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Scouts exchange more than hand- shakes at the 2011 World Scout Jamboree. They also trade patches, neckerchiefs, hats, backpacks, pins, and—in some cases—the shirts off their backs. An empty field of dirt (left) becomes an impromptu bazaar where deals are made in a dozen different languages. But no words are necessary at Troop 70006’s campsite (below, left) when it’s time for breakfast. All Andrew Bloniarz has to do is hold up some bacon, and a hush falls over the group. Scouts are similarly speechless during a friendly, spon- taneous game of hockey (below), where you don’t need to speak the same language to enjoy Canada’s national sport—even in flip-flops.


FIND MORE exciting details


about the 2011 World Scout Jamboree at scoutingmagazine. org/wsj2011. There you can watch an exclusive video shot by photographer Randy Piland and narrated by Bryan Wendell, relive the event through Bryan’s blog dispatches, and learn which Discovery Channel celebrity dropped in for a visit.


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sions of a mere volleyball court. I find it in dozens of cultural exhibits, where Scouts meet people from places most of us see only on the Travel Channel. I find it in late-night card games with friends, where the fast- paced chatter caroms between topics such as tax rates (Sweden has one of the world’s highest), sports (do you call it soccer or football?), and Scouting (how do you get more adults active in your troop?). And I find it in the continuous exchange of stories, tasty food items from back home, and memorabilia. Lots and lots of memorabilia. By the end of the


jamboree, swapping has made it all but impossible to identify a Scout’s country of origin by what he’s wearing. The kid with the red-and-yellow neckerchief is more likely to hail from Melbourne than Madrid. And don’t be fooled by those Scouts toting the orange Hong Kong backpacks. They’re British. The hodgepodge of garb at the jamboree offers a


SCOUTING ¿ NOVEMBER•DECEMBER 2011


fitting visual representation of solidarity that’s contrary to a world in which we’re often labeled friend or foe solely by the nation to which we pledge allegiance. At the world jamboree, for two weeks every four years, you’re a Scout first and foremost. That’s nothing new in world Scouting. In 1947,


with World War II still fresh on everyone’s minds, 24,000 Scouts gathered in France for the sixth edition of this event, dubbed the “Jamboree of Peace.” Just two years after the deadliest war in history, leave it to Scouts to come together in the name of harmony. Before and since, this event has been that one place


where your nationality is a point of interest, not a point of contention. That’s what helps make the World Scout Jamboree the trip of a lifetime. ¿


BRYAN WENDELL is Scouting magazine’s Senior Editor.


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