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Jamboree Update for BBC Radio 2

Another update from a sun baked field in Essex! Here in Jamboree HQ it’s absolutely boiling hot. We’re making sure that everyone here slips, slaps and slops – as our Australian Scout friends say – slip on a tee shirt, slap on a hat and slop on the suncream. I’m adding ‘slurps’ as well. We’re trying to make sure that everyone drinks plenty of water, available from all the standpipes we’ve had installed around the site. Today the floods a couple of weeks ago in Gloucestershire seem a very long time ago!We’ve welcomed nearly 6,000 day visitors every day to the site, which has been fascinating. The place gets really busy when the visitors are here – and then in the evening the camp becomes ours again. As the sun goes down, food houses, representing a number of countries, serve their national dishes for the participants. Last night I ate my main course in Egypt, grabbed a salad in Greece and finished with coffee in the Austrian coffee house. (Though no smoking, of course, so not quite like Vienna!)Whilst the day visitors are with us, a large proportion of the Jamboree goes off site. One of the activities is called ?Splash? and it’s given the name for a good reason. The activity centre located on the Alton Water Reservoir gives jamboree participants so many chances to get wet. The best way to do that is probably with a canoe or kayak paddle.Yesterrday I met 15 year old Ofiniel Great from Namibia. He was among the first to arrive at Open Canoeing. He?s never been in a canoe of any kind before, but the staff made sure he felt welcome. Ian Feighery, a 14 year old scout from Ireland, already knew what to expect since he had attended our rehearsal camp two years ago. But he still had expectations, ?I want to have fun, meet new people and have a nice day.?Open Canoeing provides scouts with a chance to paddle a bellboat, which can hold eight or a canoe for two. Up to 150 scouts can be in the water at any time and canoeing coordinator Julian Fulbrook?s staff lead the participants on a four mile tour of the reservoir. Occasionally a paddle or two may splash another canoe. It?s all to be expected and even encouraged.A short distance away, hundreds of kayaks began flowing into the water within 30 minutes after participants arrived. Richard Moody, the Kayak/Sit-on Kayak coordinator has two goals. The first is ?that everyone who comes gets a water experience. They get to take it back with them.? His second is to have 600 kayaks in the water at the same time. The Guinness Book of World Records is already being asked to certify that the jamboree now holds the new record when 500 kayaks took to the water on opening day. On Friday, it was not possible to set a higher mark, but there was no doubt everyone had a great time.Nikolat Jorgemsen, 15 from Denmark was excited when he came ashore, ?I liked the water and the splashing, and it was fun.? Jeff Cheng from Taiwan agreed, ?It was really wonderful to play with other countries and to make friends.? For many, Splash will be their favourite day of the 21st World Scout Jamboree.

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