Life at Jamboree

See the Jamboree in Japan with the eyes of Mikołaj Zawiślak – the participant of Young Correspondents Programme of WSJ2015:

The area, where the 23rd World Scout Jamboree is being held in Kirara-hama, Yamaguchi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on the artificial island which has the area of 286 hectares.

At the camp there are 33 thousands of participants from all around the world. It could be compared to the population of a few Polish cities, for example Ostróda, Iława, Nowy Targ or the Warsaw district Wilanów. This small city was built in five days, while the scouts from 150 countries were arriving.

The area of the Jamboree is divided into hubs, which are like districts of the city. On the island there are three residential hubs, where scouts are accommodated. Additionally there are activity zones (for example a swimming pool, arena, Global Development Village). Each of the “districts” is divided into four sub camps, which are named after geographic areas of Japan.

The day starts at 5 a.m, when in hub tents the dispensing of food for breakfast and lunch starts. At 9 a.m the doors to activity zone are opening (Cross Road of Culture, Global Development Village,  City of Science and the religion and belief zone). This is also the time to go on hike, during which we can experience Japanese natural environment. Between 9 and 10 a.m the buses leave, which take the participants to the area of water sports, to Hiroshima with the Peace Programme and to different cities of Yamaguchi Prefecture, where we can meet the Japanese culture. Everything is doe according to schedule. Each sub camp has different activity every day.

At the Jamboree – as in every city – there are supermarkets, bank, post office, telephone booth or souvenir shops. There is also a special zone, where are the national tents of different scout organisations from all around the world, where scouts can meet countries and scouts. The scout centre can be visited by scouts during their spare time.

The activity zones are open from 9 to 12 a.m and from 2 to 5 p.m. In this time they are visited by different sub camps. Other activities end up to 5 p.m.

After the finished programme the scout city starts teeming with life. You can feel as in the centre of a tourist town, where the streets are crowded with people. Scouts are friendly towards each other, they wave, smile, greet you and wish you to have a nice day. By the main roads are located stalls with badges, scout scarfs or T-shirts to exchange. Everyone can approach, start a talk, and exchange their items. The only thing to remember is that a participant can exchange with the other participant, unit leaders with unit leaders and IST only with IST.

The evenings are the time of cultural meetings: common campfires, evenings in hub tents with dance, songs and games from all around the world. The last “official” events end at 10 p.m, but many people stay longer with their newfound friends.