Jamboree will test scouts' stamina

20:52, Dec 30 2013
stl scouts
KEEN TO GO: Some of Southland’s 100 scouts before leaving for the jamboree in Feilding.

Southland scouts have headed north to Feilding for their national jamboree.

More than 100 scouts from Southland have made the journey to join about 3000 others in a week-long open-air camping adventure.

For the next nine days the scouts, aged 10-14, would embark on a series of rigorous activities, Woodlands scout leader Gregg Cooper said.

"Seven or eight of those days are full-on from start to finish. They do things like farming activities, run mud challenges and traditional scouting activities, like high ropes," he said.

"The days start at 6am and lights are not out till about 10.30pm - they are exhausted by then."

The camp brings together a diverse group of children, with scouts also making the journey from as far as Australia, Hong Kong, Korea and Indonesia.

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During the day groups of 200 scouts embark on activities that can be both physically and mentally demanding.

"They really learn team-building and camaraderie," Mr Cooper said.

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."

Scouts are required to self-cater while they are staying at their base camp.

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 2-litre bottles of milk, 1100 2-litre containers of ice cream, 450kg of sliced ham, 46,000 biscuits, 2016 lettuces and 26,000 bananas.

More than 1200 volunteers will help out until the jamboree ends on January 6.

The Southland Times