Posted by rachael on November 4, 2015
2 years ago I was lucky enough to be selected to lead a group of 9 Senior Section Guides and 27 Scouts along with 3 Scout Leaders on an adventure of a lifetime to the other side of the world, to meet 40,000 other, like-minded young people from 156 different countries! I was excited (and a little bit scared) but I could never have imagined the reality.
Before going to the Jamboree in Yamaguchi we spent 2 (very short) nights and 2 VERY busy days in Tokyo. We explored the city in groups as small as 4, visiting the early morning fish markets, temples, the Earthquake Centre, the Skytree, from where we could see miles of the city that surrounded us, Joypolis, an indoor theme park complete with rollercoasters, Pokemon Centre, and watched sumo wrestling and ‘enjoyed’ Japanese food.
This was like no other camp or even jamboree I had ever been on, our immediate neighbours were from Japan, Spain, Cyprus, Germany, France, Ukraine, USA and Canada. We didn’t all speak the same language, but that didn’t stop us sharing dinner, swapping, playing games or helping each other when there was a problem, all united by the movements that we belonged to.
Once camp was set up, we enjoyed 12 action packed days on and off site on a variety of bases; Culture, Water, Global Development Village, visited Hiroshima Peace Park, Science, during the Community day (we were able to visit schools and villages where the local people and their children taught us about Japan and some of the traditions) and an international day where each unit shared traditions from home.
My favourite part was the finale, 4 days and 3 nights at Home Hospitality, where Japanese people were very kind and welcomed us into their homes. Very brave after we had been on camp for 12 days! Miwa, the lady that I stayed with packed a lot into our time together. We visited a volcano, joined in at a cub scout meeting (where they blindfolded me then I tried to hit a watermelon with a stick!), climbed mountains, visited hot springs and temples, and lots of shopping! I think that we will remain in touch and she promises to come to visit Cornwall.
I have not only made lifelong memories, I have made lifelong friends.
Thank you to everyone who helped me on my journey and helped in anyway with my £3250 fundraising target, I could not have achieved my goal without you all.