3000 Scouts converging on Feilding
Thousands of Scouts are preparing to pitch tents and camp out en masse in Manawatu.
Scouts are set to descend on Feilding on Saturday for their triennial jamboree - a massive open-air camp which sees Scouts from around the country enjoy a week of camping and camaraderie.
This year marks a milestone for Manawatu's scouting movement - a 20th birthday bash.
The world's first jamboree was held in the United Kingdom in 1920. New Zealand's first came five years later in Dunedin and Feilding's first was in 1994.
Now, two decades later, it seems little has changed in terms of the myriad activities on offer, including high ropes, rafting and diving, and community service jobs like planting native seedlings at Kitchener Park and on Railway Track land.
But nowadays the amount of food needed to feed more than 3000 boys and girls, aged 10-14, has grown, Scouts spokeswoman Jane Hansen said.
The Scouts are required to self-cater for the nine days they are in town and are in charge of their own grocery shopping and meal-making.
Organisers have set up a special jamboree market to meet their needs. This includes 360 kilograms of bacon, 76,000 slices of bread, 2700 tins of fruit salad, 6000 two-litre bottles of milk, 1100 two-litre containers of ice cream, 450kg of sliced ham, 46,000 biscuits, 2016 lettuces and 26,000 bananas.
This year's 20-year celebration is also attracting Scouts from abroad, including leaders from Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Cook Islands and Hong Kong.
Scouts national commissioner Kelly Bleakley said attending a jamboree was almost a rite of passage for Scouts.
"Jamboree is an event where thousands of Scouts come together from all around New Zealand to experience being part of a wider community and meeting others with a common interest."
Joining the Scouts is a team of more than 1200 volunteers who will help with everything from medical care to managing activities.
There will also be some scouting dignitaries visiting, including Scouts New Zealand ambassador Mark Inglis and New Zealand's Chief Scout, Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.
The Scouts are in town until January 6.
Dec 28: Opening night Dec 31: New Year's Eve party Jan 1: Jamboree patrol – market day Jan 2: Future Scout day, for Keas and Cubs to see the jamboree in action Jan 4: International day Jan 5: Closing ceremony
- © Fairfax NZ News
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