A GROUP of Cook Islands Boys Scouts is representing their country at the 21st New Zealand Jamboree in Blenheim, South Island.
Contingent leader John Paul Wilson said the 31-member group was made up of of 23 Scouts, four Senior Scouts and four leaders.
Making up the contingent are the Saint Joseph Scout Troop with 21 members, the Matavera Scout Troop with six members and the Mauke Scout Troop with three members.
Wilson said the New Zealand jamboree was attended by Scouts from all over New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and other countries around the world.
“The last jamboree we attended was two years ago. More than 6,000 Scouts and leaders attended and it was held in Fielding in the North Island of New Zealand.”
He said this year’s event would feature a variety of activities that the boys could get involved in and he was anticipating they would particularly enjoy Challenge Valley, which was like an army training course. It was a chance to get “down and dirty,” and learn how to use a gun. Other activities involved community service, building shelters, rock-climbing, canoeing and more.
Highlights of the nine-day jamboree will include a flight module at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, sea activities at Ngakuta Bay in the Marlborough Sounds, and an opportunity to learn about bushcraft at Pine Valley in Mount Richmond Forest Park.
During the Renwick module, scouts will have a chance to go abseiling and climbing as well as working on personal development.
A total of 4200 scouts and their leaders are attending the jamboree.
The Cook Islands group arrived in Auckland on Christmas Day.
“The group was hosted by the Polynesian Centre in Mangere, Auckland by director Danny Ripata for three days before we left for Blenheim,” Wilson said.
The jamboree ends on January 7 and when they return to Auckland the group will be hosted by the Pacific Gospel Mission Church in Ponsonby. Orometua Mata Makara will look after them for three days before they return to Rarotonga on January 10.
CIBS acknowledges Bank of the South Pacific for sponsoring the Scouts’ caps and water bottles and thanked everyone who had supported the boys’ fundraising efforts.
“It has been hard but it’s all about the boys. Once again, a big ‘meitaki maata’ to everyone who supported the Cook Islands Boy Scouts.”