A look back at the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden

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On July 29, 2011, I made my way to Sweden for the World Scout Jamboree. I was a bit late for this due to the fact I had to finish my military service in Thailand but glad that I could participate in this event.

The world Scout Jamboree is an event that has been taking place every four years since 1920 with scouts participating from all around the world. In this World Scout Jamboree 40,000 scouts had found their way to Rynkeby in Sweden.

Senator Sutham Phanthusak, International Commissioner of Thai Scouting, enjoying the camp.Senator Sutham Phanthusak, International Commissioner of Thai Scouting, enjoying the camp.

I was an IST during the camp despite the fact that I was too young as it requires that you are 18 years old. IST stands for the International Service Team. I became an IST due to the fact that I had already been to a world scout jamboree as a participant in the UK in 2007 and I then understood what it is like to be a participant so then I wanted to know how it is being an IST.

The World Scout Jamboree took place near the town of Kristianstad which is a very small town in the south of Sweden. The main aim of the World Scout Jamboree was to bring people from different countries together so they can have new friends from around the world and learn from each other.

Therefore, people understand the benefit of a multi cultured world. But me being a student at Regents in Pattaya, this was not so hard to adapt to since Regents is a very international school. Many of the others at the jamboree only speak and spend time with those from their own country and they might have learned new things about different cultures.

My mother Mio and father Jan slept one night in the camp. For my mother this was her first night in a tent.My mother Mio and father Jan slept one night in the camp. For my mother this was her first night in a tent.

During my time at the camp I was with the Thai contingent since I have been working with them for a long time now and so has my dad. Thailand had about 140 scouts in which 6 of them were blind. Thailand was the only country to have brought blind scouts along with them.

The blind scouts came from a school between Pattaya and Naklua which is particularly for the blind and the Thai scouting association have under the leadership of Senator Sutham Phanthusak, International Commissioner of Thai Scouting, been working with them for a long time. We believe that blind people can achieve a lot and have a lot to offer for the world and for scouting. The King of Sweden even paid them a visit in the camp due to the fact that the King of Sweden had opened one of their facilities in their blind school in Pattaya and has also contributed a lot of money for them and also wanted them to come to the camp. The King himself is the Honorary President of the World Scout Foundation and has been a scout from his childhood.

HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

In the camp I mainly worked with the Thai contingent, every country has their own contingent tents and each one gives information about their country. A lot of the time in the contingent tents I was informing other scouts and visitors about Thai culture and life, played some games, had some quizzes and in the tents we had Thai massage which was very popular. I was also assigned other jobs as a volunteer; this included cleaning and washing dishes in the canteen, in which only IST’s and camp visitors could eat. We even had HM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden eating in the canteen.

I had learned a lot from the camp and about different cultures. I met scouts from more than 150 countries and made many new friends. I spent about two weeks at the camp and it was very enjoyable. It is going to be a while until I sleep in a tent again, that’s for sure.

As it seemed like everything was coming to an end there was one more thing to enjoy and that was the closing ceremony. It was like a massive concert with fireworks and some very famous bands from around Europe including the band from Sweden called “Europe” who has sung “The Final Countdown”. The next World Scout Jamboree will be in Japan and I hope to be an IST in that again, or maybe even a troop leader.

The blind scouts from Thailand once again had the pleasure of meeting Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden.The blind scouts from Thailand once again had the pleasure of meeting Their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden.

Some of the Thai scouts and myself.Some of the Thai scouts and myself.

Senator Sutham Phanthusak, International Commissioner of Thai Scouting, with the blind scouts.Senator Sutham Phanthusak, International Commissioner of Thai Scouting, with the blind scouts.

HM the King of Sweden during the presentation ceremony.  I am seated near the front with my brother Mathew.HM the King of Sweden during the presentation ceremony.  I am seated near the front with my brother Mathew.