So after 2 years of planning its finally Jamboree time and today, 20th July is the day we set off for 3 weeks of adventure.
Alarm was set for 7 but I was wide awake at 6 if not before, excitement, anxiety or maybe a bit of both.
I arrived at the Stanley’s HQ at 8 to find Gareth and some Explorers already there with parents eager to go. We set up tables inside and invited them in to start labelling up bags and checking passports. We were kept fed and watered with bacon sarnies and tea by Gareths wife Steph and Chris’s girlfriend Carrie who did an amazing job in the kitchen.
Everyone arrived on time and we were all set, the coach arrived early and the driver was keen to set off, it wasn’t exactly Luxury travel, so after some makeshift repairs to keep our kit dry, the boot was sodden, at 11 we all started to get onboard say our goodbyes, it was good to see a number of parents decided to see everyone off and Chris from County popped in. Sharron and Bex came down and after a few more emotional goodbyes we were on our way.
We arrived in Heathrow in one piece, it appear that our not so luxurious coach was knackered and half the journey was spent in top gear as the gearbox was bust!
We were met by the Gillwell Park media team and after a few photos and quotes for Monday’s papers we sat around before going to check in. Luckily for us the ice cream machine at the Virgin Check In had lost its power so we were all offered free ice cream, certainly picked up the spirits of the Explorers.
A pretty painless journey through security except for One of the Explorers who nearly go arrested for filming! Then straight to the gate, no time for the usually cheeky airport pint☹️.
The plane started to taxi then… this is you Captain speaking ” the generators faulty we have to get maintenance to look at it”, an hour and a half later we were in the air. All good expect my tv was bust, was this a day for things not working??? Luckily the food was good and spirits high, 3 other units on the plane from Wiltshire and a joint Somerset Wiltshire Unit.
We landed late but after getting everyone safely through immigration we jumped on the bus and headed to Hofstra University for our first night.