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2007 Join-In-Jamboree

Due to the prohibitively astronomical cost of Zimbabwean Scouts getting to the 2007 Jamboree, we will be hosting a large National 2007 Join-In-Jamboree Camp to give Southern African Scouts a flavour of the Jamboree. This will be organized by Norman Scott, and will probably take place at Gordon Park, requireing a large number of camp staff, considerable logistical planning and preperation. However, as each Troop attending will have to organize its own transport/food/tents, it is a good idea to start saving and fund raising for this event now.

A Brief Look at The Setting for the National Camp

You will be camping for 10 days with Scouts and Guides drawn from all parts of Zimbabwe and surrounding countries.

leask Gordon Park is situated in the Matobo Hills. It is Matabeleland's Scout Leader Training and Scout Camping ground situated 50 kilometres from the city of Bulawayo. Gordon Park has been "Christened" the HEART OF SCOUTING because of its significance to world Scouting and in Particular to Scouting in Zimbabwe.

When in the late 1890's our founder, Lord Baden Powell, was still in the army he had the opportunity to practice many of his skills of observation, bushcraft, tracking and firelighting right here in the Matobo hills. gp rockIndeed among many of his sketches of this period, is one of Shumbashaba, a huge granite kopje on the other side of the Mtsheleli river to present day Gordon Park. Many years later, in 1936, he again visited the Matopos, but this time in a peaceful role, as Chief Scout of the World, and had this to say:-
"In the midst of this wild country, with its baboons and leopards and its vision of past battles, fought amid these kopjies, I was suddenly faced with a signboard "Gordon Park. Training Ground of the Boy Scouts Association". Here! The wildest among many jungles I have seen in different parts of the world was a truly lovely Backwoods Camping Ground."

Baden-Powell saw Gordon Park in its thoroughly undeveloped state as it had only recently been opened - on 16 February 1936 by Col. Granville Walton, Imperial Headquarter Commissioner for Overseas Scouts. The park was named after Colonel Gordon D.S.O. O.B.E. (Headquarters Commissioner for Matabeleland) an influential figure in Zimbabwean Scouting at that time.

We pride ourselves for having a Scout Park within the Matobo hills. The Matopos have an attraction that is all their own. The origin of the name is clouded in history, but no doubt stems from "Matombo" or "Madombo" which simply means "the rocks". There is a legend that the name "Matobo" was given to the hills by uMzilikazi, who was a senior Chief of the Zulu nation in South Africa under King Tshaka. When he broke away from Tshaka and headed North from Zululand, he settled near the Matopos and when he looked at the great dwalas (rocks) and was told they were called "Madombo", he said, "But we will call them "Matobo" meaning, "The bald heads"

In every part of the hills scene succeeds scene of unbelievable beauty and wilderness. From the lichens upwards, the colours seem rare and strangely lovely. The lights of the morning and evening are beyond description.
The mountaineer may freely exercise his skill on the hills and rocks which are there to test his powers and offer difficulties which are pure joy to surmount. There are precipes, kloofs and caves all worth the climber's attention and from all peaks, panoramic views may be obtained and which in their own perculiar way are unique and magnificent.

To the photographic enthusiast, please bring plenty of film with you, the Matopos has special attractions. The natural features of the landscape are eminently picturesque. The mountains are not too large for the ordinary camera, the contrast of rock and foliage, of foreground and distance, of light and shadow are striking, whilst the extremely broken outine fringed by traceries of branches silhouetted against the clear sky lends a special charm. The sunlight is stronger here within the tropics and the sky, a blue you may not have seen before. The sunrise and sunsets are magnificent, especially when cloud formations produce the magic effects of shadow and light of crimson, yellow and orange.

The artist can both get and give great pleasure from the pursuit of his talent, as too can those interested in antiquities and our early history - from artifacts and paintings found in the numerous granite caves.

For more information, contact:-
Zimbabwe's International and Programmes Commissioner: Bekezela Ndebele

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The Scout Association of Zimbabwe:
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