WE’RE BACK!!! Nearly 6,000 Scouts from across the country are returning home after a week-long adventure in Halifax. Badge trading, fireworks, drones, fishing, and even an amazing race made CJ’17 unforgettable. My Patrol, the Pyroknights, were just one of hundreds there for our first Scout Jamboree.
CJ was definitely my greatest Scouting adventure, and I know that I share that feeling with my Patrol and Troop. When we first flew in we realized how big this really was. The atmosphere was electric! Though the weather on that first day was somewhat challenging, everyone was out and about, gathering food, setting up their tents and shelters, and anticipating what was to come. The Scouting spirit really showed even when the rain had turned the ground to mud. Trenches were dug, bridges were built, and everyone was helping each other, so that by nightfall, what was once a barren muddy field, was now a tent city.
As morning dawned the first activities took place. My Patrol set out to the ‘Game of Drones’ activity while the rest of our troop split and went different ways. I can very easily say that we were extremely lucky to be one of the first patrols to participate in this event, for some of us were… not stellar pilots. But still, flying drones is a ton of fun, especially once you learn how to actually FLY them.
On Tuesday we were in downtown Halifax, boarding a boat with the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as our destination. We had voted on deep sea fishing as our first choice, and we definitely didn’t regret it. It wasn’t long after reaching our fishing area when everyone started reeling in big ones! Everyone was catching mackerel like crazy, and a few lucky people managed to find cod. I had never caught a fish before in my life, and came back with a tally of 28. The competition was fierce, and we bet badges on biggest catch, first catch, and highest number of fish. Everyone wanted a badge… it is Scouting after all. It was a very good day, and just to top it off, we got to eat the biggest fish we caught.
By Wednesday we were back in Halifax to tour around. My Patrol visited a number of historic locations including H.M.C.S. Sackville (The last WW2 Flower Class Corvette), The Halifax Citadel (a fortress used in the War of 1812) and Cow’s ice cream. (Not a real historic site, but the ice cream was amazing.)
Following historic Halifax, we participated in the amazing race, and dashed around Halifax, visiting notable landmarks, like City Hall, and completing challenges. This was our last offsite event, and we got back just in time for the mud run. All I can say is that they called it Camp MUDooea for a reason!
Near the end of the week we were onsite with a few days of rest, so we passed the time badge trading and exploring. The Scouters told us that badge trading was the biggest event at CJ, and we could easily see why. The campsite was packed with Scouts, not just from Canada, but from all around the world, and all of them were trading badges. My Patrol met Scouts from Taiwan, Australia, the United States, Barbados, and everywhere in Canada.
Everyone loves to collect badges, but the real meaning of the trades are to remember the people that you met during this once in a lifetime event. We ended the week with an awesome firework display and began to pack up our sites.
On Saturday, exactly a week after we arrived, we departed Halifax and went our separate ways. But we carried with us photos, badges and memories of this adventure, and all the new friends we made. I can’t wait for my next Scouting adventure!