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The National Jamboree in the Netherlands was, without any doubt, one of the brightest events in my life, and left behind lots of impressions.

Holland met us with heavy rain, under which we were forced to set up our tents. Hollanders surprised us by unexpected hospitality - they dragged our things (quite wet by that time) under one of their own tents (they set it up before the rain started).
It rained nearly all day, it was awfully cold, some people from our delegation even bought a pair of sweaters each in order to get warm (by the way, the camp shop ran out of them really fast).

At the end of the same day, the Opening Ceremony took place. Without wasting any time on long speeches, the Jamboree leaders declared that it had officially started, and the party began. Above all the dances, all the songs, even above hearing the Jamboree hymn for the first time, the
laser show stands before my eyes. It was a sight I'll never forget.

White smoke, rhythmic music, and endless light rays: The whole camp was fascinated.
I'd like to say, in my opinion, that the Closing Ceremony (in comparison with the opening) was not at all that good. Of course, nobody likes long and boring speeches about how it was much>, but, without the last speech, without at least one last phrase of farewell, the ceremony didn't look complete. There were, of course, some dazzling moments, but about that I'll tell later.

The camp organization was rather complicated, so I'll try to explain it basically. The Jamboree was held for scouts of different age, so the territory was divided into seven parts - so-called subcamps, named Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Minerva, Neptune.
Mars, Minerva and Venus were subcamps for scouts aged approximately from 9 to 14 years, Uranus and Jupiter - for rovers - scouts from 14 to 18 years old, organizers lived in subcamp Neptune, and Pluto was set up for the smallest kids (under 9 years), which consisted mostly of organizers' (we called them staffs at the Jamboree) kids.

The next day after the opening ceremony the Jamboree started. The first activity in our timetable was Splash! - fun with water. Somehow later it turned into fun with mud (only think of this game - volleyball, where instead of a ball you use a bag filled with wet soil!), but it still
left positive recollections.

All the activities in the program were interesting. The hike, the master-classes, all kinds of stuff - I liked it all really much. I only missed my chance to participate in a wonderful event - the Night Hike, I've never even heard of something of the kind, so I was quite eager to go. But that day our delegation went on a trip to Amsterdam , and on our way down our bus broke down, and we had to wait until late at night for the other one to come. But it was also lots of fun, the driver even paid for our dinner in McDonalds, and we took a good walk through night Amsterdam .


In the camp program there was also a couple of parties, such as Orange party, Blue party (you had to wear clothes of required colours), Glamour party, and Foam party (with loads of foam, but the fate of Splash! soon overcame it).

Visiting a foreign country is always interesting, and in the Netherlands I, as a newcomer, noticed a couple of interesting things.
Firstly, almost no activity was based on competition - there were no winners, no losers. It was all, of course, done, to avoid national and religious conflicts. I've also noticed that in other countries attitude to games is entirely different from that in Russia , and losing a game is
a serious problem for those foreigners that I've seen in my life.
And secondly: It is a well-known fact that light drugs have been legalized in the Netherlands . And at this Jamboree the rules were: Less strict. Smoking and drinking alcohol were permitted from the age of sixteen, there were even special smoking areas for participants (!), and
alcohol and cigarettes were sold in the campsite shop.

It was hard in the beginning to build up a good relationship with the Hollanders (one of their delegations were our neighbors, it was they who helped us with our things on the first day). It turned out they didn't like Russians for some reason - was it because of the UEFA, due to the
broadcast, because of their specific etiquette we didn't know, or our bad English - I don't know. But we made it in the end and became good friends. I liked Hollanders a lot, they were funny and with a good sense of humor.


All in all, most of my memories consist of people I've met at the Jamboree. I've really met new friends and simply interesting people.

It is sad, but, eventually, the Jamboree came to an end. Time really flies sometimes, and ten days went by quite fast. And there we all are, once again together, at the Closing Ceremony. I've already written that I liked it much less than everything else. Once again we sang the Jamboree hymn, once again there was live music, but nothing new, except for the great musical instrument (I don't know how it is called). It consisted of different-sized bells and was manipulated by something that resembled a keyboard.

And the next day - airport, plane, one night in the train - and I am home. We were always running out of time, and I barely noticed our way home.

Every year a couple or so of multinational Jamborees are held worldwide. Each of them gives you a chance to have a great time and make lots of new friends. I hope that it wasn't the last time I've participated in this event.




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