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Jamboree Update for BBC Radio 2

We had our opening ceremony on Saturday and you will have seen the pictures of HRH Prince William in the press. My job, first thing that morning, was to find and organise 500 young people from all over the world to take part in activities we’d arranged for the Prince to see. As our international contingents had only arrived the evening before, this was quite a challenge, but I’m delighted to sat that we succeeded. The Prince was a real hit with everyone. What a genuinely nice person he is – clearly truly interested in what our young people are doing. Incidentally, he wasn’t hosted by old fogies like me, but by young people throughout his visit – with us in the background doing the logistics. Perhaps that’s why he seemed to enjoy the visit so much.The event is now well and truly underway. The rain poured down on Saturday night, although it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits – particularly the young people enjoying the party in our main arena. The mud’s a bit of a problem in some parts of the site, but most of the ground is still green and it now looks as though we’ve got good weather for the next few days.Walking around the site is truly humbling. Thousands of young people from almost every nation in the world making friends with each other and learning about each other’s cultures. I met kids from Singapore chatting to teenagers from the United Arab Emirates yesterday on our plaza. They were discussing world politics and the price of hamburgers!The site here at Hylands Park is enormous. Actually we’re the third biggest town in Essex at the moment. Here in the organising office we’re generally pretty calm, but we have plenty to do to make sure that the showers keep working, the lavatories are clean, the food gets delivered to Troops, the coaches arrive to take the young people out on their visits – and that all the adventurous activities are organised in a safe and secure way.Back to work now. I have a meeting of the Heads of all our international Contingents to organise. This morning’s topic of concern is keeping our wireless internet connection up and running. Apparently it isn’t as consistent as ones you find in the middle of a city!

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