By Lyndsay Dagg
The 13th Pacific Jamboree is officially open. Starting around 8:30, all four subcamps grouped together to march down to the opening ceremonies. Though it took some time to get everyone organized, by 9:30 almost everyone at the camp was gathered on the main field.
We were welcomed by the youth Camp chief, Rachel Robilliard, and her brother Luke , who were the ceremony’s MCs. They welcomed some special guests onto the stage including the Premier of BC, John Horgan, and both the Camp Chief Bill Schulte and the Deputy Camp Chief Mike Tomczak.
Next the flags of all 6 countries (Canada, the United Kingdom, Jordan, New Zealand, Sweden and the USA) with youth at the Jamboree were brought to the stage through the center of the crowd. They were followed by the flags of the provinces and one territory (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Yukon) with participants or OOS.
The singing of the Canadian national anthem was led by the OOS Dalton and then Gordon Planes, chief of the the T’Sou-ke Nation, whose land Camp Barnard is on, performed a prayer and welcomed PJ into traditional T’Sou-ke lands . Next John Horgan spoke about Scouting and its values – as a youth and parent, he came to the camp.
Camp Chief Bill Schulte addressed the crowd and spoke about the Scouting Legend, begun by Lord Robert Baden-Powell.
To officially open the camp, a hawk flew from the right side of the field to the stage carrying a camp woggle and after everyone changed their group neckers for the jamboree neckers, Bill and Rachel declared PJ 19 open.
After a very special award the Jack Cornwell Award for Fortitude was presented to Cole W. After that, we had a rare Sasquatch sighting. He fired one slingshot of t-shirts into the crowd, and the premier fired the other one.
This concluded the main ceremony. After the guests of honour were piped out, there was entertainment by the Equestrian Vaulters and the Tom Morrissey band. The pipe band played everyone out.
With this PJ 2019 has official begun, and we are all excited for a week of adventures.