Hancock

Scouts represent the U.S. in Curacao

Hancock resident is one of 15 from this country at the 15th Caribbean Jamboree

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It’s that time again! Yes, summertime, but also time for another Boy Scout adventure. First, let me share with you a little about myself. My name is Stephen Baird. I am a 16-year-old Eagle Scout from Hancock who is a scout with Peterborough’s Troop 8. During the 2010 and 2013 National Boy Scout Jamborees, I wrote for the newspaper as a Hometown News Correspondent. Never could I have imagined that I would have opportunity to write about my participation in an International Jamboree this summer!

From July 20 to 28, I will be 1 of 15 Boy Scouts representing the United States at the 15th Caribbean Jamboree. This event will be held in Curacao which is a small island about 35 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Although I have not left town yet, I have already begun to follow the Boy Scout Motto, “Be Prepared.”

My preparations began by obtaining a passport and learning about the airports and safety in traveling to a foreign country alone. Fortunately, in Curacao I will meet with scouts from 12 other states, including Texas, where my tent mate, Alejandro, lives. His city is a lot larger and more diverse than mine, creating an opportunity to begin my cultural exchange immediately. I look forward to sharing our experiences in scouting and in our communities.

Hope I remember more than a few sentences from my Spanish class! Speaking of languages, I have also learned some of the native language, Papiamentu. Bet it will be fun to greet others in their native language! “Danki” is thank you and “bon dia” is good day.

With travel preparations completed, it is time to prepare to have fun. Recently, I spent a week at Hidden Valley Scout Camp earning the BSA Snorkeling Award and PADI Open Water Scuba Certification. The waters of Curacao are a diver’s paradise and I hope to fit this activity into my aquatics schedule early and often.

One of the most important and more serious parts of this trip will be learning about the cultures of scouts from more than 15 countries during the Cultural Festival Day. Each country will share their traditional clothing, dances and music, and will serve their specialty foods and beverages. Can you guess what the Boy Scouts from the United States will be sharing? I will share this and other details when I return from my adventure. Please stay tuned.

Stephen Baird of Hancock is a news correspondent for the 2014 International Jamboree: Curacao.

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