If you are a Troop that does a lot of camping, your Scouts will be used to setting up and breaking Camp.
But in actual fact that’s not the main purpose of a pre-Jamboree camp.
It’s all about the Scouts feeling comfortable and secure in their new patrol.
The people thing
The main purpose of a pre-Jamboree camp(s) is to get the Scouts settled into their Patrols, and to get to know and accept one another.
This can be achieved by running activities (like tent pitching) that require discussion, planning and teamwork so that in order to succeed they have to work together and rely on one another.
Make sure that the pre-Jamboree camp site is the exact measurement of the Jamboree site you have been allocated. Finding out your tents won’t fit on site is best not left until you get to the Jamboree. The Patrols can use the site layout as another team activity – use scale models.
In particular, if you are using a container for the Jamboree, make sure you mark out a space on the site to represent where it will sit. Also be prepared to find that power or water lines may run under your Jamboree site and you may not be able to put pegs in the ground at those points. In other word, have a plan, but be flexible just in case.
This is also a good time to get the Troop to practice erecting the gateway. Make it colourful and remember it is your ‘shop window’ and advertising does pay. On the other hand you don’t really want to spend the first two or three days erecting it when you could all be out having fun, so keep it simple if you can.
It’s wise to prepare an information handbook for the Parents and the Scouts. It should contain information about the Jamboree, what to bring – and what not to bring, critical dates, transport arrangements, Open Day hours for visiting, emergency Leader contacts and similar information.
The best time and place to hand this out is at the Pre-Jamboree Camp when the parents arrive to pick up the Scouts.