top picture is of three t-shrits, two from the World Scout Jamboree 2011, and one from a Swedish camp back in 2013, and the hoodie is from the work group I'm in that organizes hikes and activities for scouts aged 15+. They are all super comfy, but the colors are, in my opinion, atrocious. All of them are scout-y, but wouldn't be worn to a cermony.
The second picture is of my scout jeans, and my Explorer Belt. The jeans, I made after the last Jamboree - I simply stitch all of my traded badges onto a pair of bell-bottom jeans. I wanted a pair of relaxed pants, with a cool scout vibe. My goal is that, after this Jamboree, I'll have so many new badges I'll be able to cover the entire pair of pants with them!

















The next two pictures are of more formal Scout attire. Te top one is of two for my three scout shirts. The one to the left is mine, a traditional Swedish one with all of the badges I've earned (well, most, I haven't put all of them on yet). It's also the one I use in formal events. The one on the right is a shirt from the Boy Scouts of America, which I got in a trade last Jamboree. I wouldn't use the American one in cermonies, but it's still fun to have. I also have a thid shirt - a Swedish one, but without any badges - that I have as a spare, or for less formal scout meetings.

The second picture is of my Scout scarves. As you can see, I have a few. They are, from lef to right: The official Italian scarf, traded in 2011; a scarf from Uganda, given to me as a gift when I visited a girl school there last year; the scarf of my scout group, sewn from an old sail; the official Swedish scarf; and lastly, under all of them, the official Jamboree scarf for the 2011 Jamboree.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of different kinds of scout clothing you can wear. In Japan, however, I think my look will be a bit closer to this:




















At least in the 2011 Jamboree, the only official scout attire you had to wear at all times was the scarves; the rest was optional, though you had to have a uniform for cermonies. I'll most likely have a thin function/workout shirt, my Swedish scarf and the Jamboree scarf, a nice pair of sturdy shorts, and a good belt to keep a water bottle, a knife, and a first-aid kit on - things that will always come in handy at a scout camp!

Until next time,
Jake

Getting Ready

Hey everybody, Eric checking in. 
Mind status: Overseas Mind-packing.



When I see the countdown that I have in an app on my phone, I feel frustrated. Even though I've never had any problems what so ever with packing, or preparing for a camp, it feels terrible not being able to do anything, I can't even sow my badges on to my shirt!!! The 16 days that I'll have between my arrival and departure, will be full with prepping myself to the big journey, that actually means, if I know myself right, running around the apartment, heads over heels, trying to find all my scouting equipment, and fighting with my sister about who's going to get the biggest backpack, etc.

Last time I had to pack to an big occasion like this was almost 2 years ago, when I was going on a 3-week long scoutcamp in Germany, and packing the bag was pretty easy for me. I have no idea what kind of curse/blessing that someone has cast upon me, but I can actually just throw my stuff into a backpack, and be ready, while my sister can be sitting in her room for 4 days straight rolling up clothes, using every trick in the book to get the maximum amount of things into the bag. On the other hand, she never runs into trouble, doesn't have anything missing, but there's always something - or things, missing for me. A huge savior for me will be the sweet profile package, that the Swedish Contingent will send us very soon, which contains a meal kit, a backpack, a foldable water bottle, and a lot more. The Japanese summer will be very warm and humid, which means no big, and fat sleeping bags, nor big jackets - a difference from the rainy, cold camps of Sweden (But whilst in Japan, the temperature will, without an doubt, be missed). Even the tents will be handed out to us upon arrival, so I feel that the odds are in our favor this time! 

Then there's the non-scouting side of this trip, which is getting ready for Japan itself. Exchanging currencies, personal packing for normal travelling, studying the culture, the language and the country, and preparing yourself mentally. It is easy to forget that we're not going on the normal type of camp - This is the 25th World Scout Jamboree we're talking about.

Let the packing begin!

Preparations for the journey

Hi guys! It's Jake again. This time, since I've been going over all of my equipment for the big journey, I thought I'd do a quick show of the most important things I'll be bringing. So here we go:

Preparations for the journey, a.k.a. "Things Jake would never leave without."



