March Jamboree Training

Not long to go now!

The Jamboree is getting ever closer and it is about time that I gave you all an update on it all. A lot has happened Jamboree wise recently, and I mean a LOT. So much so that I haven't had the time to write it all up for you all... hence this out of time post.

Firstly we've had two lots of training with the Unit. I was prepping the second one, which was just this weekend, when I realised that I hadn't even blogged the first one yet... and it was in March! So here it is...

March Training Day

We had a single days training with the sprogs in March held at a scout hall in Lincoln. Due to the fact that I had been away on holiday (woo hoo, Africa!) until the week before the prep for this one was way behind.

Cue sleep deprivation due to late nights prepping and early mornings getting into work.
Logo from Channel4's gameshow Shattered
How I managed to stay awake I don't know!

But everything came together and the kids really enjoyed it. We covered some information on the Jamboree, Home Hospitality, Media Training (done by the sprogs that went on the course run by UK Contingent) and a quiz with random facts about Lithuania.

Facts like how animals are believed to talk on Christmas Eve in Lithuania, The old currency was ground up and recycled into toilet paper when they switched and that Stalin World is a tourist attraction!
See... it exists, honest!

We also got the county Trek Carting team to bring them along for a bit of trek cart racing in the afternoon.
Look, it's vintage scouting!
The racing involved pushing them up to a barrier, taking them apart, getting over a barrier, putting them back together, pushing it round a post and back to the barrier, taking it apart again, getting it under the barrier, putting it back together again and pushing it back to its original position. Try saying that really fast 3 times.

We also got them to do some mini-pioneering so that we could get some ideas for the gateway.

This one had rope bridges up the sides and a swing in the middle

Going with a castle theme, this one has the iron gateway painted on fabric which could be raised during the day.

This one included a platform at the top and a number of posters about Lincolnshire
General concensus went with a platform above the gateway, so that they would be able to climb all over it. Us leaders also managed to brainstorm a couple of ideas while they were building. I don't want to reveal the ideas just yet, but if we can get it to work it will be brilliant and should help get people from other units over to our site.

3Nations: Free Day

Have a look at previous 3Nations posts on the Expedition Page. It's where all the cool kids hang out!

Sunday 26th July 2009

Today was a free day for us to relax, recharge the batteries etc... which is usually needed at some point in the middle of such a long expedition.

In the morning, as a thank you to the monks that allowed us to camp and hike on their land, we did a litter sweep through part of the Bogd Khan National Park.

All of us, about to set off on our mission.
You would be surprised for somewhere so remote just how much rubbish we found in the National Park!

It truly was rather disgusting. Some of the stranger things that we found included most of a deck of cards (all separate of course, we were all trying to collect poker hands as we went along) and I found a fair amount of a vehicle chassis.
A small selection of the bags that we filled.
In total we filled somewhere in the region of 130 black bin bags!

The rest of the day was ours, and was mostly filled with laundry and washing and relaxing. Until dinner came along and we were told that it would be a cooking competition, where we were to make some traditional Mongolian food. We opted for some Khuurshuur (pronounced Horsha) with a variety of different fillings.

And we actually came joint first! Tho to settle who came first overall it was a relay race to the flag pole... which we didn't win. The rest of the evening was just laid back and relaxed.

3Nations: Ulaanbaatar

Have a look at previous 3Nations posts on the Expedition Page. Go on, you know you want to!

Saturday 25th July 2009

Today was rather different from most of the days here in Mongolia. Instead of the Aravts pairing off and going to do activities separately, we were all going to be heading out as one big happy family!

The plan... taking in some of the sites of Ulaanbaatar! woo hoo, touristy fun! I'm always a fan of touristy fun.

First stop was the Gandan Buddhist Monastery. Which was packed with tourists, or at least it felt like it after the quiet of camp.
Ok... doesn't look as busy as I remember it...
We'd waited about a bit, waiting to find out exactly what was happening. I think someone was supposed to show us around, but that didn't turn out, so we eventually just started wandering round like the rest of the tourists. Right round the back of those buildings was a load of prayer wheels, which led us round to a prayer room, where there was a load of monks chanting. Unfortunately there was also a load of tourists surrounding and blocking the entrance, so I didn't really get to see anything.

But turns out, this was only a small part of the monastery. We found a temple nearby with possibly the biggest Buddha I have seen (and I've seen some big Buddhas in my time)
I didn't take the photo, cause of all the signs saying not too. But one of the others was naughty and snapped this quick one. Yes, it is a Buddha statue. Looks rather Hindu in style I thought; what with the 4 arms, breasts and the spot on its forehead.

Actually, check this out. It's a 360 view from inside the temple itself!

How cool is that!! Anyway, I asked Dawn, one of the leaders on the trip who is Buddhist, about the statues form and she said different statues were aimed at getting different aspects of the Buddha across symbolically.

After exploring the temple we were then taken to our next location, a sauna. A chance to get properly clean was a very welcome prospect at this stage, since we left China we'd been washing in buckets from water you had to heat over the fire. The showers were nice and strong, the green tea bath was very refreshing and the freezing plunge pool took your breath away. The fact that all the guys were in together and we were all completely naked.... *shudder*... I saw FAR TO MUCH of some people. and before any of you ask, NO there are no photos, and if there was any they would be hunted down and destroyed for the sake of humanity.

Moving on, after lunch we went to the National Museum of Mongolia, where we got to learn a bit about the history and culture of the country. I say a bit because only the first so many displays had english translations. We still enjoyed it tho, and I did get this:
It's my name in Mongolian
We were then given some free time around the main square area of the city before heading off for another meal. Myself and a couple of the others went in search of somewhere to post our postcards and I attempted to phone home (it was a stupid number of digits to use, like 20-30ish).

Dinner was followed by a visit to the Cashmere Market on our way to our final destination, Zaisan Hill. It's a huge memorial for Soviet Soldiers killed in World War 2 on the top of a hill just south of Ulaanbaatar.
Photo from
The inside of the ring is covered in a mural.

This panorama is just perfect actually, it looked exactly like this when we were there. Have a look round at the mural and see if you can find the woman breast feeding!

Thanks to those that I borrowed photos from, thanks also to for the awesome panorama views!