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Helen Birchmore

Banstead Explorers Visit Poland for the Central European Jamboree


The Central European Jamboree was a worldwide gathering of Explorer Scouts mainly from Europe, in Wroclaw, Poland. From Banstead 14 Banstead District Explorers and 2 Tadworth District Explorers went. They spent 8 nights on camp.  Adam Heard-White takes up the story.

“On the first day we set up camp and had pizza. Some of the Banstead girls sung “Cha Cha Slide” for karaoke, and the rest of BDE joined in by dancing (and getting a lot of funny looks). The morning after we all embarrassed ourselves we travelled into the city. As the senior scout I navigated all 16 Explorer through Wroclaw. We watched a wonderful fire show before the red festival in which we sang the CEJ song for the first time.

The next day we tie-dyed t-shirts and wax painted on bags. By day four we played “The Lost Painter”, which was a game that involved doing different tasks in international groups of ten Explorers. The following day we got a two-hour train to the Polish mountains before BDE showed the landscape who was boss. We ascended the height with some friendly Egyptians. We did some proper rock climbing (we still had harnesses), before sharing a camp fire with the Egyptians then all of BDE staying in one room in a lovely youth hostel. The next day we came back to camp before learning some traditional Lebanese dances that night.

For international day there were many different stalls, which we could do to collect stickers from. All the GB units teamed up to run a football shootout, cheese tasting, and a Countdown based game. Banstead and Tadworth performed the (now famous) penguin song on the main stage. In the evening we had a paint party, involving throwing powered paint. This was to show that although we are all different, all Scouts combine to be part of one great power. I most enjoyed our final night as we stayed up all night, in our sleeping bags stargazing and talking, only to get up at 3:00 am to leave camp. After I spent 60% of my Polish money in the duty free, I slept for the whole plane journey – I don’t remember take-off or landing. “