Over 250 Scouts from Chester joined four and a half thousand other Scouts, Guides and their volunteer leaders at the Royal Cheshire Showground for a week-long, action-packed camping experience. The Chamboree, which took place last week is a four yearly Scout Camp which has grown to become one of the biggest and best in the UK. As well as enabling many youngsters to experience camping for the first time, a huge range of space-themed activities were on offer to educate and entertain them, across nine “planetary zones.”
The event welcomed Scouts from around the world, with groups from The Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Poland, and Israel amongst others. There was also a special welcome for Daniel, a twelve year old from Ukraine who was hosted by 10th Perthshire Scouts in Scotland.
The themed zones included : Mercury, where campers travelled to Manchester for the day to experience a silent adventure tour, have a beatboxing or photography lesson, or visit one of the city’s many museums and other attractions, Venus, an active sports zone, while the Planet Earth zone focussed on learning more about ecosytems and included a bug cafe and pizzas cooking using sustainable fuels. The “sea of tranquility” was a quiet space to reflect and consider life through the lens of multi-faiths, as well as have team members on hand to lend a “listening ear”. The zone also featured an escape room challenge and a sauna! On Mars numerous target sports were on offer including archery, rifle shooting, laser tag and axe throwing, Saturn was a “zero gravity” zone featuring a giant obstacle course, whilst Jupiter offered activities including rock climbing, zip lining and a BMX Pump Track. The Uranus themed zone offered the chance to 3D print a Typhoon aircraft, hold a 6 billion year old meteorite, or learn about toxic waste clean up. Finally, Neptune was a fun space to learn a new skill, such as changing a tyre, wiring a plug, or building flat-pack furniture.
Evening entertainment was provided in the International Space Station themed main arena. The Chamboree X team of younger Scout Leaders hosted a variety of fun events, including the infectious camp dances, 80’s game shows, lip sync battles, discos, and a Gunge Tank. A mixture of live bands including Boomin, Ctrl-C, Channy and an Ed Sheeran tribute act also got the audience dancing from a festival-sized stage with professional sound and lighting. A talent show gave dancers and singers a chance to perform in front of a large crowd.
The Chester Scouts Gang Show team entertained with their three part comedy romp ‘The Story of Chambo,’ with music from The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s providing the necessary ‘jump to the left’ to shift everyone through time and space. Events were also captured by the Chamboree TV team, who presented regular camp news and weather, daily highlights from the activity zones, and live action from the main stage onto the arena’s giant video screens.
Charlotte Mercer, 17, an Explorer from Chester & District Scouts, and a member of the Chamboree X team explained ‘Scouting has provided me with so many brilliant opportunities, and I’ve met so many people at Chamboree from across the world. It’s like having a family away from home that you can do amazing things with. And being onstage, and seeing everyone’s faces smiling and enjoying themselves is just the best feeling.’
Cheshire Scouts County Commissioner and Camp Chief Dave Hopley said ‘Chamboree has been an amazing experience, that shows what a powerful force for good Scouts and Guiding can be for young people. After nearly two years of lockdown, it has been absolutely amazing for us all to be able to come together with people from around the world, and share stories, develop skills and make new friends.
Chamboree has been four years in the making, and young people have been at the heart of delivering it. From choosing the Space-based theme and activities on offer, to taking part on stage within the Chamboree X entertainments team, or helping to lead activities for younger participants. Scouts and Guides have helped make the event a massive success. We’ve also been lucky to have over 1000 adult volunteers, who have worked tirelessly to give the youngsters an amazing experience that they will remember for a lifetime. We’re so proud and grateful to them all.’
For more information about Scouting in Cheshire see https://t.co/VAZI35txl5