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Chief Commissioner's Blog | Of even greater potential today?

 BLOG 29.07.16

Of even greater potential today?

Rather like Scouting itself, Blair Atholl jamborette is a model that has more than survived the passage of time, its importance is perhaps even greater today.

Created in the midst of conflict

Blair Atholl Jamborette
was first held in 1946 and was the brainchild of Mr Jack Stewart, then International Commissioner for Scotland, who felt that a smaller gathering than a World Jamboree of Scouts from all over the world would be a more lasting benefit. 

The benefits of working together in teams

For me, the concept of Blair Atholl goes even further as the arrangement then, as continues today, was that a Scottish patrol would arrive and set up a 'double' patrol site to allow an overseas patrol to travel to Scotland without tentage and camping equipment. 

This concept has continued to flourish and I was fortunate enough last Friday to join their 70th year anniversary camp where patrols from 20 countries were participating with their Scottish counterparts enjoying over 43 activities.

Location, location

The activities ranged from the more adventurous making full use of the stunning location in the grounds of Blair Atholl Estate in the Cairngorms allowing canoeing, river rescue exercises, gorge walking, orienteering, an overnight cycle expedition and the infamous 'Atholl Experience' which, even after my fourth visit to this excellent event, continues to look more like an excuse to get very, very muddy to me. Adventure is, of course, relative, with as much focus on creative, team and traditional activities such as theatre skills and A Million Hands themed cultural and social action based bases.

The biggest yet

The popularity of the Satellite Camp where nearly 1,000 Scouts from across Scotland have an opportunity to get a shorter 'taster' of International Scouting over the middle weekend makes this the largest Blair Atholl Jamborette to-date.

The wider opportunity for social cohesion

But much more importantly, the very concept of young people from across the world coming together in Patrols, working and learning together about each other’s cultures continues to be a model that in this day and age we can and should be building upon to build cohesion within communities of the United Kingdom as well as those from around the world.

Wouldn’t it be great to think that more counties and groups around the UK would consider such models and opportunities?



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