Back from Camp

I was with the Scout’s last night at their International Jamboree at Auchengillan which is about 10 miles away from here. It is just beyond Milngavie and just, I think in the county of Stirling, which is why the Provost of Stirling was hosting a reception for visitors.

[Note to foreign eyes, a Provost in Scotland does one of two things, either running an Episcopal Cathedral as a dean does elsewhere or alternatively being the equivalent of a mayor ie the civic head of a local authority. Same word, different jobs].

Anyway there were almost a thousand young people gathered from across Europe and Scotland who were greeted with Scotland’s most persistent liquid sunshine.

I was kind of expecting a bonfire, marshmellows and cheery voices singing, which only goes to show how old fashioned I am though there were mud and kilts aplenty. There was a rather wet stage upon which a bagpipe led rock band played whilst a couple of Highland dancers bravely took to the floor before a firework dispaly to mark the opening of the jamboree. More a small rock gig than twigs and flames.

This kind of thing is a great chance to meet interesting people. Amongst these, last night, I met the new moderator of Glasgow Presbytery who just took over last month and renewed my aquaintance with some folk I knew when I was living in Bridge of Allan.

And as for the Scouts, no-one could doubt the commitment of those who were there. It was a foul night but they were not doing to be dampened down by anything so insignificant as rain.

They were in good heart, though the message I heard from several of the leaders is that they have no problem getting young people wanting to do things but find it a bit trickier to recruit or retain leaders. It is a shame, as the leaders last night were obviously having as much fun as anyone else.

Scouting was never my thing when I was young. I don’t think it would ever be my thing really – the uniforms and the flag waving put me off a bit. However, they made me very welcome last night and it was easy to see that 1000 young people were set on having the time of their lives this week. I’ve no doubt they will meet many new friends and hopefully, eventually, see the view.

Here’s hoping the sun shines.