Money, money, money

For the last 2 weeks I have been putting together a budget for the Jamboree, which needs to be approved by both the GGV Executive and the GGA Executive before announcements about the event can be made. It is a balancing act between keeping the cost for girls and leaders as low as possible with what it actually costs to stage the event.

There is a significant financial risk involved with holding an event with over 1000 girls plus all the adults needed to make it fun, exciting and safe. This risk is taken on by both GGA and GGV. To help with putting together the budget, I have had access to the detailed budget from the Sydney Jamboree and also the budgets of FanTAStic and ACE 2010. I also have had the support of the Sydney Jamboree LiC, Helen Eggleton. All have been invaluable.

To start with it is really like putting together a budget for a unit camp, thinking about the cost of the campsite, the food, the program, a badge and transport to and from camp if required. However, for a larger camp there are a few extra things to consider like a physical stage and appropriate sound system for opening and closing ceremonies, security aspects for the campsite and just how many portaloos and showers need to be brought in. There is the consideration of getting rubbish offsite and equipment needed onsite and appropriate spaces to run the administration of the camp and to look after welfare of girls and adults (yep – making sure there is a space for a coffee shop for adult welfare). All while considering how much costs may rise for an event 2 years away.

Also this week came the sad news that the Scout Jamboree to be held in Victoria next year has been cancelled due to the uncertainty around COVID-19. All that planning and work done by so many volunteers to get to this point, heartbreaking for everyone. It does remind us that we need to include a contingency and insurance component into the budget not only to cover costs if we have to cancel the event at the last moment but also to cover costs in the case that we have to evacuate the camp offsite during the event, or an unexpected change of plan means extra costs are incurred.

The aim is to keep costs as low as possible for girls and leaders to make the event as accessible as possible. I ask only that when we do announce the costs, keep in mind this is more than just a bigger version of a unit camp and involves costs that are unique to this type of event. Our plan is the ensure that event is memorable for everyone involved as well as providing a camp that will rival the best unit camps.

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