My experience at the SANJAMB of 2017 is definitely one to remember. Making amazing friends of whom I still speak to on a regular basis, creating memories and falling more in love with the Scouts community.
I'd only been a scout for about 5 months at the time of SANJAMB and had only come into contact with a number of scouts in and around courses and competitions. You can probably see why the thought of traveling 18 hours away from home with only a handful of those before mention scouts could be daunting. Not to mention I would barely see any of them as they were in completely different patrols to me.
SANJAMB was laid out as follows: half of the Scouts were placed in a blue sub-camp and the other half in a red sub-camp, within these 2 sub-camps, the scouts were divided into troops and of those troops they were divided into 6 patrols (3 all boys and 3 all girls).
Upon arrival I was met with the girls from my patrol of which I was placed a month prior to the event. We all clicked almost instantly, making us an unbeatable team. It was almost impossible to not get along with your patrol, you were sleeping with them, eating with them, doing activities, creating skits, camping, cooking and having the time of you life with them - how could you not?
Every day we had at least 6 activities planned for us, all of which were extremely exciting. You may be asking yourself; "how could cup-stacking be exciting?" My answer to that would be that anything is exciting as long as it is allowed to be. I think that was the reason I enjoyed SANJAMB to its fullest extent. It was because I knew that meeting new people and becoming closer with my friends all while doing something I really enjoy, would be a chance of a lifetime and I wasn't going to waste it.
The activities included raft building, gladiators, a backwoods camp out, obstacle courses, rifle shooting, archery and many, many more wonderful things like this short list I've mentioned. A little thing I would like to mention is that my patrol took part in a barrel course of which we got the fastest time for not only the girls patrol but the boys as well! That just goes to show that we aren't just pretty faces.
Other competitions were held where the sub-camps would battle it out. I took part in representing my sub-camp on a team of 6 where we battled the blues on the barrel course. Not a surprise that we won with the majority of the team being from the Western Cape.
A comment of the evening activities would be that they were extremely fun. A barn dance, live band and disco were held in the evenings over the course of those 8 days.
I would definitely recommend going on the next SANJAMB. Although the bus trip was a long one, the activities, the people and the memories made everything worth it. I am happy to say I will be going on the next. It was truly an experience like no other and a good one at that.