Cranham. 4 Degrees, not 40!

Last weekend the Woolly Pirates gathered in Cranham for their latest training camp.

Arriving in the dark, the first job was setting up camp. We were pitched in close proximity to get used to the space in Japan, and were soon joined by the intrepid Cornish. Once the fire was going we gathered round to break the bad news..

Wake up time – 5am

While in Japan, we’ll be getting up early to avoid the heat and get to activities. After breakfast, we walked to watch the sunrise at the top of Cooper’s Hill – which almost made it worthwhile!

After walking back (lots of walking on site) we decamped to the village hall to discuss rules (see our Code of Conduct), relationships and Hiroshima (more in another post).

We were joined for lunch by members of the IST and Alan Haywood, a unit leader to the 1971 Japanese Jamboree who spoke to us about the culture and what to expect. Lunch was actually taken from the 16th Nippon Jamboree in 2013.

Dinner was rather more in keeping with the weather, a beef stew. Then back to Japan for a favourite past time of Karaoke before rounding off the evening around a camp fire.

Sunday saw a lie in (comparatively) before splitting into teams to strike camp, build a fence and bury a drainage pipe – along with a time capsule. Why will google know who you are in 30 years? Will you have made a difference?

If anyone has any pictures or videos, please get them to me!

Gift update

If you’re struggling with ideas for gifts, I’ve tracked down what Matt said he found online:

Low unit price, light weight, and ideally British/Gloucestershireish

The act of giving and receiving the gift is more important than the actual object, so don’t push the boat out!


Fundraising update

Well done to everyone – we’re getting there!

A couple of key points.

1) Remember you don’t have to stop at £3000. The camps in February and April will cost up to £150 which can be fundraised.

2) As people are getting close to targets, if anyone does organise a fundraising event please let everyone know – likewise if you had a good idea that worked well please let the leaders know so we can pass it on both for this Jamboree and the next one.

3) The details for the revised firewalk will be out soon, currently looking at late April or early May.

January Unit Meeting

It was great to see so many of you on Monday, but for the few who were unable to make it and the rest of you who may have forgotten, here’s what we did and what we need you to do!


In Japan everyone will have a peg, much like this one

Clothes peg


which is to allow us to see if you are ‘in’ or ‘out’ on our peg board. Those of you at the meeting were all given a peg, if you weren’t please let me know if you need me to get you one or if you can find one yourself. Each peg has to remain roughly that size( you have to bring it to Japan!) but we want you to personalise it – we just need to be able to quick know its yours (so name or initials please!) Matt has a prize for the best decorated peg at the next meeting, and we expect you to bring it with you to all future events.


Silly games:

There were some silly team building games – congratulations to the teams who resisted being poked while supporting each other and to team 2, the overall winners!


In Japan we’re expected to have a Unit performance (think camp fire song). As a unit you have until Saturday lunchtime of the February camp to chose and practice what you want to do, with ‘Heads, shoulders knees and toes’ being the back up if you can’t….


The gift giving culture in Japan is huge. We would like you to think of a small gift you could have as an individual to give to someone – up to around 50. As an example, Matt has found disposable cutlery sets with the union flag on, and Rish is taking paracord to make woggles in the UK colours. We’d also like any ideas you have for full unit gifts, either to give to someone like a tour guide or to share with a visiting unit.

Business cards:

The Japanese love business cards – even the Cubs have them! Design one to take with you. Think carefully about what information you want to put on it – do you want to set up a special Jamboree email to keep any contacts separate from your main email address?


We opened the first of the two letters we wrote at our first Unit meeting in Prestbury, and some people who weren’t there wrote their 8th day letter. If you have not written a letter to yourself, come and see one of us at the next meeting.

Anonymous Q+A:

Something we’ll do again, an anonymous forum to ask questions, verbalise worries or just share something inspiring.

Those who are upset are living in the past, those who are anxious are living in the future. Those who are at peace are living in the present


See the next post


We’re looking forward to seeing those Chopstick photos – send them to me and also Twitter and Facebook!

Wishing you and your families a very merry Christmas :)

Matt, Rish and Geoff

Christmas Meeting – December 13th

5PM, Kibou Sushi
( 18 Regent Street, GL51 1HE)

The cost will be £15 – please either bring a cheque, cash, or tell us
to subtract it from your banked money as trying to food is very much
part of the training for the trip.

Cheltenham will be VERY busy – if possible I suggest using public
transport to get to the restaurant, with the 51, 61, 94 and 10 buses
(Cirencester, Stroud and Gloucester x2) stopping just around the
corner, and the 41 (Tewkesbury) a 5 minute walk.

We’ll finish by 7.30pm and can be met at the Rodney Road car park
here. Please bear in mind that any time between the meal and the pick
up will be scavenger hunt around the town, so please plan accordingly
with regards to wet weather gear and jumpers etc (Unit polo shirts for
the meal would be nice though :) ).(,-2.075725/@51.8982399,-2.0754315,18z

If there are any last minute queries please email us and text Matt to ensure it gets seen.

If you did NOT say you were coming on the original poll but now are,
please email back so we can make sure enough seats are there!

Matt,  Rish and Geoff

Q & A – December 1st

I’ve attempted to group these into themes – if there’s something missing, please get in touch!


  • There are no machine washing facilities we can use onsite, but we can do hand washing
  • Uniform will not be work all the time (Neckers will be however). Full uniform will be worn at key points, and we’ll wear ‘own clothes’ / ‘unit clothing’ at other (like wicking tops etc)

Money and security:

  • It has been suggested that £200-£300 might be reasonable, however people have gone to Jamborees for as little as 50p! (All necessary food and activities are paid for)
  • There is NO central secure site on camp – we have to look after everything ourselves
  • You can acquire Yen in the UK, but needs to be ordered
  • Prepaid cash cards have been suggested as a good way forward as they can be administered remotely
  • Participants are not allowed to leave the site except on activities


  • There are Wifi hotspots on site
  • There will be Wifi in Tokyo
  • Leaders will be contactable at all times either from the UK via the Home Contact process or from participants/UK contingent in Japan (Skype/Phone during HoHo)

Home Hospitality

  • We will get a contact in Japan around February
  • Anything a participant would like to do during HoHo will need to be organised individually with the host families
  • Leaders will be available 24/7 and will be in a leadership capacity for the duration of HoHo
  • The HoHo pairings are chosen by the Unit

Japan in a Box

  • Please continue to email us to book the box
  • The box runs until December 2015, with new activities released monthly

Unit changes

  • Sadly we’ve had to say goodbye to Toby and Ciara
  • But hello to Harry and Juliet!


Home Hospitality (and more)

For those who couldn’t make this evening, this is the presentation we gave*.:Dec1st meeting presentation

The most exciting bit of news:
We fly on the 24th of July
Mimasu Tokyo first
HoHo in Shizuoka prefecture
Home on the 10th or 11th of August

We’ll also be releasing the Q+A bits as soon as we get it typed up.The invite

*Parts of this presentation will not make sense out of context, but we didn’t want people not knowing the exciting bits. Once we have the Q+A bits, we’ll repost the important information from the presentation in a new format.

We also watched our Plymouth camp video and this video, which we were shown at the weekend. Itls a nice video to remember over the next 8 months!