Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last Day

The last couple days mirror the first.  The arrival of 8000 IST must be a challenge.  It is us who will run the Jamboree, but until we are assigned jobs the adult side of the camp doesn't function well.  I compare the beginning and end of camp to Third-World conditions.  Things deteriorate quickly without adequate service and attention.

The last day of the youth is actually the day prior to their leaving - many in the middle of the night.  While I worked to take down the store about 2500 youth left each hour from midnight till late afternoon.  That part of camp is so much different without all the tents and wood constructions. 

The closing ceremony was great but started raining half-way through.  Since most of the show was a concert, I decided to keep myself dry and well.  While there, I did see the King of Sweden start the wave.  He's a huge Scout promotor and a good sport.  Even though it started raining hard, he refused to put up an umbrella and block the view of the stage for the people behind him.  Wow.

Though my experience and interaction with the Swedes was fantastic, the BSA national representatives at the Jamboree will get many letters from IST.  There was little communication and much abandonment from them.  I have some ideas how to improve things in the future and will share them to those I know.
As I said earlier, the adult side stops working properly at some point.  At least here, they kept the main food tent working and toilets mostly operational.  Part of the very large food tent became a hangout for many who dropped their tents on the night before departure - not wanting to fold up their tent in the dark or being wet from the morning dew.  I chose to keep my tent up and try to get some sleep - not an easy task when the music was blaring all night and activity was buzzing all around.  The few hours' sleep does help and I packed my tent and took it at 5 AM to my Dutch friend.  It is a cold-weather tent and he'll find good use for it.

My hope was to get on an early bus -despite my alledged 9 AM bus assignment.  Since my assigned bus spot was empty, I went and got some breakfast then figured out through conversations that the buses were loading at a different spot at this hour.  Lugging my stuff the 1/4 mile, I found a loaded bus and asked the driver if he was headed to the Copenhagen airport.  Saying yes and finding a spot for my bags, I hopped on board and 90 minutes later was at my destination.  Five minutes to get Danish Kroners and a 10 mintue taxi ride to the Raddison Blu hotel and I was with Carrie and Ashley.  Not bad.

These two had a bad start to the vacation as Carrie was pick-pocketed within hours of arrival.  She had already cancelled credit cards and was concerned that I had no way to get money at the airport to catch a cab.  They were glad to see me and she had figured out with her mom's help and a friend from Wachovia how to cancel her bank card but not mine.  All that manuevering worked out.

If you haven't figured out by now, I'm writing this nearly a week later in Helsinki.  The Jambo was great and I'll clean up the journal and include photos and the later travels when I get home.  The vaction part in Scandinavia is going very well and we're all having a great time.  See you all soon.

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