Jamboree 2008 (Ireland)
|Location||Punchestown, County Kildare|
|Date||2 –10 August 2008|
|Camp Chief||Christy McCann|
Jamboree 2008 was Scouting Ireland's first international Jamboree that was held from 2 until 10 August 2008. It took place on the grounds of the Punchestown Racecourse, County Kildare, Ireland. The aim of the Jamboree was to celebrate one hundred years of Scouting in Ireland. Over 12,000 Irish and overseas Scouts attended. The camp chief for Jamboree 2008 was Christy McCann.
Punchestown Racecourse was chosen to host the Jamboree, having previously hosted the Creamfields, Witnness and Oxegen music festivals, and as such has often been used as a campsite for large numbers, however never for a duration of 10 days.
The jamboree opened with a bang on the second, with the opening ceremony being held using the same stage as the World Jamboree 2007. The celebrations team kept everyone thoroughly entertained until the arrival of Camp Chief Christy McCann who travelled to the opening ceremony in a coast guard helicopter. The flags of the attending countries were raised and the ceremony finished with a fireworks display.
Jamboree 2008 had its very own official radio station, called "Jam FM". The station broadcast on 95.9 FM and online to Local Kildare and west Wicklow areas via Three Rock Mountain. The format of the station was mainly commercial pop/rock and indie and with some talk. The station was headed by Robbie Daly (Station Manager), David Kelleher and Denzil Lacey (Assistant Station Managers).
The campsite is split into a total of nine subcamps; six of these subcamps have been allocated to attending scout groups and cub/macoimh packs. One subcamp has been allocated to Venture groups. One subcamp has been allocated to the families of staff. And the final subcamp has been allocated to Staff members.
- Each subcamp is named after Irish geographical or heritage sites. Subcamp chiefs are also listed:
- Giants Causeway-Tony Smith
- Dún Ailinne-Jo Coy
- Hellfire-Darragh O Briain
- Newgrange-Yvonne Lawrence
- Sceillig-Derek Long
- Crúacháin-Julie Malone
- Tara (Venture Subcamp)- Eoin O'Mathúna
- Tír Na nÓg (Staff family Subcamp)-Gerry Finnegan
- Eamhain Macha (Staff Subcamp)-Michael-John Shinnick
Each subcamp had its own range of merchandise with their brand on the product. The most popular products were the subcamp badge and the subcamp pin. If a participant collected a full set of badges and pins then they would each form a diamond when put together. The Outdoor Adventure Store released the pins and badges in the store but they were shortly taken off the shelves as they weren't supposed to sell them. Because of this mistake, there were fewer badges and pins in circulation and there are now just over 100 full sets of pins and badges. Tara only sold their badge or pin to any other sub-camp members once they ensured their own participants had the option of one first, though due to this only a few pins were bought by other subcamps and not many more badges. Both Tara and Tίr Na Nόg had less pins or badges than the other subcamps, making them more collectable and so not many have the complete set. All of the other sub-camps had plenty of their own badges and pins so most collections are made up of these 7.
Each day at the jamboree was given a theme, the elements.
- Spirit - Sunday
- Neon - Monday
- Fire - Tuesday
- Beaver Day - Wednesday
- Earth - Thursday
- Air - Friday
- Choice - Saturday
The Beaver Day and Visitors Day were canceled due to torrential rain and flooding.
While the elemental themes changed each day, the zones stayed the same throughout, Adapting to suit each day's element. The zones are:
- Wall Climbing
- The Curragh (Irish Army Assault course)
With many more to be revealed as the jamboree progresses.
The jamboree had many bases, which changed each day. The bases included assault courses, lectures, and water rocket launches.
There were many extra activities that the Jamboree attendants could have taken part in. One of these included going around to the other subcamps to collect their badges and pins.
Camp Chief Challenge
The Camp Chief Challenge was the most popular activity to take part in. This was a challenge set by the Camp Chief Christy McCann. It included doing activities in order to collect points. Anyone that managed to get 100 points or more was able to get the Camp Chief Challenge Pin. The easiest tasks were worth 5 points like getting the Camp Chief's signature, attending a Scouts' Own or visiting an information stand in the village. The hardest task, which was worth 20 points, was to have a meal with another troop/pack/unit.
Although Jamboree 2008 was Scouting Ireland's first, the organisation is not completely without experience, since Scouting Ireland S.A.I. and Scouting Ireland (CSI), as members of the Federation of Irish Scouts Associations, co-organised four jamborees:
- Woodstock, Co Kilkenny '78
- Co. Tyrone|LakeLands '82
- Portumna '85
- Gosford '89
- Ballyfin '93
- Lough Dan '97
These were organised in conjunction with Scout Association of Northern Ireland (SANI), with each association scheduled to take the lead role every third Jamboree. SANI were due to organise Causeway 2001, a jamboree at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. However, due to restrictions in place to counteract the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, these plans were abandoned.
The next Scouting Ireland Jamboree will take place in 2013. The preferred venue is Stradbally Hall, home of the Electric Picnic music festival, in Stradbally Co. Laois.  Deirdre Butler will be the camp chief for Jamboree 2013. Deirdre was previously the camp chief for Jamóige 2009. Jamóige 2009 was a camp for cubs all around Ireland, it was held in Dalgan Park, Navan, Co. Meath Ireland. In April 2013 Jamboree 2013 was cancelled due to lack of Bookings.
- Lawrence, John (2008-07-17). "Jamboree 2008 with 12,500 scouts will be the largest held in State". The Irish Times (The Irish Times Limited). Retrieved 2010-01-10.
- Wasser, Chris (2008-08-06). "An in-tents experience". The Evening Herald (Independent News & Media Plc). Retrieved 2010-01-10.
- "Jam...", The pre-Jamboree Newsletter, Issue 2
- Campbell, Paula (2008-08-08). "Rain stops play for scouts at Punchestown". Leinster Leader. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
- Jamboree 2013 Stradbally