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Jamboree for scouts and guides at Kolkata


By Cl. Arvind Khalkho SDB & Cl. Lazarus Lepcha SDB
The Scouts and Guides Leaders of Jamboree 2017-18 with the Coordinator, Camp Chief and other officials.
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Kolkata, Jan. 16. Focusing on the theme 'Holiness, Harmony and Health', the Salesian Province of Kolkata organized the '8th Provincial Jamboree', a four-day Scouts and Guides camp at Don Bosco School Liluah bringing together 600 young people in  14 Scout Troops and 12 Guide Companies.  They hailed from the states of West Bengal, Bihar, Sikkim and the neighbouring country of Nepal, adding an international flavour to the mega event.  The programme was held from 29 December, 2017 to 1 January, 2018
Juboree, started in 1995 as an offshoot of Boscoree, is a gathering of  the Scouts and Guides of the Salesian Family in the Province of Kolkata.  This is an occasion for these young people from institutions of the Salesian Family to unite together, under the Don Bosco banner! Coming together, camping together, sharing together, interacting with each other and cementing friendships with Don Bosco and Baden Powell as their mentor-inspirer-icons is the purpose of such a mega event.  It also serves as a  preparation for  Boscoree 2018-19 in Nashik.

The theme song of the Jamboree, ''Viva Baden Powell, Viva Don Bosco'', lyrics by Br Lawrence Mondal S.D.B., the Camp Coordinator and music by Mr. Peter Gomes, was the constant antiphon of the campers through out the event.

The event  kicked off in the afternoon of 29th December with a colourful opening ceremony as the Scouts and Guides marched together with the band. The welcome dance was presented by the students of Don Bosco Liluah, the host school. Father Joseph Pauria S.D.B., the Vice Provincial  was the chief guest. The highlight of the evening programme of the first day was  friendship game and  folk dance and song.

Day one saw the participants actively engaged in making pioneering projects, gadgets exhibition, adventure games, back woods man's cooking and project activities. In the evening they were occupied with colour-party display and skill-o-rama in which they had to present their skills in Scouting and Guiding. Great importance was given to the Training Programme by the District Trainers which was one of the goals of the event.  The camp fire  organized with the theme of the Jamboree filled the  evening with multicoloured display of items from various groups.

An important event of the Jamboree was the peace rally on the last day of the year where a crowd of 700 Scouts, Guides, Scout Masters, Guide Captains, Teachers and Organizers marched from the camp venue to Belurmath, the international headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission.   ''We need to make our future brighter and healthier. The future of our country depends on you, young people and you can make that future,'' said Maharaj Vedatidananda, head of the Belurmath Ashram.  Apart from the peace rally, various talents and adventure competitions occupied the campers on the third day. The highlight of the evening programme was the quiz competition to check the campers on their knowledge on Baden Powell, Don Bosco and Scouting.  

The  multi-coloured cultural programme organized in the last hours of the year was a fitting farewell to the year 2017. The chief guest for the evening was Fr Nirmol Gomes S.D.B., the Provincial of Kolkata. In his message to the Scouts and Guides he encouraged all the campers to follow 'the road travelled by Don Bosco and Baden Powell.  A prayer session organised by Jesus Youth to praise and thank God for the wonderful year gave a fitting conclusion to 2017.  As it happens everywhere, the old man 2017 had to bear the brunt of the year that was slipping by.  

On the last day a fitting conclusion was given to the Juboree with a grand closing ceremony. During the prize distribution, 600 hundred medals were awarded for adventure games, friendship games and project activities. Auxilium Convent School, Bandel bagged the over-all winner's trophy and Don Bosco Ashalayam, Howrah and St. Mary's Convent School, Geyzing, West Sikkim were the first and second runners up respectively.

Jamboree 2017-18 was the fruit of several months of meticulous planning and preparation. Kudos to the organizing committee presided over by Br Lawrence Mondal, the Youth Director of the Province.  After a solemn lunch all the campers departed for their homes, bidding farewell to Juboree  and carrying sweet memories with them only to reunite at Boscoree 2018-19 in Nashik.

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