A tale of 2 SSAGOers... at Kent International Jamboree!

Lucy Blatherwick and Liam Flavin (Southampton)

Tuesday 12th of September 2017

2 SSAGO members from Southampton share their adventures from Kent International Jamboree this summer...

KIJ is an international jamboree in Kent, for Scouts, Explorers, Guides and the other ones to come from all around the world for a week of fun and adventure from the 29th of July to the 5th of August. It’s an opportunity for young people to make new friends from different countries, and to learn about their culture.


IST helped with many different aspects of the event, from the opening ceremony to activities all around the site. IST came from all over the world, but of course, the very best of them, the elite, came from SSAGO…


The 2 of us arrived on Friday the 28th of July to help set up, but people had been there from the 24th in order to make sure everything was ready for the week. We put up our own tents and then set to work, assembling marquees at a frightening pace. We made a few friends along the way, and met the last chair of Warwick SSAGO! In the evening, we went to the bar to pick up our IST packs and to be briefed on the week ahead...


Saturday saw the subcamps transform from quiet fields to bustling metropolises of tents as far as the eye could see, and brought with it the opening ceremony. We even managed to get us and our mascot, Phil Dolphin, projected onto the main stage!


Then began the main activities of the week. Lucy worked with the stage crew, while Liam helped in the youth club.


For me (Lucy), the week involved helping out the stage crew on venues across the site. The actually-paid half of the stage crew were brilliant at giving us a whistle-stop tour of the equipment, before we were left to (mostly) our own devices to get on with the job! Between helping run some funky lighting in the disco tent and running sound for the village stage (yi-baiyi-shi stage), the stage crew were busy all week. From Irish dancers to bands and singers we were busy entertaining the crowds every evening! It was a fantastic experience, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a basic knowledge of stage technology!


I, Liam, helped out in the youth club, which was a marquee with Wiis, Paracord crafts, Loom bands and more. It was always very popular with young people of all ages throughout the week, so much so that we had to start limiting the numbers inside. It was tiring, but it was worth it to see how happy it made the children (and to beat some of them at Mario Kart!). Overall it was a great experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who is already a Scout or Guide leader, or who is looking to become one.


Despite being a busy week, we had enough spare time to look around the jamboree and do some of the activities, from the history of scouting exhibition to the mildly worrying bag drop, there was something for everyone. It also gave us a nice opportunity to catch up on our old groups, and to sell SSAGO to the explorers (we even managed to get on the KIJ radio!). And, of course, we ended up with far too many badges at the end of it!


So after a great week (or more for some of us!) It was time to pack up the site and skip off into the sunset. Hopefully we’ll see even more SSAGO members helping out for KIJ21!