18'093 Scouts and Guides came to Jambville (France) from 27 to 31 July, for the "Vis Tes Rêves" (live your dreams) Jamboree. 15'000 young people from the 11-14 age section, supported by over 3,000 adults were in attendance representing all regions of France with international participants from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain the United Kingdom and Canada.
Organised around the three themes of "Dream", "Dare" and "Be proud" the Jamboree offered the Scouts more than 300 educational activities from which to choose, such as wheelchair basketball, horseback aerobatics, activities on the rights of the child, first aid, an introduction to falconry, sled dog racing on wheels and many more.
On Friday morning the camp was visited by Ms. Valérie Fourneyron, Minister of Sports, Youth public education and community life. Addressing around one hundred or so young people, the Minister reminded the participants that "Whilst these great gatherings are places where memories are created, they are also moments at which we build the future." See the Minister's address
Friday evening's opening began with a journey into the world of imagination... Participants were asked to help the patrol of Sarah, Mathilde, Alexandre, Camille, Thomas and Maxime to locate their friend Marcel, a participant from the Peace Jamboree, who had mysteriously disappeared in 1952. A little later, French popstar Grégoire captivated the crowd with a performance of his hit song "Toi + Moi".
In the "talent zones", the participants danced, played, drew, juggled and sang - and in one activity, a group of around 200 participants came together to form a choir. But aside from the many great activities, the participants learned how to live together, to show solidarity and to care for one another - the torrential rainshowers of Friday evening and Sunday afternoon having taken their toll on the participants villages.
"Adolescents are often asked what they would like to do in the future, (i.e. work or study). We have chosen to ask them what dreams they have for their lives in a much broader sense and what their wishes are for the world and for society." said Anne-Claire Huet, National Commissioner for the 11-14 age section and Jamboree Director.
The World Scout Bureau took advantage of the event in order to present the Messengers of Peace world initiative to the participants, Scout leaders and national members of the Scouts et Guides de France.
The Radio Scouting stand was also very popular as up to 600 participants took part in its activities including the "fox hunt" (a search for a radio transmitter hidden in the forest using a frequency detector), assembly of electronic kits (which allowed participants to discover morse code), locating QSL cards received by the radio station on a world map and, of course an introduction to using amateur radio.
Contact was made with several stations in France and also with HB9S, the WOSM radio station, as well as with the Roverway amateur radio station in Finland. New technologies also featured as another stand allowed participants to learn the skills of photo editing. Also, several participants took part in a mini "Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) ".
It is safe to expect that all of thise activities will encourage the French Scouts to participate in even greater numbers during JOTA/JOTI which will take place from 20-21 October this year.
Sadly, the four days passed by all too quickly and soon it was time to say goodbye. At the closing ceremony, the mystery was solved as Marcel returned to reveal that he had spent all of those years trying to build a more peaceful world. Then 18'000 people together blew out the candles on the sixtieth birthday of the Jambville training centre.
Following an aerial photoshoot, a Scout firework display gave thanks to all who had worked to make this great adventure possible: from the service team to the national directors to the scout leaders and the participants themselves - each one deserving of a big round of applause and a pat on the back.
Vis tes rêves - le film
Vis tes rêves! Le film par scoutsetguides
Image 1: © WSB / Thierry Tournet