Contingent to WSJ2015

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Live Blog

 

During our time in Japan, parents and friends back home in Australia will be able to read our live blog and keep up-to-date with the latest news from the Australian Contingent.

We will be adding pictures and other interesting updates every couple of days to share the fun being had during our experience in Japan.

Updates will also be included on our Facebook page.

 

 

Thursday 13 August 2015

We have arrived home safely!
 
A message from the Australian Contingent Leader:
 

Leading 331 Australians to Japan for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree has been full of challenges and yet so rewarding. With representation from every Branch in Australia, seeing every Scout form such strong friendships in only a matter of weeks, and to see each participant fully embrace the Japanese culture with great respect and maturity has been simply inspiring.

As our Contingent members gradually return home, I have been delighted to read the exciting accounts of our journey to friends and family. From the thrill of white water rafting, the tranquillity of the temple stay, the excitement of Universal Studios, or the quiet reflection at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, every Australian Scout proved themselves as great ambassadors for Australia, for Scouting, and for their families.

The World Scout Jamboree is a unique experience that brings Scouts from all corners of the globe together in a great sharing of cultures and values that proves the world can indeed live together in peace. In this, the 70th anniversary year of the atomic bomb, the realisation that young people can learn from the past and join with one another in a common goal, gives great promise to the future of our world.

Our journey would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication from my fellow team members – Nicola, Justine, Ricci, Wendy, Harry and Neville. Your assistance, often under extreme pressure, has been simply invaluable and it has been a pleasure to work together to achieve such a successful event.

To Nick, as Assistant Contingent Leader, you did an amazing job to engage with the youth members and fulfil such a demanding role with such confidence and enthusiasm.

And to my Deputy and dear friend – Shane – who has lived and breathed this event with me for nearly four years, nothing can express the greatest of appreciation to you for your strength and support through every challenge.

It is now my wish that every Contingent member spread the word of the great adventure that is International Scouting. Earn your International Explorer’s Award. Promote every upcoming event to friends in your local community, and let’s ensure that every Jamboree in the future is bigger and better than the one before.

Thank you for the privilege to be your Australian Contingent Leader. It was a great honour and I am truly proud of every achievement during our time in Japan.

Happy Scouting!

Aaron

 

Wednesday 12 August 2015

The Australian Contingent has started the journey home with buses taking Scouts to Kansai and Itami airports for our flights home. Tears of joy from new friendships formed. Exchange of contact details to stay in touch. Final patrol photos to remember the experience. Looking forward to seeing our families again in only 24 hours!
 

Tuesday 11 August 2015

The entire Contingent has returned to Osaka today for our final Contingent Dinner. Tonight is the last time the Australian Contingent will be together before returning to Australia and a great chance for one final celebration.
 

Monday 10 August 2015

Scouts continue their Home Hospitality experience today with some participants out visiting the Matsuyama Castle and bathing at the Dogo Onsen with their host families. IST are travelling to Mt Koya for their own temple experience tonight.
 

Sunday 9 August 2015

As Home Hospitality continues for our Troops, the IST have departed the Jamboree site today and visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on their way to Osaka.
 

Saturday 8 August 2015

Our Troops have departed today enroute to the island of Shikoku for their Home Hospitality. The Scout Association of Japan has organised families to host the Australian Scouts and learn more about traditional Japanese family life.
 

Friday 7 August 2015

The final day of the Jamboree sees Scouts completing their final activities, strengthening international friendships and beginning the process of packing their gear in readiness for our departure. The Closing Ceremony celebrated the success of the Jamboree and promoted the next World Scout Jamboree to be held in North America in 2019.
 

Thursday 6 August 2015

70 years ago today, the first nuclear bomb to be used in warfare was dropped on the city of Hiroshima directly killing an estimated 80,000 people. At 8:15am, Scouts from every nation on earth pause to reflect on the tragedy that occured. All Jamboree participants have visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park as part of the program to learn about this significant event. Today, two representatives from Australia are attending ceremonies at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in recognition of this event.
 
This afternoon, the entire Australian Contingent assembled for a reception to recognise the huge achievements throughout our journey in Japan. The Consul-General gave an inspiring speech summarising the highlights of the Japanese experience. Patrol Leaders, Line Leaders and the Contingent Management Team were recognised for their contribution to the success of the Jamboree.
 

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Chris Bates (Chief Commissioner of Australia), Janis Bates (National Coordinator Youth Program Publications), and Kirsty Brown (Branch Chief Commissioner for Queensland) arrived at the Jamboree site today.
 
