Reached a decision today. I have decided not to apply fro IST at world jam next year.
It was a pretty difficult decision. I went to Eurojam last year as an assistant unit leader for a district unit and simply had the time of my life. It was my first jamboree experience, and I hope it wont be my last. I don't think it is any exageration to call it life changing. I made some amazing friends and met people from more countries than I care to count.
And it was so inspiring as well. To find out about the campaign Swedish scouts have mounted against tobacoe companies, or the work German scouts do with refugees or the work of African scouts in countering HIV made me feel like I was 15 again. I felt like I could change the world, that I wasn't some powerless insignificant grunt in the world. And I haved tried like mad to hold on to that feeling. A few weeks after I got back a Guide Leader from Sheffield that I met there came to stay with me and we compared notes. And the big thing was that no one understood! We had both returned to work and stared in to space with silly grins on our face, we were so happy and so inspired and were on a different planet to every one else.
So after all that, after the feelings I came back with, why aren't I going back?
Firstly, lets remember I am a scout leader not a scout. I could go to World jam and have an amazing time, but at the end of the day I have a pack to lead. Next summer there is some amazing stuff going on. if we are not at the jamboree (which beoing Cubs we wont!) there are some brilliant camps happening for us to go to. It is my job to make sure that thsoe kids remember next year for the rest of their lives. They can look back and say that they were part of someting massive, they were there, they took part when the scouts turned 100. Not sat on a beach with their parents because Akela did something for himself.
Secondly, this is somebody elses dream. There will be no shortage of people wanting to turn up as IST next summer. No matter how grotty the jobs or the amount they have to pay there will be thousands that want to go and clean toilets so that they can be part of it. I've been to a jamboree, it's some one elses turn to come back and be inspired and to have their life changed.
Hope that all made sense!