Thursday, July 11, 2013

RISGO Centennial Jamboree on NSW Branch (of Scouts Australia) Look Wide Magazine(July 2013 issue)

RISGO Centennial Jamboree

Invitations were invited late 2012 for scholarships to attend the Rajans International Gathering of (RISGO) in February 2013 at Dharmaraja College, Lake View Park International Scout Centre in Kandy, Sri Lanka. After a merit based selection process, by an independent panel, scholarships were awarded to three venturers, Liam Furchow (WA), Rebecca Parish (Vic), Kate Broekman (NSW) and one leader, Vicki Knopke (Qld), joined by another leader, Chathura Perera (Vic).When I found out I had been accepted for a RISGO scholarship, I was so excited and incredulous. Things happened so quickly! Before I knew it I was on the plane to Brisbane, met Vicki and Bec and jetted off again to Singapore.
We met Liam in Singapore. We were picked up at the airport by Win, a local Regional Commissioner; he showed us around the main parts of Singapore including Chinatown and its delicacies and Sentosa Island in his Jaguar. I loved Singapore and couldn’t wait for our return journey. We then caught plane to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

We met Chathura at Colombo. We took our lives in our hands as we travelled the hectic, busy, humid streets of Colombo to Kandy and Dharmaraja College. We had home stay the first and last days in Sri Lanka, our family was truly hospitable. There was a lot of fresh, sweet fruit and the food was delicious throughout Sri Lanka.
At the College along with other International Scouts we were quickly confronted by lots of people taking photos of us. Everyone was so friendly; I got sore cheeks from smiling with these friendly, gentle Scouts. We quickly became close friends tied by Scouting.

There were heaps of activities to do; we were always busy, like Challenge Valley. Bec and I were lucky enough to qualify for white water rafting as we had made it into the top 60! I had a ball! I definitely want to do that again! We went on a jungle safari as well, it was so much fun.
The opening and closing ceremonies were amazing! The President of Sri Lanka was there, as were the myriad of colours as the traditional dancers from all around Sri Lanka and the Jamboree drew to a close. I had so much fun and met so many wonderful scouts.

Then, the hardest part of the Jamboree came… saying goodbye to everyone. Lots of Scouts were crying and everyone was hugging each other. It was so hard saying goodbye to those who’ve you’ve come so close with.
I felt so privileged to have received this scholarship to experience this trip of a lifetime, “Towards Youth Leadership”. It was truly a life-changing experience; I loved every second of it! Although language or culture may have been different, I found that we all had something universal and something in common……Scouting, which made us all the same, with a common bond, something that went beyond the spoken word! It was a fantastic opportunity, one that I will treasure in my heart and memory forever!

Kate Broekman - NSW Lones

Link to complete magazine :

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