Alexandria Riddel – one of Australia's Young Correspondents – has written the following update:
 
The World Scout Jamboree has been an exciting and rewarding experience for everyone in the Australian Contingent. The Scouts and Venturers have been up from the crack of dawn, collecting food for breakfast and getting ready for the day’s activities. Our nights are filled with socialising and trading - everything from badges, scarves and shirts to drink bottles and backpacks - with other scouts from all over the world. Every country’s scouts are more than ready to teach everyone their traditional games, songs and dances. Our little city of the jamboree site even has its own unique skyline- filled with flags from contingents, proving their patriotic spirit by trying to make sure their flag is the biggest and the tallest flag in their sub camp. The Aussies have also been making their mark by belting out the lyrics of true blue songs like ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and ‘We Are Australian’ while waiting in lines for activities, or just hanging out after dinner at our campsite.
 
One of the most rewarding activities of the Jamboree so far would have to be the full day Peace Module in Hiroshima. My troop (Delta troop) visited on the 1st of August - 5 days before the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb drop on the city. We were given the opportunity to explore the memorial park and see the statue of Sadako and the symbolic paper cranes, look through the memorial museum and attend a reading of several survivors’ accounts and poems written by children only 7 years after the devastating bomb was dropped. However, the most rewarding part of the experience was probably the opportunity for scouts to get up on stage and present to the rest of the group of over a thousand international scouts, their reaction to what they had seen and their messages of peace they wish all of us will take home to our own families and friends.
 
I think I can speak for the whole contingent when I say that we have all been having an incredible time and creating solid bonds of friendship with scouts from all over Australia and the world. Despite missing my family and the promise of a private shower, reliable Wi-Fi and maybe even a sleep in back home, I have been trying to ignore how close we are to the end of the Jamboree. As it draws to a close everyone is making sure they have the contact information of everyone they have met. Despite not wanting the jamboree to come to an end, everyone is very excited for our Home Hospitality experience, and returning home to share all their stories with their families and friends.
 
 

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Another fun filled day at the Jamboree site. Slightly cooler weather allowed for our Troops to be out and exploring the free time activities around the campsite. The evening atmosphere continues to be electric.
 

Monday 3 August 2015

Brendan Watson (Branch Chief Commissioner for Victoria) and Jon Willis (Deputy Chief Commissioner for Victoria) attended the Jamboree to see the youth members in action here in Japan.
 

Sunday 2 August 2015

Cultural day at the Jamboree has seen everyone onsite today. The multi-faith ceremony started the morning at the main arena followed by the food festival which saw every troop produce native foods to share with their neighbouring countries. From Vegemite on bread to Drop Bear droppings (aka Golden Syrup dumplings) the Australians had great fun sharing their offerings to the surrounding Scouts. The afternoon concluded with a very special guest visit by His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Japan and Mr Shinzō Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan.
 

Saturday 1 August 2015

World Scout Day at the World Scout Jamboree is an absolutely unbelievable experience. Scouts of all nations join together in celebration and truly embrace the international community that we share here in Japan.
 
The Australian Contingent would like to recognise the following adult members that received Good Service Awards today:
 
Special Service Award
  • Noel Davar
  • Amenda Gilmore
  • Peter Harris
  • Rebecca Hobbs
  • Bill Kentish
  • Deborah Lilley

Meritorious Service Award

  • Duncan McRae

Silver Wattle

  • Stephen Dennis
  • John Dwyer

Silver Koala

  • Neville Tomkins

Silver Emu

  • Manh Nguyen

Silver Kangaroo

  • Don Lang
 

Friday 31 July 2015

Another busy day at the Jamboree with Troops completing a range of onsite and offsite activities. It was great to see some parents visiting the Jamboree on their own holidays. The occasional parcel has arrived onsite as well.
 

Thursday 30 July 2015

Today was the first day of offsite activities. Charlie Troop attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Echo Troop enjoyed their offsite journey to Water Activities and our other Troops completed various onsite modules throughout the day. The weather remains very hot and humid and the participants and managing well in the challenging conditions.
 
 

Wednesday 29 July 2015

All participants have been onsite today to join in the global community that is now the World Scout Jamboree. The Opening Ceremony was a celebration of the Scouts that have journeyed from every corner of the globe to join together here in Japan.
 
 

Tuesday 28 July 2015

All of the Scouts from Australia joined the many thousands of other Scouts from around the world as they travelled to Yamaguchi for the arrival day of the World Scout Jamboree. Over 600 bus loads of Scouts arrived onsite today with a diverse range of uniforms filling the campsite.
 
