WSJ Selction Weekend

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WSJ Selction Weekend

30 July 2013

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We held our World Scout Jamboree selection weekend UK-Contingent-Logo_CMYK_smallon Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July at Ranmore Campsite. The 23rd WSJ is being held in Japan in the summer of 2015 with a theme of A Spirit of Unity. The programme will include a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and activities based in the Global Development Village and the City of Science. There will also be a day spent off site taking part in a community project.

Dorking district were allocated two places this time. Our six applicants to attend the selection weekend were Hamish Pratt, 24th; Holly Bailey, 1st; James Collinson, 24th; Joseph Ede, 24th; Michael Kielstra, 1st; and Natasha Wiltshire, Explorer.

The Jamboree hopefuls were set a series of tasks during the weekend to test their skills and bring their individual qualities to the surface. We started with the applicants erecting a pair of patrol tents with a few bits missing. The Explorers, camping at the same time, prepared our lunch before the second test which we set for the Jamboree hopefuls. We asked them to prepare and cook our dinner. Straightforward enough but they were also to decide the menu, buy the ingredients and bring them back to camp to prepare and have dinner on the table within four hours. A menu was hastily created and they set off down the hill to Dorking accompanied by David Breakwell, WSJ Unit 16 leader and myself. With the weather so hot and sticky it was a good indication of what to expect in Japan during the summer. Temperatures are not expected to drop below 30°C with high humidity. We hoped that the hike would show up some weaknesses in mind and body but all the young people showed great resolve. Dinner was a success; three courses and lots of empty plates. Despite the long day everyone was still up at 11 around the campfire.

Sunday started with a Jamboree hopefuls led Scouts Own, the emphasis on how Scouting is such an inclusive organisation. We then invited each candidate to an interview with the selection panel. This would be a daunting prospect for adults but all the young people showed maturity and calmness under pressure. We were also helped by Zoe Dallen, WSJ Unit 17 assistant leader. We finished the weekend making sushi for lunch. The wasabi created a few uncomfortable but funny moments.

The selection team had a difficult task coming to a decision about who should be offered the two places. All the candidates showed they were motivated and focused young people and several times during the discussion the selection team had to rethink the decision to remove individuals from the running. In the end it was felt Joseph Ede and Holly Bailey showed the greatest range and most consistent level of skills. However all the candidates showed what assets they are to Scouting and the District. Despite the difficulty of choosing two from the group of six candidates we were pleased that the weekend showed that the District is able to foster and support such wonderful young people. We have no doubt that those not chosen will be able to build on this experience and we hope they will apply to be members of the International Service Team or Contingent Support Team for the 24th World Jamboree in 2019.

This is just the first step along the road and both Surrey World Scout Jamboree Units (UK Units 16 & 17) will need your help with fundraising and practical support for the young people. If you have any fundraising opportunities you could offer to generate WSJ Unit funds please contact me at sean.rix@waverley.gov.uk or on 07906 793 590. The Friends of the Jamboree will also be appearing in the future so please do support us and the seventy two young people from Surrey going to Japan.

 

Seán Rix

AESL Dorking Explorers and WSJ Unit 17 leader