Rhys Paetkau – 1st Couteau Venturers
This year over 1,000 scouts and scouting leaders from all over the world gathered in Target Park for the 34th Blair Atholl Jamborette. The first Jamborette was held in 1946 and the idea of the Jamborette was to pair up Scottish patrols with international scouts enhancing the international exchange. When you first arrive at the Jamborette you get paired up with one Scottish patrol of six members. Usually the patrol you get paired up with will be your friends for years to come! I went to Blair Athol a day early with a Scottish patrol from north east fife and helped them set up the dining shelter for a patrol in Maclean sub camp – the other subcamps were MacDonald, Stewart, Murray, Robertson and Morrison. I stayed in the MacDonald sub camp. My patrol was made up of scouts from Scotland and Canada (the contingent I registered with is from Chemanius).
I went to the Jamborette not even knowing the group I was going with but I left with plenty of friends. Some of my favourite things about this Jamborette that makes it different from the other Jamborees is all the responsibility that we had. I awoke at 7:45 when our tent was smacked really hard. I was the QM for our patrol, so I had to go grab the food box. David from our patrol did most of the cooking. Sausage and eggs or a continental breakfast was the usual. After breakfast we cleaned up our camp and tent and had an inspection from the sub camp uncles and cousins. We had an activity in the morning, then lunch, then another activity in the afternoon, just like CJ and PJ. Then I had QM duties again for dinner. One of my favourite meals was the Burns supper night, where we had haggis, neeps and tatties. It was pretty good. There was usually a special event in the evening.
During the Jamborette you can try out a variety of activities, varying from arts and crafts, team sports to the legendary Atholl Experience. The Atholl experience is a really muddy obstacle course that I highly suggest. It required you to blow mud bubbles, go through a spider web, bath in mud, and make a ‘mud’gic potion. Another part of the Jamborette which makes it unique is the HoHo – Home Hospitality. I got to stay with Ewan from Inverness who also hosted Charlie from England. Inverness is near Loch Ness, which is the home of the Loch Ness monster. We also went to Urqhart Castle, which was cool. The whole experience was 2 weeks – and I would highly recommend this as a trip for any Venturer Company.