It occurred to me the other day that it had been years since I had actually been able to relax on a Queen’s birthday long weekend, as I had always chosen to go to the Greater Western Sydney Jamborette with my troop 1st Dural Scouts instead. It also occurred to me that even though that put me a bit behind on assignments, I still didn’t regret that decision.

The Jamborette is a three-night annual Scout camp in which the Scouts can participate in activities, ranging from rock climbing and flying fox, to nerf wars and mini golf. It is a smaller version of the triennial Jamboree which lasts ten days. Each Jamborette has a theme, this year’s being ‘a day in the life of’, and it was interesting to see each activity work around it. Personally, I find each Jamborette to be lots of fun with its own unique challenges. Last year the bad weather stopped us from setting up properly, and the camp got a poor reputation because of bad weather.

But this time around the weather was clear, and everything seemed to go straightforward. It was a bit too easy! And then I found my challenge: I was now the patrol leader of my group. So for those few days, I was managing my small group of Scouts, and believe me, it got tough sometimes. Every troop also needs to build a gateway, and we built an electric fence, which gave anyone entering a bit of a ‘shock’!

The place is full of activities run by venturers and leaders, but even apart from the activities it’s a great opportunity to learn other skills, such as setting up a tent, making a fire and cooking your own food. So, I lived, and overall I’d still say it was a fun experience.