Thousands of Guides and Scouts descend onto showground for international jamboree
PUBLISHED: 17:03 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:03 15 August 2018
"We are not just about knots and knitting."
And that is being proved by thousands of children, teenagers and young adults who are part of Girlguiding and Scout groups from across Britain and the world at an international jamboree.
Around 6,000 people, made up of young members aged 10-18 and volunteer leaders, have gathered at the 15th NORJAM celebration on the Norfolk Showground.
It is running this week and includes activities from stilt walking, zorbing, caving, rafting, circus skills, trapeze sessions, go karting and a zip wire.
Dr Emily Archer, deputy director of media and communications for NORJAM, said: “It is so nice to see the young people walking about smiling and happy. They are having a good time.
“A lot of people come back because it is friendly jamboree. It has a nice feel to it. There has been a party atmosphere here.”
As well as the many activities, NORJAM is also the chance to make new friends and meet different Guide and Scout groups, according to Dr Archer.
A large majority of youngsters at the jamboree are from Norfolk but it has also attracted groups from Scotland, Wales, the south coast and Isle of Man.
Sue Armour, a leader from 3rd Dereham Guides, said: “NORJAM gives the girls such a good opportunity to be free as well as take part in all the amazing activities.”
Lauren Tyler, 13, from 3rd Dereham and Elmham Guides, said: “NORJAM is amazing because there is so much you can do.”
Alex Riches, 24, from Norwich, an assistant leader for the 46th Norwich Scout Group which supports people aged 10-21 with complex needs, said: “It is really fun.”
Group leader Mike Gooderson, described NORJAM as “fantastic” with a lot of “variety” for young people.
Also among those taking part in the celebration, which takes place every four years, are representatives from 22 countries including Canada, Germany, Kenya, Uganda and Thailand.
To accommodate the thousands of people, the showground has been transformed by hundreds of tents celebrating different decades from the 1940s up to the 1990s.
Each camp has been decorated to reflect the different eras, from wartime aircraft and red poppies for the 1940s and flower power symbols for the 1960s.