British Columbia

Scouts expected to jam ferry traffic ahead of Pacific Jamboree

BC Ferries is advising travellers to book ahead and arrive at terminals early, as hundreds of B.C. and Alberta youths head to Sooke for the Pacific Jamboree.

Up to 900 extra foot passengers and vehicles board ahead of Scouts Canada gathering in Sooke, B.C.

Scouts Canada members and volunteers gather for a past Pacific Jamboree opening ceremony. (Bryan Mierau)

BC Ferries is advising travellers to and from southern Vancouver Island to plan for heavier traffic over the next couple of weekends in July.

In fact, on back-to-back Saturdays, starting July 6, Scouts Canada is sending 750 B.C. and Alberta youths aged 11 to 14, and their adult "scouters" to its Pacific Jamboree in Sooke, B.C.

BC Ferries warns there will be more than the usual number of foot passengers as hundreds of scouts will be walking on. Their gear will be transported in five-tonne trucks, and another 190 adults are expected to travel as chaperones, possibly in their own vehicles.

In an email, BC Ferries said even though sailings are every hour through the summer, the added volume means travellers should get to the terminal well ahead of sail time.

Pacific Jamboree spokesperson Zach Dallas said Scouts Canada has prepared the youths to behave onboard. Some will be away from home for the first time.

Pacific Jamboree spokesperson Zach Dallas has taken part in the event since 2007. (Scouts Canada/Pacific Jamboree)

A memory maker

"There is a lot of excitement heading off to the Jamboree," Dallas said. "We have reminded everybody just to be respectful."

It's Dallas's third time taking the groups over to Camp Barnard. He said it's a chance for the kids to show off their skills and bond.

"It's a weekend of fun and activity and adventure and leadership. And it's one of these memory makers that makes the kids' childhoods."

BC Ferries said sailings from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen will be heavily booked next weekend as the groups make their way back home starting Saturday, July 13.

The Pacific Jamboree takes place every four years.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the Pacific Jamboree is an annual event. In fact, it takes place every four years.
    Jul 07, 2019 1:59 PM PT

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