 

Monday 27 July 2015

Universal Studios Japan was the scene for our final day of the pre-Jamboree camp. Harry Potter World was the favourite attraction with participants undeterred by the long queues for the chance to be on the most exciting rides.
 
 

Sunday 26 July 2015

Morning worship began at 6:30am with a traditional Buddhist prayer service. The Scouts were very respectful as they listened and participated in the service. The participants travelled to Nara during the afternoon to visit The Big Buddha before arriving at their accommodation in Osaka.
 
 

Saturday 25 July 2015

The morning saw us travel to the Kinkakuji (The Golden Pavilion). Our IST then travelled directly to the Jamboree site, whilst the rest of the Contingent enjoyed the bus ride to Koyasan where they would be hosted in temples overnight. Occupying five (5) different temples to accommodate the size of our Contingent, Scouts enjoyed the tranquility of the Mt Koya local area, short walks in the local cemetary, and some even joined the night festival.
 
 

Friday 24 July 2015

The Australian Contingent departed Tokyo this morning on the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. Our IST Independent Travellers joined us in Kyoto for the first time. The participants were then honoured with a private tour of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. The evening was spent at the Otsu Prince Hotel where the Contingent was hosted to a banquet dinner.
 
 

Thursday 23 July 2015

An overcast morning greeted the participants today as they headed to Mt Fuji. A visit to 5th station on the side of the volcano, followed by lunch and a ride on the Kachi Kachi Ropeway filled the day.
 
 

Wednesday 22 July 2015

The Scouts accepted the challenge of using public transport this morning. Everyone was issued with their very own SUICA card to access the Tokyo transport system and made use of trains and subways to reach the Tokyo SkyTree for 360 degree views of the greater Tokyo area. Shopping was the priority of the afternoon for most Contingent members.
 
Patrol Leaders were invited to the Australian Embassy this afternoon to meet His Excellency Mr Bruce Miller, the Australian Ambassador to Japan. The Patrol Leaders represented the Contingent well and engaged in discussion with the Embassy Staff.
 
 

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Today's program saw the Contingent white water rafting on the Tone River, which gets its water directly from the Echigo Mountains. The cool water was a nice relief from the warm weather of Tokyo. With such an early start, most of the Scouts were catching up on their sleep during the bus journey. Having over 300 Scouts on the water was a huge logistical exercise. Using resources from across neighbouring areas, all participants had the opportunity to spend half a day rafting the river, and the other half of the day bushwalking in the local area.
 
Every Patrol has now selected their Patrol Leader that will guide their patrol for the next three weeks or so. Congratulations to each of the volunteers for their dedication to the Jamboree and for accepting such an important role.
 
 

Monday 20 July 2015

Today is a public holiday in Japan, known as Marine Day. Also called ‘Ocean’ or ‘Sea’ Day, it is held on the third Monday in July. The purpose of the holiday is to give thanks to the ocean's bounty and to consider the importance of the ocean to Japan as an island nation.

To celebrate, the Australian Contingent enjoyed a full day at Tokyo DisneySea. Within minutes of entering the park, the impressive size of the theme park was obvious with over 300 Scouts dispersing into the crowd and enjoying the many rides and attractions on offer.

 

Sunday 19 July 2015

The Australian Contingent to the 23rd World Scout Jamboree has now arrived in Tokyo!
 
It has been an action packed first day in Japan. After arriving to 26°C heat at 6am, the Contingent spent much of the day at the Miraikan (Future Science Museum) before moving into their accommodation in Tokyo!
 
 

Following their induction to the centre, and a traditional Tea Ceremony, the Contingent gathered together to learn of tomorrow’s activity. In recognition of the Japanese holiday “Marine Day”, the entire Contingent will be going to the Tokyo Disney Sea Theme Park!
Everyone is very excited and loving the experience!
 
 
 

Saturday 18 July 2015

 

The adventure begins!

Our participants from Broome and Darwin departed on Friday evening and today, Scouts are flying from airports all over Australia as they embark on the experience of a lifetime! The Sydney Domestic Terminal has been alive with Scouts looking forward to the trip and their families waving off as they board buses to our Welcome Activity.

His Excellency the Honourable Mr Masato Takaoka, Consul-General of Japan, attended a spectacular Gala Dinner to farewell our Contingent members before boarding the Boeing 747 for our 9 hour flight to Tokyo.
 

Australian Contingent to WSJ2015