Jamboree Scouts form a Multicultural Family
The first thing you notice about the neatly organized campsite in Base Camp Foxtrot is the many flags on the entry gateway. What you don’t see is that the troop has become a family of sorts.
The unit was intended to be made up of Portugese-speaking scouts and was set up by agreement at recent international Scouting events. The plan was for the campsite to host scouts from Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, and Timor-Leste.
Then, the contingent from Brazil traveled for part of their journey to West Virginia with a small contingent of three from Libya. Upon arrival at World Scout Jamboree, they insisted that they be allowed to camp together. Their request was accepted.
Despite the driving rain on arrival, the Brazilian contingent set up all the tents for the site, including the extras. When the Cape Verde contingent arrived later at 3:00, Foxtrot commissioners set up temporary cots for them in a cavernous meeting tent. The next morning, the Cape Verde scouts arose and walked to their site to find Brazilian leader Jonathan Giulian Conzatti waiting.
Conzatti greeted them with open arms and hugged each of them saying “Since we got here we’ve been waiting for you! Your tents are up — you can nap, you can play with us,” reports Foxtrot sub camp commissioner Faith Anderson from the U.S. Conzatti simply says that he helped some through the registration process, often translating. Conzatti greeted each delegation with the same effusive greeting, says Anderson.
The youth quickly learned to work together, says Conzatti. He says they have overcome a few differences in language use, culture and food preferences. “It can be a little messy, but it’s fun.” The challenge was made more complex because Scouts from two countries arrived without adult leaders. The organization of youth who had never worked together was simplified by forming them into two patrols of 11 Scouts. About two thirds of the 37 Scouts are boys, one third are girls.
“The multicultural approach is the biggest challenge but also the most gratifying,” says Brazilian assistant leader Mauricio Volkweis. One Libyan adult leader said, “We’re all one world. We’re all brothers.”
At the World Scout Jamboree 2007, Conzattit attended as a Scout. Volkweis was the troop leader.
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