The first thing to bring is, naturally, a good backpack. We've had this one in the family for years - it's nice and big, with a ton of different pockets for all sorts of stuff.




The next things- again, a bit of a no-brainer - are the tents. Since I'll be sharing with friends, I'm bringing two of them; a domed tent for sleeping, and a small tunnel tent for storing our bags in, so it won't get overcrowded.




This is probably the coolest thing I'll bring - my eating kit from Light My Fire. It's practical, has a ton of different things like a cutting board and containers, and it's really small once you put it all together. I'm not kidding when I say my family has at least ten different sets.




Scout shirt - even if we'll get new ones, it's always fun to bring your own, personal scout uniform to a Jamboree, and compare badges and designs with people from other countries.




Speaking of badges - who'd go anywhere without some spares to trade, and their precious sewing kit? I think I have closer to 100 badges to trade (and I'll trade each and every one of them - I guarantee it.




My guidebooks about Japan and Tokyo. Books might be somewhat heavy, and they easily break, but once we're in Japan, there's no guarantee there'll be wifi. It's always good to have a good guidebook with a few tips and tricks, for when you need some quick advice!




And lastly, some things I think people can easily forget, that make your life so. Much. Easier. Sunscreen in a high (50+) SPF for my face, neck, and tattoo - as you might see, I'm really pale, and have to wear sunscreen a lot. A cap, to further protect the face and neck area. And lastly - so simple you might not even think about it - a water bottle. The Jamboree's in July; it will be sweltering. Staying hydrated will be super important, which makes a good water bottle a must-have!

Hope you enjoyed my list of Japan-Jamboree-essentials!

Jake

Preparations


With only 44 days until departure the preparations are in full speed ahead! But how do one prepare for a journey that will include sleeping in tents and hotels, different kinds of weather from warm and moist to rainy and wet, walking in unknown terrain but also in big cities? Yeah, great question. I have no clue.

The camp itself has been in full planning since years back, and I can't really give you a specific amount of time since I am not part of the planning team. I basically know nothing about the camp and what will happen. My part in the Jamboree will be as an IST - International Service Team, and it means that I will go there to work. As I told you in my last post, someone to plan it, someone to attend it, and someone to work at it! As an IST, someone will say "this is your job and this is what you will do", and then we'll do it! At the first day at the Jamboree camp site I will be given my job, and to choose our job at the Jamboree, all of us ISTs looked through a catalog and then choose three jobs that we thought were the best/most fun to do. But since we are a few thousand people who will be ISTs there is a small chance that we all will be getting the jobs we want, and I can imagine that it will take a great amount of time to sort all the jobs to every IST-person.

When it comes to my packing, there are only some things I can assume that I will be needing. As a quite experienced scout I can figure out some "basic scout things" like sleeping bag, things to eat from/with, some clothes, scout shirt, knife, and cash for candy (witch is more important than one believes). But this time we'll be going to another country far away, and my packning must consist of things for both a journey abroad and a scout camp. Thankfully, the management team have given us a list for things we absolutely have to bring, and things we might need. So even the blind hen will be able to find some food (Swedish saying). As an complement to our personal packing there are some things that every scout will bring (although it will differ between the countries). The Swedish scouts will bring our beautiful scout shirt with the Swedish scarf, a specially designed t-shirt for the Jamboree, a specially designed backpack, a handfull of badges some special for the Jamboree, a transport bag to keep our backpacks in, an water bottle, and a meal kit with some extra sporks! These things are gifts from different companies and will be a great supplement for our personal packing!

Picture of the things we will receive. (picture borrowed from the Swedish Contingent)

This is just the preparations that I can do in my head for myself. I still have a list of all the things I have to do before leaving and the things I have to buy. Shoes, camera,  a new sleeping bag and i-don't-know-the-word to sleep on. I can nearly see my money just fly away..

Over and out from Louise.


Disembarkment


My fellow adventure bloggers and I will head off to a new adventure this summer- the World Scout Jamboree in Japan! The Jamboree is held every forth year in different countries and it serves as a meeting point for all scouts from every corner in the world. A place for exchanging cultures, experiences, and making life lasting friendships.  


