There are two aspects of travel to consider. They are the:
- Transport of people
- Transport of equipment.
The three most practical options are:
- Private car
Other options might be ferry and rail.
Which option you choose will depend on the location of the jamboree and then one of the following factors:
- Is everyone able to leave on the same day?
- Is the Troop doing a tour on the way to or from the Jamboree?
- Can you increase the numbers travelling by picking up other Scouts on the way?
Numbers are not really an issue when flying unless you have too many to go on the one aircraft, but remember you will need to find your own way to the site.
Numbers are definitely an issue where buses are concerned. Failure to fill the seats adds substantially to the per head cost. Consider contacting neighbouring Zones and see if you can pick up some of their Scouts on the way through. Do make sure you hire a tourist coach. Using local city buses with hard seats makes for somewhat ‘scratchy’ Scouts by the time they arrive on site. Tourist Coaches also have huge storage lockers under the floor and can usually hold all the Scouts personal gear.
Another option is to speak to the Jamboree Transport Manager and see if the Jamboree wishes to hire the bus if it’s parked up at the Jamboree. This can make the trip financially worthwhile.
This is really only a serious option if the Troop is located within say 100km of the Jamboree.
The issue here is keeping track of who is arriving when and then making sure that they did in fact arrive. There is usually adequate car parking on site for leaders’ cars and it is usually reasonably secure. However as always, it pays to have any valuables put in the car boot and out of sight.
A four or five day bus tour after the Jamboree can be a great experience, but it can take some organising and of course, usually relies on the Troop taking a bus to the Jamboree. The issue for the leaders is to arrive at the end of the Jamboree without the Scouts being exhausted. Touring with a bus load of tired Scouts is not very invigorating for the leaders.
It is often possible to arrange to stay at Scout Camps along the way.
A few Scout Halls have shower facilities and that helps make them a practical option. Some Troops have tended to use the local swimming pools to freshen up the Scouts so there are ways around using halls with minimal facilities.
Overall, the shared experience of the Tour can be a memorable event in the lives of the Scouts.
A Scout Troop of 40+ needs a lot of gear and we are talking a container or a 5 tonne truck to get it to the Jamboree. Not usually cars with trailers.
A Troop can hire a container from a container hire company, load it up and despatch it to arrive at the Jamboree site the week before Christmas.
Here are some tips to remember:
- The container is very useful on site as a storage area.
- In really bad weather it can also be exceptionally useful as a shelter.
- Submit a site plan of your Jamboree site to the Jamboree Site Manager so it arrives on site before the container does. Make sure the site plan clearly indicates exactly where you want the container placed and which way the doors are to open. Note that the container does not obstruct adjoining sites.
- Tape a second copy addressed to the Jamboree Site Manager to the container door. We have witnessed the frustration of the delivery truck drivers who get paid a fixed rate to deliver the container and then find there are no delivery instructions available. They sit around waiting for hours while people try to contact the troop.
Be aware that there is a downside to using a container. If there is rain on the last day, it’s not a good option to pack wet canvas tents into a container that will stay on site for another two or three days and then possibly take a week to be delivered to the Troop. The chances of the tents doing another Jamboree are very low. They will be covered in mildew and the rot will have started by the time you unpack them.
You can get around this. If it’s fine, take the tents down the afternoon before and pack them in the container. Sleep everyone in the dining shelter on the last night if that’s practical. It’s a great final night experience to round off the Jamboree for the Scouts.
If you borrow a truck and use a leader as the driver, the Troop is on to a winner. Even hiring a truck may be viable if wages aren’t an issue.
Fuel and mileage tax (if it’s diesel powered) are a significant cost. The driver will need to be given a fuel card or sufficient cash to provide fuel for the truck and maybe a meal or two.
Trucks will not be allowed to stay on the Troop site and must be removed once unpacked on the opening day. So if you are using the truck for storage, be prepared for a lengthy walk to the truck park on a regular basis.
The benefits of using a truck are:
- You can pack when it suits the driver and the Troop on the departing day.
- You travel when you want to.
- Your gear will be home much more quickly.
- Wet tents are not so much of an issue.