“They have come home with a lot of really good memories that are going to last them their whole life.”
That was how Boy Scout leader Don Manty described the recent trip he and four local Scouts took to the Canadian Jamboree on Cabot Beach in Prince Edward Island.
The event, which ran July 7-13, brought together 14,000 Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Rovers from all around the world.
“It was a remarkable experience for these boys,” Manty said. “In addition to meeting other Boy Scouts from across Canada, they also got to talk to boys from Great Britain, Australia, and Granada.”
Among the many events the boys participated in, a few stood out in Manty’s mind as the most enjoyable, not only for the youngsters but also the adults.
“One of the definite highlights of the week was this event called ‘Mud Mazing,’” he noted. “If you can picture in your mind what it might be like, it was much worse.
“Basically, they had created these large pits and filled them with Prince Edward Island red mud. The kids spent a great deal of time in it playing volleyball and just going crazy,” he remarked.
Another highlight of the trip, Manty said, was a game they called “Keeper of the Gate.”
“During this event, the boys had the chance to fire potato cannons and shoot bows and arrows,” he enthused. “They really enjoyed it very much.”
While the jamboree was full of games and fun, the Scouts also got the chance to see the world through the eyes of others.
“The ‘Ability Challenge’ was a game that was created to make the kids see life from another person’s point of view,” said Manty. “They put the boys in wheelchairs and put them in situations where disabled kids find themselves every day.
“In another event, they had the boys blindfolded and made them set up a tent,” he added. “It was interesting to see the boys trying to assemble a tent without being able to see what they were doing, not to mention very funny.”
With so many volunteers required to organize and run the week-long event, Manty is doubtful about whether or not there will be another jamboree.
“To put something like this on requires a large number of volunteers,” he said. “With 14,000 people, you are basically looking at a self-contained community.
“We had three little grocery stores on site, as well as a post office,” he noted. “It is a great deal of work and they are finding it increasingly hard to find volunteers to help out.”
Despite the uncertainty of the jamboree’s future, Manty feels his Scouts came home from P.E.I. rich with experiences that will last them a life time.
“Going down there was not only fun but it taught the boys about themselves,” he explained. “Not only did they get to learn about other countries, but more importantly, they got to learn how to be caring and compassionate people.”