Cr Wayne Sproull

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First of all, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and safe and happy new year.

Being a Councillor can expose you to things you may not necessarily have the opportunity to experience otherwise.

Recently I was invited to a VIP tour of VICJAM, a jamboree for all Victorian scouts. This event was originally marked for the 26th Australian Jamboree but Covid had made that difficult. The decision was made in January 2021 to continue to run this event for Victorian members. At a time where isolation and youth health where concerns for us all, this decision would have been very welcomed I’m sure.

Let me give you some stats to understand what a momentous task this must have been to organise… an 11-day event with a budget of $5.5m, 2900 scouts (11-14), 450 venturer scouts (15-18), and 1100 adult volunteers. They had their own daily newspaper, radio station and supermarket. The Jamboree consisted of different themed ‘worlds’ on site where kids could choose the different types of activities they would like to do ranging from vertical world (abseiling/rock climbing etc) to tech world (robotics/virtual reality etc). They also had numerous off-site activities from hiking and biking to water-skiing. I was in awe of the amount on offer. The 11 days was full of activities and events from dawn to dusk, they even managed a video link to an astronaut on the international space station!

Most importantly though, there were smiles and laughter in abundance. All the activities, whilst fun, are designed to help kids grow into leaders and good citizens in one way or another. I got a real sense of passion to help kids be the best versions of themselves.

It would have been easy to blame Covid and cancel this event but the organisation prioritised the interests and wellbeing of their members and provided what could only be described as a magnificent experience for all involved.

We had 33 scout members from the Central Goldfields attend the Jamboree. I hope they really enjoyed their time. If you have kids and haven’t considered it before, be sure to visit our local group and get some information. No doubt the skills learned and friendships built will last a lifetime.

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