Richard Perry

Just another blog about nothing

Memories: South Africa 2006-07 Memories: Switzerland 2008

Memories: 21st World Scout Jamboree 2007

  |     |   Memories, World Scout Jamboree, Buddhist, Scouts, Events

Ok so I’m only on the third post in this series and I’m already getting behind, but I will try to be better, honest :wink:.

In 2007 we celebrated 100 years of Scouting. The main event of the year was the 21st World Scout Jamboree1 which was held in Hylands Park, Chelmsford. Rosie and I volunteered to join the International Service Team to work at the Jamboree, and we worked in the Buddhist Tent in the Faith & Beliefs Zone with Troll2. I realise that this isn’t technically travel, but it does hold some great memories and we did meet and interact with people from all over the world :smile:.

The Jamboree itself was just under 2 weeks long, but we arrived a couple of days before to help get everything set up. It was during these first couple of days when the Thai Scouts gift to the Scout Association arrived. It was a huge Buddha statue that would be the centrepiece of our tent for the duration of the Jamboree, and would then find it’s new home in the Sala at Gilwell Park. We set up two different types of Buddhist shrines (Thai/Theravada and Vajrayana) in our new home and were joined by two Buddhist monks (Gankhuyag Magsarjav, Mongolia & Ming Kuang, Taiwan) for the duration of the Jamboree.

It was a fascinating couple of weeks. We met a vast range of people with dramatically differing viewpoints that sparked some interesting conversations on faith, beliefs and our place in the universe. It wasn’t just Buddhist Scouts that visited us either, we had visitors from every faith & most of the countries (≅ 158) that were represented at the Jamboree. It was quite humbling really.

However, for me, the most important and memorable experience I had at the Jamboree was taking refuge3 in the Buddha, the Dharma & the Sangha. Myself and a friend of mine, Michael McClafferty, celebrated our refuge ceremony on Sunrise Day. This was the main celebratory day of the Jamboree with a Sunrise Ceremony in the morning and all sorts of Internationally Themed events happening across the whole site. The ceremony was carried out by Lama Gankhuyag Magsarjav who became a good friend to all of us during the course of the Jamboree and we both felt privileged for him to be so involved in our refuge ceremony.

  1. A Jamboree is an International Scouting event for those aged between 14 and 18 and the 21st World Scout Jamboree attracted ≅ 40,000 attendees 

  2. Troll was the guy who came up with the idea for the South Africa trip we did the previous New Year 

  3. Perhaps a few of you need a little bit of an explanation here, I follow the teachings of Buddha and as such I am Buddhist. I realised that my beliefs aligned with the Buddhist faith in 2005 and have identified myself as such ever since 

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