By Judy Harcus
The 1st Annual Jamboree on the Trail 1998 (JOTT ’98) was a fantastic success! Ontario Scouter Dave Wiebe originally suggested the idea of a “hiking day” to a Scouting e-mail list. After some discussion, a national (and international) Scouting event was born. The 2nd Annual JOTT is scheduled for May 15, 1999.
Last April, 19,000 Canadian Scouting members hit the trails for JOTT ’98; an additional 6,000 Scouting members participated in the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.
JOTT provided program activities and ideas galore!
Some JOTT ’98 hikers learned about the worldwide fellowship of Scouting. Bob Cano, a 36th Ottawa Cub leader, said: “I wanted to give our youth an idea that their Cub pack is not an isolated entity, but part of a larger movement.”
Many groups used JOTT as an opportunity to get together with other Scouting members; some made it a family outing. The 1st New Maryland Beaver “A” Colony, NB, invited a Beaver colony from St. Andrews, NB, (150 km away) for a fun day which included hiking on the Trans-Canada Trail near Fredericton. They also made woggles, played games, told stories, and shared snacks and lunch. The 33rd St. Catharines, ON, troop travelled to Mayville, New York, for an international hike with Boy Scouts of America Troop 54 from Buffalo.
Other Scouting groups just wanted to get outside. “Our pack members yearned to increase our exposure to nature as well as experience true Scouting,” said Tim Haggith, a leader with the 1st Glencoe (ON) Cubs. Many Beaver colonies hiked to beaver ponds where they learned more about beavers, dams and lodges. Manitoba’s 1st Teulon Cubs braved the Narcisse Snake Pits. Here they saw three different snake dens during their 2 km hike; everyone got a chance to handle snakes and learn how they live.
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