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Gearing up for the Jamboree

Today I had the opportunity to address the amazing international team of adults who will be working to support the participants at this year’s World Scout Jamboree in Sweden.   They arrived at the site today, having travelled from all over the world – and have paid for the privilege of working extraordinarily hard for the next couple of weeks.

“Well, this isexciting, isn’t it?    Like you, I’vebeen counting down the days.   And nowwe’re here, in Rinkaby.  And the 22ndWorld Scout Jamboree will begin in just a few very short hours.
I’m excited.   And I’malso a little bit nervous.    I feel thatway for three reasons.
The first is because of the time.    World Scout Jamborees come around onlyevery four years.   But each time theydo, they change the lives of everyone involved with them.   Our lives will be changed by what happenshere between now and the 8th August.    And in a world where this is still suchconflict, trouble and threat, the opportunity to bring more than 38,000 peopletogether, to demonstrate how all the nations of the world can live in peace andharmony; well, that’s a great message for humanity.
The second reason I’m excited and nervous is because of thepeople we’re all here to serve.   TheScouts.    We are privileged people.   For the next couple of weeks, we are goingto be working to support the next generation of teachers, engineers,entrepreneurs, business leaders, scientists, entertainers, journalists,politicians – This is the generation that has the opportunity to change theworld for the better – a generation of 21st Century leaders ofsociety – Put very simply, these Scouts are going to put right some of themistakes that our generation has made.   They deserve the very best.   Andit is our job to make sure that, whatever it is that we are doing as a jobhere, every participant has the time of their life.   It’s our job, our responsibility, our duty,to search out ways in which we can make each person’s Jamboree experiencespecial – by doing something extra, going the extra mile, providingextraordinary service.
The third reason for me being excited and nervous is becauseof you.   Excited because I know thathere, today, we have the capacity to create an experience for young people thatis truly world class.  Nervous, because,having worked on a number of World Jamborees, I know that from now until the 8thAugust, you are going to get increasingly exhausted – physically, spirituallyand emotionally.    My advice to you is simple.    When you are ‘on duty’ – whatever it is youare meant to be doing – do your job with a smile, a desire to deliver 150% andan expectation that you can deal with any problem that might come yourway.   But when you are off duty, taketime to rest, to explore the Jamboree, to take advantage of the adultprogramme, to make friends and to have a real Jamboree experience.   You will then be able to start your next dayof work with the same creativity and joy that you feel now.
The 22nd World Scout Jamboree is going to be, isalready, an extraordinary experience.  You, I, we – have the chance to make that experience unique for everysingle Scout.   We’re changing the worldtoday, with a small step forward.   Andtomorrow.   And the next day.   Because we are the staff of the 22ndWorld Scout Jamboree.”


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