Recently, the 40 days mark until we fly was passed, this represents the last 12 stages…
Stage 1: Have I got everything?!
Stage 2: No I Don’t!!!
Stage 3: Amazon, Go Outdoors, and any other shop that may possibly sell a decent size micro-fibre towel or shoes that fit your awkward feet and the environment you are headed for.
Stage 4: Basically another stage 1 in which you realise that you have actually missed something really important off of the original list and must now repeat the whole process even more frantically than before as you find even more impossible items, like folding chopsticks with a short delivery time, or some way of storing valuables safely…
Stage 5: (To be ignored by scout(s)) PARENT: “What will I do for 3 weeks?” “How will I cope?”
Stage 6: Packing, the moment when you think, I’m sure I imagined that bag being fuller?
Stage 7: Is fuller even a word?
Stage 8: Check the dictionary to find out if fuller is actually a word.
Stage 9: Realise that you have actually become greatly sidetracked and so must now return to whichever job you were meant to have finished an hour ago.
Stage 10: Finally finish the required jobs.
Stage 11: Attempt (in vain) to make yourself fit the slightly large uniform.
Stage 12: Countdown to the Jamboree with the unit 48 countdown made by unit members (see if you can spot my number!) Countdown
A few days ago we received our issued UK Contingent kit. With huge hats and water bottles, I don’t know how we’ll fit our stuff into the bags we have received! No sooner had they been delivered but my things were attracting a lot of attention, my mum was working out how to shorten my shorts and my cat was busy stealing my hat!
I can’t wait to get wearing the kit in the Japanese sun, but was even more excited for our unit day on Saturday. On the day of the Tour de Yorkshire we were in York completing challenges, such as teaching a member of the public (or – as we chose – a Disney store worker / Jedi knight!) how to make an origami crane and giving gifts to shops. Betty’s and Millets were very happy to receive a unit badge and I hope they will now be proudly displayed in their windows – I’ll be checking next time I’m in town!
It was great to be in York on the day of the Tour de Yorkshire, we had incredible fun and experienced near Tokyo level crowds! After we had finished our delicious Wagamama’s meal (getting in practice), a few of us stayed to see the amazing Yamato drummers of Japan, they were incredible and kept us in awe.
As I began to write a post about a unit 48-47 get together at flamingo land, I found this un-posted post, (I had forgotten to post it!) so I decided to post it first, and then write the post i was about to write anyway, so here it is:
Last weekend Unit 48 met up at Birch Hall Camp Site where we slept in the shelters provided (we didn’t camp). To be honest, sleeping in the shelters was a great idea because it was (and no longer is) February! And to all the scouts or ex-scouts who may be reading this you will know that February is not a good time to camp. Having packed lightly (considering the time of year) we all met up at the site near Scarborough. The site however, could have been on another planet as it was surrounded by hills and trees, and miles from the nearest civilisation.
On the Friday night we played a game of Tokyopoly (designed to show us the different places we might choose to go in Tokyo) and from that, I merely realised that I wanted to see a lot more than 3 days might allow!!! Our meals at the weekend were designed like those at the Jamboree. High in carbohydrates and salt for replacing energy and minerals lost over the day. And with few perishables in the high (and at this point un-imaginable) heat. It wasn’t easy but I managed to eat enough of the strange combinations! (including Jelly with chopsticks…)
The weekend was mainly activity based, with patrol entertainment, health, Hiroshima, sewing, cooking and baggage all on the agenda; It all seems to become more real each day as we get closer and closer to the opening ceremony! One of the areas that Unit 48 can do very well is entertainment, with a new dance to ‘Uptown funk’ being thought up in the space of a day! Most importantly of all, we’re all HAPPY!
So as I was saying before I discovered my forgetfulness, unit 47 and unit 48 met up at flamingo land last weekend. It was raining so heavily that people must have thought we were stupid! (And hence there were no queues!) We all enjoyed the rides and it was even better to have it as a second get together with our south Yorkshire counterparts. Although it was cold and wet, we went home excited and slightly queasy!
I realised recently that I hadn’t posted in a long time! So I decided that I would write a short post to fill you in. I have had some great feedback on my blog recently and there is now even a link on the unit website!
I also found this video from our day in Teesmouth which was great fun (if tiring)! See if you can spot me.
Thank you all for helping me on my journey so far, and for taking the time to follow this blog!
Teeside in all its glory
It was High!
We looked great!!!
On a cold and sunny Sunday morning, some members of unit 48 and unit 50, another jamboree unit, abseiled from the top of the Tees Transporter bridge. The 220 foot tall structure is visible from miles around and was under maintanance, meaning that we could abseil from 160 feet on the South end, the long way down to the tarmac below.
It was a brilliant morning to be up on the bridge, we were incredibly lucky to get a clear morning and having climbed the 200 steps we were rewarded with views as far as the eye can see, it was like being in heaven (well, as close as you can get in Middlesborough!).
We took in the views and then were briefed on what to do; essentially, you chose how fast you wanted to go, and controlled your speed by feeding rope through a bracket. Whilst waiting, our nerves were made worse by the sight of the seemingly small brackets attaching rope to metal, but we were assured they were safe, and after the first abseiler went, we all saw that it was easier than we first thought.
The worst part of my abseil was when you first leave the bridge, I couldn’t feed the rope fast enough and so got caught on the steel girders, soon however, I got into the swing of things, and actually enjoyed a rather pleasant ride down to terra firma.
Last week the “York Jamboree Group” went to 6 showings of the York Scout and Guide Gangshow to sell our pens, badges and carabinier key rings. It was a great show and we raised lots of money, with a lot of thanks to the stewards at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre. It was tiring work, as shows went on till nearly 10 o’clock in the evening, but well worth it for the amount that we have raised! Thank you to everyone who donated, from those who bought one pen, to those who bought 5 badges!!!
In other news, the unit 48 leaders went on a training weekend last weekend. They found out many details about our trip, one of the most exciting was that after the jamboree itself (as you can see in the photo above) we will stay with Japanese families on Tokushima Island! Tokushima Island sounds like a very interesting place, from the huge bridge to the mainland and the whirlpools that form beneath it, to the mountains and the great gorges that run through the centre of the Island. We can’t wait to experience Japanese life there!
Hmm… I think he’s proud of his work
More manure, but even better!
From the air
Lighthouse? we’re not near the sea are we?
We could see the end!
What’s wrong with this clock?
Finally, me and my mum finished our ‘River Run Challenge’ on Tuesday. Running out of time, we made the decision to complete our final stage on my birthday. It felt so great to have completed and achieved our target distance, and thanks to everyone who has supported me by donating to my cause, the challenge has raised over £1500!!!
The run was great, we avoided any cows, and it was mostly on tarmac. There were some great sights, like manure and a slightly odd clock but none were better than the wonderful sight of the end! We ended at the wonderful Blacktoft Sands nature reserve where we were greeted by our ever helpful support team of sister and dad.
All that is left to do is to thank my mum for running with me all the way, even when I made every run hard work!