RISGO Centennial Jamboree
Invitations were invited late 2012 for scholarships to
attend the Rajans International Gathering of (RISGO) in February 2013 at
Dharmaraja College, Lake View Park International Scout Centre in Kandy, Sri
Lanka. After a merit based selection process, by an independent panel,
scholarships were awarded to three venturers, Liam Furchow (WA), Rebecca Parish
(Vic), Kate Broekman (NSW) and one leader, Vicki Knopke (Qld), joined by
another leader, Chathura Perera (Vic).When I found out I had been accepted for
a RISGO scholarship, I was so excited and incredulous. Things happened so
quickly! Before I knew it I was on the plane to Brisbane, met Vicki and Bec and
jetted off again to Singapore.
We met Liam in Singapore. We were picked up at the
airport by Win, a local Regional Commissioner; he showed us around the main
parts of Singapore including Chinatown and its delicacies and Sentosa Island in
his Jaguar. I loved Singapore and couldn’t wait for our return journey. We then
caught plane to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
We met Chathura at Colombo. We took our lives in our
hands as we travelled the hectic, busy, humid streets of Colombo to Kandy and
Dharmaraja College. We had home stay the first and last days in Sri Lanka, our
family was truly hospitable. There was a lot of fresh, sweet fruit and the food
was delicious throughout Sri Lanka.
At the College along with other International Scouts we
were quickly confronted by lots of people taking photos of us. Everyone was so
friendly; I got sore cheeks from smiling with these friendly, gentle Scouts. We
quickly became close friends tied by Scouting.
There were heaps of activities to do; we were always
busy, like Challenge Valley. Bec and I were lucky enough to qualify for white
water rafting as we had made it into the top 60! I had a ball! I definitely
want to do that again! We went on a jungle safari as well, it was so much fun.
The opening and closing ceremonies were amazing! The
President of Sri Lanka was there, as were the myriad of colours as the
traditional dancers from all around Sri Lanka and the Jamboree drew to a close.
I had so much fun and met so many wonderful scouts.
Then, the hardest part of the Jamboree came… saying
goodbye to everyone. Lots of Scouts were crying and everyone was hugging each
other. It was so hard saying goodbye to those who’ve you’ve come so close with.
I felt so privileged to have received this scholarship to
experience this trip of a lifetime, “Towards Youth Leadership”. It was truly a
life-changing experience; I loved every second of it! Although language or
culture may have been different, I found that we all had something universal
and something in common……Scouting, which made us all the same, with a common
bond, something that went beyond the spoken word! It was a fantastic
opportunity, one that I will treasure in my heart and memory forever!
Kate Broekman - NSW Lones
Link to complete magazine : http://www.nsw.scouts.com.au/images/stories/Lookwide-2013-Jul-Ed10.pdf