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Picnic on The Green

Friday, August 5th, 2016

With most participants leaving the site in less than 24 hours, something special was required for the last day of activities, and in true EIJ fashion a camp-wide picnic was held in the village.

10,000 participants, leaders and staff gathered in front of the main stage, sandwiches in hand, to reflect on what has been an amazing week. Sebastian, Billy, Thomas and Rory from 11th Burton on O’Keeffe’s Gallery found the picnic “really fun.” They said that it “gives everyone a chance to meet other people, make new friends, and say goodbye to those you have met over the week.”
The atmosphere was one that will be remembered for years to come; the whole camp chatting, laughing and reminiscing, while fittingly listening to Jam FM. Participants and staff alike were singing and dancing along to the music with everyone joining in when Bohemian Rhapsody came on. Silence fell, when the music quietened and a reflection of the week was shown on the screen.

Rupert and Ben from 3rd Chalkwell Bay Scouts on Marconi’s Mast saw themselves on the screen and they said “it brought back memories we won’t forget. After looking at all the activities we were able to do, I’ve realised just how much I’d like to come back and do another one.” I’m sure the whole camp would agree that it was really nice to see everyone having fun and a good time which is what EIJ is all about.

The reflection of the week was followed by a message from each subcamp leader about what they offered to the participants in their subcamp. Each message was introduced by one lucky participant from the respective subcamp. In between the messages from subcamp leaders were special messages from Wayne Bulpitt, UK Chief Commissioner for The Scout Association, Chief Guide, Valerie Le Vaillant and Hannah Kentish, Scouts UK Youth Commissioner.
Camp Chief’s Paul and Karen took to the stage to say “thank you” to everyone, with a “Pause for tears and cheers” at the end.

Once the cheers had eventually died down and a poem of reflection had been read, a troop of Scouts from America took to the stage for the folding of the US flag.

There was complete silence as the Scouts described the symbolism of the folding of the flag. They explained how the flag was folded twice lengthways and eleven times triangularly to leave only the top left of the flag showing. Each Scout told the crowd the meaning behind each of the thirteen folds which symbolised things ranging from life to eternity. Eve and Grace from 2nd Ashbourne Guides on Newton’s Lab said that the folding was “really good to watch” as they had never seen it before. They also added that it was “very patriotic.” Once the flag was completed it resembled a hat which was symbolic for the soldiers who served under General George Washington. As the flag was carried off the stage, any roof over the camp would have been lifted with the applause that went with it.