Poacher Scouts Jamboree
Poacher 2017 was “a coming together of 5,000 Scouts and Guides for a week of activities and fun.” We negotiated a small space in the rearmost field and set up a Straw-bale Building Workshop where we grabbed young people as they walked by and got them to join in building a small structure. Each young person had a go at the “theory” on our mini model before donning a hard hat and getting on the build for real. After the walls were put up and pinned we showed them how to build a reciprocal roof to top it off. Scouts and Guides walking past could drop by and join in at any time they wished. The zone we were in hosted mini-tanks, buggies, a hot air balloon and lots of other exciting activities so we’re confident thousands passed by. By the second day word began to spread as participants told their pack all about the “secret (not on the map) activity” and began to return with others to show off their newly learned skills.
We lost count of the number of times we built and broke down the structure but we didn’t lose count of how many young people participated, asking them to throw a wooden counter into a bucket pertaining to their age and gender as they left us. We met young people from Dubai, France, Ireland and Finland. The Fins were astonished; “Can these buildings pass regulations?” they asked. “I’ve never heard of this before.”
And it wasn’t just the young people who got stuck in, pack leaders wandering past often stopped to watch or join in, giving us a great opportunity to talk to them about the Growing Up Green Program and what opportunities there were for their own groups. Our wildflower seed imprinted business cards proved very popular too. By day three were in the special paper, printed daily for the event, with full-colour photograph and quotes from Ranger Chris.
As the week closed we counted up our tally and found we had seen 347 young people, including 96 girls and 251 boys.