More than 6,000 Scouts gathered for the Kent International Scout Jamboree

Thousands of Scouts from all over world gathered at the Kent International Scout Jamboree between 27 July and 3 August.
Youth Director at Change Youth, Dave Pickett tells us about his experiences at the event:
We arrived at the Kent International Scout Jamboree with a team of 6 without knowing what to expect and what reception we would get from the 6,700 scouts and leaders camped at Detling Showground.
Our team was a partnership between the Diocese of Rochester, Canterbury Baptist Church and Change Youth and was made up of both young people and youth workers which allowed us to deliver an exciting programme to the 3,000 plus scouts that were scheduled to attend one of our hour long sessions over the course of the week as part of 'the carousel' made up of a science zone, an inflatables zone, the charity Shelter Box and us, the Faith Zone.
Aside from games & talks that were planned into our sessions we had brought along the Change Band to play a mixture of popular secular classics and fresh Christian worship at the end of our sessions before closing with the Lord's Prayer.
Our sessions were different everyday covering themes of self esteem, love, faith, forgiveness and charity and we were privileged to welcome Cheryl Tryce from the Diocese of Rochester and Phil Hulks of Urban Saints to deliver a day each.
Within the first few minutes of soundchecking the band we had attracted the attention of the surrounding zones and those wandering past. Some were confused as to why the Faith Zone featured a stage and a live band, others were intrigued whilst a couple asked us to turn it down!
News of the resident Faith Zone band was spreading and after the first day of seeing over 400 scouts we decided to head to the Leader's Canteen for dinner. It was here that we began to realise the impact of what we were doing. Taking our seats we began to overhear conversations from neighbouring tables and the main topic of conversation was the Faith Zone! On the way back to our tents we could hear another debate taking place as to whether the scout movement was Christian and if there was a place for a Faith Zone at all.
We began to see more unscheduled people turning up to our sessions and people kept coming back to hear more and even began to request songs from the band.
However, we were aware that there was definitely opposition to us being on site. A couple of scout leaders approached us concerned that we had taken too much of Christian stance and we overheard a few negative comments. Scouts were often uninterested in attending but once they were in the session they were pleasantly surprised at what we delivered and many heads turned when we got the band on stage.
Aside from the opposition we were grateful to the reception given to us by scout groups; we were even presented with a neckerchief from a group in Ireland and then presented 'neckers' by the Jamboree Team, an honour for our team.
Overall being part of the Jamboree experience was fantastic, over 3,000 scouts heard Christian worship, many for the first time, and something of the Good News. We were aware that whilst there was a lot of opposition to us being there we had made an impact and allowed the discussion of how much Religion should influence the scout movement.

Page last updated: 18th Apr 2015 3:05 PM

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