  Who is Eric?

I'm 16 years old Swedish guy, born in Sweden but currently living in Linares, Chile.  I love scouting, travelling, adventuring, and meeting new people.  I've been a scout for 8 years. I've been looking forward to World Scout Jamboree for 4 years, so you can say that I'm pretty excited - as well as anxious.


My expectations before Jamboree are: to speak in many languages, meet new people and trade my Swedish scout neckerchief. I participated 2 years ago in an international scout-camp in Germany, so this Jamboree will be my second international scout-event, but hopefully not the last one! My expectation before Jamboree are: to speak in many different languages, to meet new people and trade my Swedish scout neckerchief. 

Weitwinkel 2013 - My first international scout-experience


II will share my journey from Chile to Japan with you.  I will reveal my thoughts, feelings and expectations and shortly summarize this amazing, international, mind-blowing experience that we're about to embark on.


Let the adventure begin!







The start of something new


This is the official start of the countdown to the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan 2015! My name is Louise, and together with the other bloggers from Sweden we will take you with us along the fantastic journey to Japan and the international World Scout Jamboree. This will be the second time I'll attend an international Scout Camp, the first time was when Sweden stood host for the Jamboree in 2011, but this is the first time I'll attend an international event in another country. I have been looking forward to this Jamboree in Japan ever since me and my friends went to the Jamboree in Sweden, as you can see on the picture below.

Waiting for the bus to Japan since summer of 2011.

So who am I?

Like I said earlier, my name is Louise. I am 21 years old and live in a small town north of Stockholm. I've been a scout since I was 6 years old, so for as much as 15 years! Gosh it has really been a while since I joined the Scout Movement. To fill my days I work in a kitchen, not as a chef but more like a kitchen assistant (köksbiträde in Swedish). When I don't work I tend to fill my time with friends, training, reading and of course scouting.

Me, Happy Swedish Scout, four years ago on the Jamboree held in Sweden 2011.


And what exactly is a Jamboree?

To simplify it, a Jamboree is a big, big camp where Scouts from all over the world gather to meet each other and do things together. The Jamboree is held every forth year in different countries and it is a once in a lifetime experience. Well almost. To attend the Jamboree as a participant, you have to be between the ages of 14 to 18, and therefore it is a once in a lifetime experience. But, how can I as a 21 year old attend? Someone has to work! To make a Jamboree happen you will need someone to host it, someone to plan it, someone to attend it and someone who will do the hard work.
The World Scout Jamboree is an amazing experience and I recommend everyone who has a chance to attend one to do so.

During this time of our blogging I will show you the preparations one has to do before this kind of event, and later on take you with me on the adventure to Japan. I hope you will be following me and the other 2000 Swedish Scouts on the amazing journey to Japan and the 23rd World Scout Jamboree!

A few scouts on one of the events during the Jamboree in 2011. 

All photos are taken by me. ©

Me and my adventure


My name is Jake or Inqrid, and this summer, I'll partake in a huge, international adventure - the 23rd International Scout Jamboree in Japan. It is held every four years, and in a different country every time. I was at the previous Jamboree in Sweden back in 2011, and now I can't wait to work at this one in Japan! So follow me, and the other bloggers, on an amazing journey to Japan, and - hopefully - the best scout camp ever!




             


A little about me


I'm 18 years old and live in Stockholm, Sweden, where I study science at Stockholm's University. I've been a scout for 12 years, and have previously been to two international scout events: the previous scout jamboree, and Explorer Belt, which is a trekking challenge through a country in Europe. I also help with organizing scout events for young scouts in Stockholm.

When I'm not scouting, I enjoy doing sports - I've been a climber since I was  six, and worked as a climbing instructor since I was fifteen. I've been fascinated with Japan since I was small - I usually dress in various Japanese street fashions, and love Japanese pop culture.


One of my greatest prides - the belt I got as an award for trekking over 160 km in ten days in Hungary last summer. Second picture: Me, climbing outside last spring.



Checking my equipment - making sure the tents are in good condition for the trip!

Hope you'll enjoy sharing in on my adventure!

Jake