After months of fundraising with chocolate selling, a trivia night, a car wash and barbecues I got to go to New Zealand with four 1st Cherrybrook Scouts. as a Patrol Adult Leader. As a 'PAL’ I was in charge of six scouts from all over Australia for the duration of the Jamboree and the Post Tour, a full 21 days!!
The Cherrybrook Scouts were split up between other patrols so they were able to meet other scouts from around Australia. At NZ Jamboree we had four leaders from Sydney North District!!
The first three days in NZ were spent at a shakedown camp in Christchurch where we stayed in the dorms of the University of Canterbury. We played games to get to know each other and went to Christchurch city to see the exensive earthquake damage.
We visited the International Antarctic Research Centre which had penguins, husky dogs, a ride in a snow mobile and a storm room which was really cold and windy. We also went to an Air Museum and had a train ride.
The Jamboree was filled with challenges such as rock climbing, abseiling, archery, clay pigeon shooting, air rifles hooting, removing tyres from a trailer and putting them back on then pulling the trailer around an obstacle course to its starting point. Other activities included smashing cars with sledge hammers, steering a car while other scouts were pushing it (this was a race against other patrols), firing a huge trebuchet, visiting car and air museums (owned by the director of Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson – AMAZING place!!!). Gum boot throwing, market day and even a helicopter ride, and of course challenge valley. We even met the National Commissioner for Scouts NZ, Clarke Truscott who was a Queen Scout at Cherrybrook,
Our post tour included soaking in hot mineral waters at Hanmer Hot Springs, visiting huge Moeraki Boulders on the beach, watching bungy jumping, going jet boat riding and getting soaked!! We got to see penguins coming into their nesting places for the night, watched seals in their natural habitat and visited Milford Sound. We also rode on a gondola, went luging and zip lining with an amazing view of Queenstown and we also watched a Maori cultural show. Even though it was summer we had two nights of snow on the mountains over the three weeks so it was very cold. There were also many, many other activities too.
We all came home very happy to have had such an awesome experience and we made so many wonderful new friends and it’s a ‘holiday’ we will never forget. Can’t wait for the next one!!!