Friday, July 15, 2011

Packing and Planning

In just 8 days (July 24), I'll be leaving Richmond for a three-week adventure.  This will be my second trip to a World Jamboree as an International Staff Team (IST) member.  Four years ago I traveled to England with four other Richmond Scout leaders for a 20-day assignment to work at the event.  This time, I'll be at the camp for the required two weeks then meet Carrie and Ashley in Copenhagen for a week of touring.  We'll spend two days around Copenhagen, travel by train to Stockholm, then take an overnight ferry to Helsinki for the final two days.

The experience of the 21st World Jamboree in England was everything I had hoped.  Being the 100th anniversary of Scouting made it very special.  Having 40,000 young people and leaders join together from nearly every country on Earth for two weeks is matched only by the Olympics.  It is uplifting, reassuring, challenging, and humbling.  When I heard that the 22nd WJ would be in Sweden, the land of my father's family, I knew I'd attend once again.

It's my understanding that I'll be the only IST worker from Heart of Virginia Council going this time.  The Scoutmaster for Virginia's youth contingent is also from Richmond but we'll have completely different experiences and schedules.  I will seek out the contingent at some point during the event.  We'll be put into adult patrols for our work assignments and will be encouraged to do the activities together.

The weather in southern Sweden will likely average about 20 degrees cooler than Richmond - quite a welcome relief.  Despite the short Scandinavian night, the temperature may dip into the 40's.  I'll need to get two seasons of clothes into that large duffle I received.  Planning is all about "layers".

My tent will be provided by the BSA when I arrive.  It's a 3-person tent that I'll have to myself.  While I could keep it, the US volunteers are asked to leave their tents behind - for one of the less-affluent Scout contingents to take home.  My compact sleeping bag and a small air mattress should be adequate to sleep on the ground for two weeks.

There are several documents I must bring: passport, medical form, "Safe from Harm" training certificate, and the travel voucher to get on the 90-minute shuttle from the Copenhagen airport to the camp at Kristianstad. The event planners are promoting cashless transactions, so there's a bit of research I still need to do to  insure my credit cards will work properly.

Lastly, my plan is to make time to draw and paint.  I've assembled a notebook and some fine-line pens, watercolors, paper, and pencils.  A small camera will go with to record people and special places, but there's nothing like sitting down to sketch.  It helps you see things in a completely different way.

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