Thursday, 2 August 2007

The first to rise

5.30am and at Atoll sub-camp there was lots of activity. Participants are already lining up at the sub-camp gates ready for the Sunrise Ceremony. Armed with their Sunrise scarves, their packed breakfast and huge smiles, everyone is surprisingly full of energy.

At the head of the procession is Ross, 17 ready and raring to lead the way with his bagpipes. “I had to get up at 4.30am to tune my pipes” said Ross “Today is such a special day for Scouts. It’s such an honour to be asked to play the bagpipes leading the first sub-camp into the arena. I really hope I don’t mess up, I want everyone to be proud of me”
Following Ross was the sub-camp mascot and banner, with the rest following closely behind. The sub-camp leaders were organised and had thought everything through, which of course led to a smooth set off.

As the participants walked the long journey across site, everyone was in high spirits. Singing along with the bagpipes, chanting “Atoll” songs or performing a Mexican wave, the 1,200 strong group were excited to finally be on their way.

“Today is a Celebration, which I hope will help to lead us forward to the next 100 years” said Ben, 17, of the UK contingent.

The anticipation grew as the group were close to arriving at the Main arena, and the noise from approaching sub-camp group was deafening. Proud smiles, they can truly say they were here, the
morning of the Centenary Sunrise and were allowed to celebrate with 44,000 other people.

“Today means that all of the Scouts that have made friends over the last 100 years will be together in spirit” Helena, 17, Poland said excitedly.

Atoll sub-camp finally reached their destination, the bagpipes sounded again confirming their arrival in the main arena. As the group of new made friends settled together on the grass, to re-new the promises that they made in places far away the sense of belonging surging from the group was truly amazing.

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