A Bittersweet 25th
2011, Sweden. 2015, Japan. 2019, USA. 2023, Korea.
Jamborees come and go by, each carrying their own significance. This day is the last official day of the 24th World Scout Jamboree. I write this with a bittersweet feeling. Happy as I would be going home, having made new friends and being able to broaden my horizons. Sad as everything seems to pass by so fast in a flash. But bittersweet – as a new chapter closes, another one opens.
Today was rather carefree. We all did our own things, while those who wanted to go rafting went. I wanted to trade as many badges as possible as I simply had too many. So, I spent the better part of the morning at Summit Center doing my “shopping”.
At Scott Summit Center
This was the only day of hardcore trading and I found it quite fun. It felt like a free market – some people are unwilling to trade a particular badge (eg the Bangladesh contingent badge) for our Singapore contingent badge, but some do as well. It reminded me of a game that I used to play – Maple. I managed to get a lot of cool badges. I got a few shirts too – Ecuador and Brazil.
After that, we mainly focused on packing up. We took down everything before going for the closing ceremony. I thought we were surprisingly quick in working together to return all the things, which just shows how we have grown over the last 12 days. It was also my first time trying chic-fil-a and I thought it was excellent.
The actual closing ceremony was the most amazing thing I have seen in person in my life. They delayed the show until 9pm waiting for the rain and thunder to stop but it didn’t. So they simply continued. The secretary-general of WOSM, and Ban-Kim-Moon came to give speeches. That was interesting in itself. What destroyed me was when Pentatonix came on stage. Now, I used to (and still do) follow them for many years, so I know quite a bit about them. Seeing them live made me freak out. It’s a pity they could only perform for such a short period of time. I would have loved to see more.
This was followed by a light dance group (I think they were from AGT) and a spectacular array of fireworks. Saying that it was breathtaking us an understatement. It was only then did it dawn upon me that this was the end of the jamboree.
As this jamboree comes to a close, a new one must follow. That would be in 2023 in Korea. Everything has ended, but I wait in optimism and happiness for 25th – another great jamboree.
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