This Summer, WWESU headed to Cheshire for the Cheshire International Jamboree. Chamboree is a week long camp attended by scouts from around the world.
A group of just under 50 Explorers huddled in the middle of the Scout park car park, bright and early during the summer holidays could only mean one thing, It was time for WWESU’s annual Summer camp. Summer camp this year took on a different form than usual as the Unit headed to Cheshire for the Cheshire International Jamboree. Chamboree is a week long camp that takes places every four years and is attended by scouts from around the world.
The theme for Chamboree 2022 was Space, which meant that every activity zone and event was Space-themed. Every day, Our Explorers visited different zones to try out a range of amazing activities from STEM and conservation activities to quad biking and ziplining. Over the course of the week, every Explorer tried things that they’ve never done before some stepping so far out of their comfort zone that by the end of the week, they were completely different, more adventurous and confident people.
To see all the highlights from Summer camp, Watch our video here:
A few weeks later, 15 Explorers and 4 teams undertook their Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions, in total seven Silver and eight Gold expeditions were completed. Over the week spent in Wales every explorer built on their teamwork and leadership skills, enjoyed over 100km of beautiful scenery along the River Wye, and made memories to last a lifetime.
After two training weekends and a practice expedition on the River Thames early in the year, the four silver and gold teams had been planning every part of their expedition for weeks to make sure they were completely prepared for their journey down the River Wye. As soon as the Explorers arrived at the first campsite in Wales, the two gold teams were sent off with some leaders to practice going down Symonds Yat, a section of the river classed as grade 2 white water, whilst the silver teams set up camp and made a bonfire waiting to hear about the golds’ first experiences of the river.
The next day, the Gold teams were up early in the morning, to take down their part of the campsite, make sure everything was packed away and ready for the start of their expedition. Whilst the Gold’s started the first part of their expedition, the two silver teams spent the day on the River with the leaders to practice going down rapids, as this was the first time many of the Explorers had experienced any kind of moving water, and enjoy a nice day out out on the water before starting their expedition.
Over the following three days, the four teams paddled down the river stopping at different campsites along the way and being completely self-sufficient throughout. Each team planned their own menu for the expedition and meals over the week ranged from pot noodle to curries and tacos, all cooked on trangia gas stoves.
All four teams finished their expeditions at the Old Station Tintern after 3 days of intensive, tiring paddling down the Wye. Once all the boats and kit were out of the water and loaded on to the trailer we headed back to Biblin’s campsite, where the leaders had been staying for the last week. Once all the teams had being debriefed by the DofE Assessors and were informed that they had passed the expedition, we all got ready for a barbeque dinner, gratefully prepared and cooked by the leaders.
Everyone stayed up for a couple of hours discussing the highs and the lows of the expedition before all the Explorers headed to bed, proud of themselves for knowing how much they had accomplished in the past few days.
The next day, we packed up our campsite, making sure everything was the way it was before we arrived, before getting into the minibus and starting the journey back down to London.
It was a tough week for everyone involved but every single Explorer accomplished something amazing during their time on the water and over the whole expedition and they should all be incredibly proud of themselves.