Scouts from around world de­scend on N.S. cap­i­tal

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC -

Bus­loads and planeloads of Scouts from around the world have landed in Nova Sco­tia this week for the 13th Canada Jam­boree.

It’s the first time in a half­cen­tury that the Scouts Canada event’s been held here and 4,500 youth and adult vol­un­teers are ex­pected.

The event is held ev­ery four years in Canada. In 2013, it was at Syl­van Lake, Al­berta. This year’s is hosted at Camp Nadooae.

“We’ve got lots of happy, busy kids run­ning around,” Jam­boree spokesper­son Kee­gan Eat­mon said Sun­day.

“We have vol­un­teers and youth from 15 dif­fer­ent coun­tries, and mul­ti­ple buses go­ing into Hal­i­fax each day.”

Scouts from as far away as France, Fin­land, Liberia, Scot­land and Tai­wan are join­ing Scouts from around North Amer­ica.

This is not your fa­ther’s Scout­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. In Canada, Scout­ing has been co-ed since 1993, and about a third of the camp’s par­tic­i­pants are fe­male.

In ad­di­tion to tra­di­tional camp favourites like archery, the ad­ven­tures are up­dated with events like an “Amaz­ing Race” that takes par­tic­i­pants from chal­lenge en­ve­lope to chal­lenge en­ve­lope and scaled so both Scouts and their par­ents can en­joy.

A moun­tain mud­slide ob­sta­cle course and re­lay race will have kids scal­ing a muddy half­pipe, es­cap­ing quick­sand and climb­ing a greased pole.

There will be a Mas­ter Chef-in­spired cook­ing chal­lenge, and en­gi­neer­ing feats will in­clude build­ing can­nons, cat­a­pults and model rock­ets — and launch­ing them. Scouts will be build­ing their ver­sion of the Con­fed­er­a­tion Bridge from two shores to meet in the mid­dle with rope, sus­pen­sion and pil­lars.

Nova Sco­tian touches in­clude a High­land Games, com­plete with caber toss, ham­mer and axe throws, tug of war and fenc­ing.

Teams will build a wooden cata­ma­ran and sail it across Brown Lake, and dragon boat races will send par­tic­i­pants across Lake Banook.

“The most crit­i­cal thing is we’ve got to keep it rel­e­vant to youth, and rel­e­vant to Scouters,” said John Petitti, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Scouts will flock to beaches at Mar­tinique and Lawrence­town, and hik­ing trails around Hal­i­fax.

On Thurs­day, their Canada 150 cel­e­bra­tion will in­clude bands, a mas­sive Mar­itime back­yard kitchen party and fire­works dis­plays.

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