The 5th Garry Oak Scouts are back in Oak Bay after a tiring week-long adventure on the east coast.
This past year, the Scout Troop of 24 youth worked hard fundraising to send 16 scouts and eight leaders to Halifax for Scouts Canada’s 13th Canadian Jamboree. The week long event was attended by 5,600 Scouts and volunteers from 15 countries.
“One of the big things is obviously we have lots of opportunity for outdoor activity here on Vancouver Island,” said Adam Nott, group commissioner. “The thing about a jamboree is it’s really a social event. It really allows the children to understand their place in the world. … It’s about seeing that what they do in their life.”
The week started muddy, but the sun came out for an amazing week of adventure, personal growth and new friendships, Nott said.
“None of the kids complained, they took it in stride, The kids just thought it was an adventure,” he said. The Scouts had the opportunity to partake in archery and axe throwing, deep sea fishing, tidal bore rafting on the Bay of Fundy, tours of Halifax and its harbour, raft building, rock climbing, paddle boarding, water Olympics, mud races and pioneer skills.
“A big part was we were up at 6 a.m. every morning and in tents by 11 p.m.,” Nott said. “It was an amazing experience to see all the kids active and engaged for 12 hours before they passed out.”
Downtime was spent wandering Camp Nedooae’s 265 acres trading badges, making friends from across Canada, the USA, Taiwan, Finland, Barbados and beyond. They spent time perusing others’ crests and even trading shirts off the backs of the Taiwanese contingent.
The Jamboree was also a chance for Scouts Canada to highlight many of the key features of their new Canadian Path program. The Scouts explored Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) by programming drones, building boats and tidal locks, and exploring water purification techniques. In addition to a range of Outdoor Skills, the Scouts also reflected on their personal social, physical, intellectual, character, emotional and spiritual growth. For many, the inter-faith service was the first time for a reflection on the common teaching between many cultures that underlies the Scout slogan to “Do a Good turn Daily.” Others conquered the challenge of travelling more than 6,000 kilometres from home, the farthest and longest many have been from their family.
Scouts Canada is a volunteer run program for youth aged 5 to 26. Registration is open to both boys and girls, and focuses on outdoor adventure and personal growth. Visit scoutinglife.ca for more information on Scouts or to find a nearby group. Pacific Jamboree happens every four years with the next scheduled in 2019 in Sooke.
The 5th Garry Oak Scouts have been meeting at Fireman’s Park in Oak Bay since 1955, and have had a presence in Oak Bay dating back to Scouts founding in 1907.
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