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Making a list and checking it twice

Scout Leader Greg South does a bag check Sunday before loading gear for the Canadian Jamboree.

Scout Leader Greg South does a bag check Sunday before loading gear for the Canadian Jamboree.

A dozen plus area Boy Scouts ran final check lists Sunday as they prepared to set off for an adventure of a lifetime at the Canadian Jamboree 2007 (CJ) Tuesday.

The national jamboree is a fun focused learning forum that is like the Olympics, in that it only takes place every four years, and was last held in PEI about five years ago.

This year the jamboree organisers expect 6,000 kids and 2,000 leaders from across Canada, as well as the United States and England to converge at Tamaracouta Scout Camp in Quebec just North of Montreal.

Scout Leader Greg South, who will be leading 8 scouts from the 3rd Widdifield troop, says the scouting motto is ‘be prepared,’ and that it took a long time to get prepared for camp.

“I’m a little bit nervous, but once we get there I am sure we will be alright.”

“It’s an experience I’m sure I’ll never forget ... I’m already dreaming about it,” he says.

“And the kids have been learning the necessary skills over the last year.”

Not only have the scouts spent time learning the skills they need for the event, but for the last four years they have been fundraising to cover the costs involved in getting to CJ.

“Branch 23 Royal Canadian Legion is our major sponsor, and they have supported the troop since its inception, they have supported everything,” says Scout Leader Ken Sitter.

“Without the Legion we couldn’t go on the trip,” adds South.

"And the boys had to pay a nominal fee."

Sitter, who will not be making the trek this year, says that there were several variables that went into choosing which scouts would be going to Quebec,

“Primarily it’s up to their parents,” he says.

“And also how well they enriched, contributed and fulfilled the scouting promise.”

While South and buddy leader Denis Lamarche are nervous about what they are about to embark on, the scouts themselves could barely contain their excitement.

“This is the first one I’ve been to,” says Eric Lamarche.

“I don’t know what to expect ... I guess learn stuff and meet people.”

Fellow camper Josh South looks forward to making new friends and overcoming some of his own fears.

“Some of the activities sound like a lot of fun, and there will be tons of people so it will be interesting to learn about what other scouting troops do.”

“I also hope to overcome my fear of heights.”

Scout Leader South says the fact that the CJ is happening during the 100th anniversary year celebration is a bonus, and hopes that they all walk away with a sense of awe.

“I hope the kids come home with stories that will bring scouting to a whole new level in North Bay.”

“I want everyone to know that kids with disabilities that prevent them from joining sports have another outlet and scouting is open to them.”