COLUMN: Sooke a perfect host to Scout’s Pacific Jamboree

Why Sooke has the potential to host a big a event like the Pacific Jamboree.

Bill Schulte

Guest comment

Four years in the making, one final week of boots on the ground in preparation and one week of adventure for 3,100 Scouts in beautiful Sooke, Pacific Jamboree was officially declared closed on July 17.

We would like to thank the government representatives, the municipality, T’Sou-ke Nation, local businesses and individual community members who welcomed and supported the jamboree.

It was a tremendous team effort that made this so successful.

We would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the comments we heard about Sooke and Camp Barnard.

First, and foremost, the youth reported the community of Sooke is beautiful, and that everyone in the community is so friendly. The youth were pleased when people in the community recognized them as being Scouts and participants at the jamboree. They felt very welcome wherever they went.

Some their observations of Sooke included:

– They loved the weather here although Day 1 included a light sprinkle of rain. Everyone thought it was great to keep the forest fires at bay and the dust settled.

– About halfway through, some felt the laundromat was the coolest place to hang out while they did their laundry. They said it was a great atmosphere, the coffee shop was great and they got clean clothes!

– Coffee shop (especially Serious Coffee and Stick in the Mud) were popular for both adults and older teens.

– The Source was a great resource for phone chargers, and I understand the Sooke Dollar Store was also popular.

– The Sooke Region Museum was described as one of the best small town museums that they had ever seen.

–  The Lions Club hotdogs were a nice change, and the pizza was awesome as a nice “mug up” (bedtime) snack.

– The mountain bikes provided by Sooke Mountain Cycle were great and sold quickly at the “garage sale” after the jamboree.

– Home Hardware was a savior many times over!

–  The scenery and weather were absolutely beautiful. Many were envious that this is our backyard and are excited to be coming back here in 2019.

– Some thought it was really inspiring that Chief Gordon Planes shared he was a Scout at Camp Bernard 45 years ago.

– Local practitioners (optometrists Louise Morin and Brian Joslin and dentist Chris Bryant) were so helpful on short notice!

– This jamboree was described as having better food, better programming, better organization, and as being at a better site than previous Pacific and Canadian jamborees.

All of you make me so proud to be part of the Sooke community. We are looking forward to doing this all again in July 2019.

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Bill Schulte is deputy camp chief at Pacific Jamboree 2015, held at Camp Bernard last month.