How time flies…

Today Facebook tells me that a year ago today I got home from the IST Gathering for the 24th World Scout Jamboree at Walesby Forsest.

My facebook status tells me that I had a great time making new friends and meeting up with people I knew from other events all around the world. I’ve got maybe a dozen 1 year “friendaversaries” – admittedly one or two of those are people I already knew, I just hadn’t got them on facebook, but it demonstrates the point.

I got my first contingent Neckie/Necker/Scarf/Whatever and badge a year ago today. I’m still loving tea-bear

Today, the countdown app on my phone tells me I have 40 days until I fly to New York, New York (so good they named it twice) to start my Jamboree Adventure.

A lot has changed in a year. A lot has stayed the same.

This time next year the Jamboree will be a series of memories – hopefully amazing ones that you cherish for the rest of your lives. We will have summited our Everest and be on the way back down. We will be choosing our next adventures, whether they be Scouting/Guiding related (Ireland 2021 anyone?) or more personal, like going to college or moving to university.

Somewhere, in one of the 133 countries signed up to attend, there will be people who have no idea that you exist, but this time next year you might see them as one of your best Scouting friends. I’ve told the story about me and one of my best friends, who was only living about 75 miles away from me but I’d never met her till the Moot in Canada.

If you’ve not gathered from some of my other ramblings, Jamborees stick with you. The experiences you have and the people you meet will help shape you as a person.

I will repeat my ultimate Top Tip for anyone who is new or has forgotten.

With a Jamboree, you get out what you put in. Immerse yourself in the experience and you’ll have the time of your life

That weekend in Walesby is where we, that is Lyndsey, Matthew and I, decided to resurrect “Martin’s Top Tips”.

For those of you who haven’t read the “About us” page, in the run up to the World Scout Moot in Iceland over the summer of 2017, I decided to impart my knowledge and experience of big international events to the contingent as a whole with a daily “Martin’s Top Tip” in the two or three weeks in the immediate run up to the Moot. These weren’t on a fancy wordpress site with media, but simple Facebook posts shared to the Contingent Self Help Group.

It had sort of started as a joke amongst friends, based almost entirely off music puns. Everyone on that event was (or at least was supposed to be) and adult, so reminding them to brush their teeth or take regular showers was a bit light hearted, but the feedback was very positive, so I kept going, even including a few whilst I was out at the Moot.

Resurrecting “Martin’s Top Tips” for this Jamboree had been something I’d thought about. I was approached by a few folk whilst I was out in Iceland thanking me for sharing the hints and tips I’d gathered. After talking to Matthew and Lyndsey and some of the CMST (off the record), it was decided to start this back up again.

The final scheduled Top Tips post of the 14th World Scout Moot in 2017, there were a couple of others “in-country”

At the All Adults weekend a few weeks ago, I had quite a few people approach me, fellow IST, Unit Leaders and even some of the CMST and say “you’re not the Martin who writes those Top Tips are you?”

The feedback has been great and it’s honestly amazing to see that folk are reading this and taking some of it on board. I hope my advice, based on my own regrets and mistakes helps your Jamboree experience.

The point of this is to say we’re hoping to keep the Top Tips coming between now and the start of the Jamboree. We’ve got a lot to say and not a lot of time to say it.

Even after we get to the States, I think Matthew and I are planning to try and release some stuff about being there. It’s the first time I’ll have been to America, so it’s a learning curve for me, and I know a few folk will be in the same boat.

If there’s anything you want us to cover, please let us know. I have found, through my years of doing these things that no question is a stupid one, and if you’re wondering something, then the chances are other people are too!

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