|Scouts Australia NSW Staff Visit AJ2016|
The Scouts Australia NSW staff were lucky enough to enjoy a tour of AJ2016 yesterday (13 January 2016), just two days before Appin's tent city, currently home to over 11,000 Scouts, Leaders and volunteers, will start packing up their tents and returning to their homes across Australia and the world.
For some of us at the State Office, this was our first chance to see Scouting in action. We begun our tour at the nerve centre of the operation, the JNN headquarters, where the team have been working around the clock to man JNNFM (the member of staff responsible for this story was very impressed with the diverse, upbeat playlist!), manage social media for the event and publish a daily newspaper to keep Scouts in the loop.
We visited some campsites to get a feel for daily life at the campsite, and it wasn't long before a few of us were talking about planning our own camping adventures! Colourful aspects of Scouts culture such as the bright, hand-painted signs declaring who the campsite belonged to, really made an impression on those of us who weren't as familiar with it. We also had a look at a Q-Store, where Groups stock up on fresh groceries with which to prepare their meals for the day, which helped us get a feel for the logistics of feeding a population of thousands in such a remote location.
The awesome team at Cirque Du Scout then showed us around their activity base, where Scouts were being introduced to trampolining, juggling, stilt-walking, poi and other circus skills. They were kind enough to ask if we wanted to have a crack at any of the workshops, but we weren't brave enough!
After being treated to lunch at the VIP area, we checked out the mall. We were amazed at how what would normally be a clearing in the middle of the nowhere was buzzing with life and activity. Two of our staffers (including this one) had a crack at the Stunt Jump, which seemed to be a favourite activity of the Scouts, and loved it. Before we left, we got to have a dance with the crew from JNN TV - personally, I'm hoping our performance didn't make it onto the airwaves!
We really enjoyed our time at AJ2016 - I think it made most of us wish we were kids experiencing both the great outdoors and a sense of independence for perhaps the first time again. Well done to the AJ2016 team! We're grateful to have had the opportunity to support you in bringing such a fantastic event to life. Thanks for having us!