Our cover story this month brought back bittersweet memories of sleeping under canvas in England, Africa and Australia. Like many boys, I earned prized scout badges for prowess in campfire cooking (baked beans and jacket potatoes), survival skills (always carry a 2p coin for an urgent phone call), and, naturally, tying loads of fiddly knots.
Today’s scout badges, meanwhile, feature such engaging themes as dietary requirements, global issues and even—wait for it—media relations. Anglers must safely return fish to the water and mobile phones have edged out most metal coins and hard-copy maps.
My scout skills proved very useful later, however, helping me endure a dawn drenching and high winds on an Outward Bound winter course; vicious little monkeys ransacking my tent; territorial hippos snorting and staring us down as we barbecued and set up camp; and sudden ice-cold overnight desert conditions.
Like many things, however, camping is different now. Safer, cleaner, with more comfort and diversity and with a new name—glamping—which includes tents and huts. Less challenging, perhaps, but no less fun or rewarding, I’m told.
I hope our glamping story nudges you to visit, this summer, one of the newest members of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan: Camping With Soul, in Saitama Prefecture, or one of the other unique glamping spots around Japan.
Thanks for the great response to our exclusive “Mad Dogs and Englishmen (and Women)” cover story in the May issue of BCCJ ACUMEN. Thanks to our close contacts and quick action, we scooped the highly competitive UK motoring media, which has now picked up the story. We have passed on your best of British, congratulations, advice, warnings and other helpful comments to the two brave or crazy teams who plan to drive their classic vehicles from the UK to Japan in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Tim Hitchens knighted
Congratulations to former UK Ambassador to Japan Sir Tim Hitchens (2012-2016) CMG LVO for being appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2018. The award recognises distinguished personal service to the Queen. Sir Tim said: “I’m really delighted. It’s a lovely way to cap 35 years working in the public service and working for the Queen. And a nice recognition of the work done in one phase of my life, as I start work in this new phase [as president] at Wolfson [College, Oxford]”.