Celebrating global diversity is music to my ears

At least 15 patrols from a dozen different countries sang “Happy Birthday” to me on Monday. One problem, though. My birthday’s in June.

In fact, the patrols were participating in the Viking world’s “Forgetful Musician” task at the World Scout Jamboree.

For variety’s sake, I was moved from A-Frames to the singing event. I’d be happy with any job out here, but it was nice to see a different Viking-themed activity and work with other International Service Team (IST) members.

Here’s the challenge: Patrols are shown six pictures of different objects, and they must sing songs that incorporate those pictures. There’s a birthday cake (hence “Happy Birthday”), a sun, a campsite, a fire, a flower, and a globe.

They can write their own song, change lyrics to an existing song, or just sing one that already uses the pictured words. They’re also allowed to sing in their own language, meaning that even if I heard the same song from multiple patrols, I heard it a new way each time.

Hearing 10 Scouts from Thailand sing to me in their native language is another one of those “only at the World Scout Jamboree” experiences. I’ll also never forget the Belgian Scouts who, not knowing exactly what they were saying in English, chose a tune with lyrics too explicit to post here. Oops!

On the town: Yesterday, during a rare off day for the clan from Viking world, we took a jamboree-sponsored bus into the nearest large town, Kristianstad.

It’s a charming, walkable town with tree-lined streets, pedestrian-only passageways, tons of bicyclists, and lots of bookstores, shops, and restaurants.

Oh, and there’s laser tag. Yep, 12 of my newest friends and I spent an hour at a local laser tag arena, shooting each other in the shoulder, back, and stomach and amassing as many points as possible until we were drenched.

But you know, after a week of sweat-inducing sawing, drilling, and lashing, it was nice to move the perspiring indoors—at least for an hour. Tomorrow, it’s back to the Viking world to entertain and challenge several thousand more Scouts.

About Bryan Wendell 3041 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.