Category Archives: National Jamboree 2008

Stormy weather

Yesterday night the weather started to turn against us, at least it may seem so.

Until now (well, from monday to sunday that is) we were blessed with rather hot weather and sunshine. One might say that it was too hot and too sticky, but at least it was good weather.

Yesterday night wind came up and reached a rather critical power. I have been told that most of the subcamps had to put down the larger constructions and we, at the staff camp, had troubles with our tents as well.

It started at about 7pm and actually went on the whole night until now at about 11am. Sometimes it rained, sometimes the wind blew pretty hard. Fortunately both happened only a few times simultaneously. Quite a lot of people had troubles and had to put down the tents, at least in the beginning. Some were even so unlucky that they were pretty wet this morning and had to change their tent.

My tent is fine so far – only a few small leaks – and I hope that my old “playground” manages to survive this camp.

I have been told that this storm was not the only one we will encounter during the contura, so I stay cautious and hope for the best…;)

I dislike mondays…

…sounds less harsh than “I hate mondays” even though latter is actually true.

Got up at 5am to make sure to be at the right place by 5:30am to check wether two chaps showing up. These two gentlemen were supposed to help emptying the toilets on our subcamp. Well, to put it mildly, only one showed up and I had to help myself.

While this is not much of a problem, it is just bothering me that people forget to make your duty, especially if it is just meant to be ONCE in the whole camp.

Well, whatever…I have the chance to complain a lot more, because I will do this very supervising job until friday. I just got a phone call telling me that there is actually a meeting with the people supposed to help emptying the toilets the day before at 8pm. Just got there and met one of them who was willing to call me if there are any problems (and lets me sleep otherwise) which is superbe!

Thanks a lot for that.

I will get up early enough to “supervise” the cleaning shift in the morning anyhow..

But actually, I am not supposed to complain or to nag about this. I am really not!
There is always someone doing those kinds of work. This time it is me among a lot of other people. So, I will do it as best as I can to make sure things are done right (or at least as best as they can be done).

The weather outside changed from very hot and damp to a bit chilly and quite stormy. I hope my tent will survive this wind. However, I am more concerned about all the famous constructions out there made by scouts who might be put down just because of the wind.
I hope nothing happens….

Saturday, half of the camp already past…already sunday

It is already sunday as I write this, so…well, we past over the half of the camp (at least for me that is).

Yesterday we had our usual day of workshops, this time with some more troubles. The participants were pretty cheeky and quite demotivated. However, not all of the workshop leaders could confirm this. Probably I just got unlucky.

The weather was tremendously hot and actually very sticky. A thunderstorm was imminent, at least we thought so. Clouds built up and it looked pretty bad, but it actually rained only a few minutes in the evening.

Nevertheless our interational team party was great and we really enjoyed the company of each other, the cake and the acts. Was really funny, thanks!

Now, today I woke up by the sound of rain. It was not terribly bad, but still…not entirly welcome (even though we have a cool day now). It already stopped raining, but the clouds are still there, so we might get unlucky again today, even though the sun peaks through the coulds some times.

Well, I hope I can get a bike to go to the subcamp four to visit my scout district which appears to have built some wonderful constructions and got famous with the Mission Magdalenas. In the same subcamp (if I am not mistaken) there will be a special day organised by Georgian scouts.

Lets see what the day brings…

Another day…

I got up a bit earlier today to take a shower and to try to buy at Spar. To my big surprsise I was able to take my first warm shower (yes, indeed, warm water) which I – of course – enjoyed quite a lot. Spar opened at 7am, which was rather unexpected, so I did not have to wait at the entrace, but coud walk in and get my stuff I wanted (there werent even a lot of scouts around).

After the usual meetings at the morning with information and more or less important questions we head for our workshops to prepare them. It was an usual day with the usual motivated and not so very much motivated young people around.

In my opinion we had great weather even though I was a tiny little bit concerned about the kids running around without any hats or other sun protection. I do not want to know if they drank enough water, but I could image that some of the kids were pretty much spent in the evening and had a rather uneasy sleep.
The sun was quite strong and the wind was disguising this pretty good. Fortunately the water was not cleared for drinking, so water itself was available to all of them.

The meeting in the afternoon or evening was very efficiently organised. Even though some of the usual points were discussed we were able to finish rather early. Today the “red circle” opened their workshop for another hour, so the other NGOs were able to have a peek what we are actually doing. It would indeed be rather pitty not to see what happens all around us.

In the evening I enjoyed theatersports at the stage of subcamp one. I bumped into a friend and we spend the evening talking, loads of other (old and new) friends joined in…like the good old times…;)

No, it did not…

…break loose.

We finished our day pretty much on time and were able to close down our tent at 4pm this afternoon. After that we enjoyed each other company at the workshop-leader meeting.

But first things first:
As we expected there were many many people more arriving at the workshop this morning and we gladly accepted the challenge to entertain them.
We soon found out that 45 minutes of brain working stuff (reading, thinking, and so on) is not as funny as other work shops, especially when all of your friends at the work shops around have fun running and moving around.

That said, the workshop is not bad, there is a lot of information to gather and there are actually many kids really interested in the subject. But still, it might be a bit more physical for them.
So we decided to start the game outside in a circle trying to show them a few things about our worlds balance of wealth (or inbalance thereof) before showing them a presentation on the beamer. After the intro they are supposed to work on the different stages of the workshops on their own (us being at service if anything is too difficult or more information is needed).
Now that will be shortened and a game will be introduced. They need to run around a pole while balancing a potato on a spoon and carrying a (rather light and fake) sack of potato.

We still need to figure out how we manage to make this a bit more challanging and bit more fair for all of them, but we are working on it and I am sure we will find a solution to this.

Like in the last few days I met lots of other old friends who I have not seen in a while. It is great to have you all around again and I am really looking forward to spent a few more days with you all.

The mail delivery system works pretty well. There are many people working at the “Post” who collect mail from the subcamps or actually deliver the mail (including our subcamp, of course). Funny thing is, that many faces at the “Post” are actually well known….seems that this work is really something everyone wanted…;)

Weather still fine, even though pretty windy and therefore might getting chilly as soon as the sun sets. However, I am far from complaining. It is beautiful. Only problem so far is the heat and the direct sunshine. Where shade should be available to all 2000 participants waiting for the workshops, water still seems to be an issue. The lab still did not clear the water completely, even though it already can be drunk (at least no one who did died so far ;)).

Will hell break loose?

Today, the participants will be visiting us…2000 at least. The weather seems to be great which will help a lot! But still, there is no way to say how things will work out for sure now.

The scouts are younger and there are more than 40 per workshop (being about 20 yesterday). This is going to be a challenge, which we – of course – gladly accept.

Lets get it on…

Now, on day three of me being at the Contura, our workshops were supposed to be up and ready. Today the first participants arrive and we had/could to check out if our worksop actually run as supposed to or if they need any tweaking.

The frist meeting at 9:30 am was again with general information and the usual questions. At about 10 am we were able to get to our tents to prepare the workshops. At 11am, pretty much on time, the first run could be started.

This day was a bit special as we were visited by the older participants. I bet those people are either easier to motivate or at least will not make any troubles if they are bored by all the things we are telling them. At least we could determine if there are any flaws in the concept or if there is anything missing.

For our workshop it went rather well, I think…still a few little details we had to sort out, but so far nothing major. Let us hope with the double amount of people and them being younger that still applies.

The meeting after all the shifts with all the leaders of the workshops (including scouts and member of the according NGOs alike) was actually rather funny. Apparently it seems harder than expected to adapt to the way of scouting or improvise if something is not actually exactly working like planned. There are a few particular people (member of NGOs) who pretty much need to get into the flow and just try to be flexible and improvise instead of hoovering all over the Naura, Taiga and Tinka (those three being in charge of all the activities and processes within the global village).

Most of the requests are simply ridiculous as they either mean to rearrange the WHOLE subcamp and its times and schedules or they address a particular problem which needs to be solved within the workshops or NGO rather than in a general manner. Well, they will soon enough realise how things will work (and how they will not).

The  weather was being promised to get better, but it was delayed by one day….but better later than never I’d say…;)

Day two, tomorrow it starts…

Getting up at 5 am was easier as I expected (and I was surely happy about this). When I arrived at the meeting point I was introduced to the gentleman who works with the company where those toilets come from.

Two ladies joined in, one being a “volunteer” like me (the only thing being volunteer on this job was on which day you actually do it) named Kibiz and the other being in charge of this particular job, trying to find out what is still needed and how this finally will work named Murmeli. So the gentleman used the pump to get all the stuff out of the toilet (I could have written shit, but that is just one ingredient of that stuff) and we had to clean them and refill the blue watery stuff back.

This went rather well in my opinion even tough we needed about twice the time necessary due the lack of equipment like towels, buckets and such. But Murmeli, being patient, noted our suggestions.

We then went on to one of our first meetings of the Village Globale getting some vital information on how all this will work and what is still needed to be done here. So we started to help all the institutions and associations and NGOs (and GOs) to get their stuff into their tents where their workshops will be held.

My GO (called DEZA) arrived at about 10:30 and I was able to help building up the workshop I was supposed to take care of. We had quite a good time even though things could have been a bit faster. At about 4 pm most of the workshop was up and running. Though we had some troubles with the laptop and beamer, especially with the latter one, as the tent being white let in loads of light which is usually okay, but not if you intend to show something on the wall with the beamer…

In the evening we enjoyed the opening ceremony at UL0 with the Bula-Big Band playing (just great!) after which most of the people went to the opening ceremony of the near UL1. The opening ceremonies included fireworks which were launched by all subcamps all around (nearly) synchronised and which where visible quite far away (well, we had some fog around, so…).