Our Jamboree Journey Reflection

Scouting Today – By William Lingard

For over one hundred years, Scouting has been the largest youth organisation in the U.K. We help develop Skills for Life and enable young people to make a positive and lasting impact both on their local community and to the Scouting Organisation. Scouting is an international movement, connecting a broad array of cultures and nationalities for one key mission – to develop a better future. Here at home, children from the age of six can join our Beaver section where they can make new friends and get a taste for the outdoors. From eight, they can move onto Cubs to learn more practical skills and enthuse their adventurous side. Next, they go on to join Scouts at ten and a half, to build confidence, resilience and to further their sense of adventure. At fourteen, they join Explorers where they can experience taking the lead, working together as part of a team and embrace new experiences away from the classroom. Finally, at eighteen they join Network to hone employability skills and achieve top awards, in preparation to go on to become the next generation of Scouting Leaders.

What is the Jamboree? – By Ben Lyon

The Jamboree is a four-yearly worldwide meeting of Scouts camping together for ten days, with over 45,000 scouts age 14 – 17 from 152 countries. The 24thWorld Scout Jamboree was held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, USA. On the Jamboree there are loads of activities to do – from archery to mountain biking, scuba diving to white water rafting, as well as lots of walking! It was also a chance to meet with Scouts from different countries and we swapped scarfs, badges and woggles whilst making friends. There were 100 units and 4,000 young people in 100 units representing the UK.

Who we are

We, Ben, Kris, Megan and Will, were the four selected participants from Crawley District representing West Sussex. We are Explorer Scouts coming from four different Explorer units in Crawley, we are also Young Leaders helping with Beavers and Cubs.

Sean Edwards, Kristofer Bolin-Schmitt, Ben Lyon, William Lingard, Megan Elliott, Vicki Prince

How we got chosen 

To start off the process of being selected, we had to apply and fill out an application form which asked a variety of questions. After this all the participants were invited to a weekend selection camp. At this camp there were lots of team working activities whilst the leaders made notes on individual Scouts. Twenty-two young people attended the selection camp – after this it was whittled down to 8 Scouts to do an interview with a board of high ranking leaders from the District. From these, about a week later, after the leaders had met and discussed four Scouts were selected to go on the Jamboree.

The Jamboree – By Megan Elliott

For the West Sussex contingent The Jamboree was a three week life changing experience. Our journey began in New York City for a whistle stop tour of the sights. After New York we arrived at The Jamboree in the middle of a huge thunderstorm. However the rain did nothing to dampen our spirits. Scouts from other countries came to help us set up our campsite which was an enormous help. Even joking with them how we brought the weather with us. The 24th World Scout Jamboree took place in the Summit Bechtel Reserve which is a huge site in West Virginia (approximately 11,400 acres).

There was no shortage of fun activities available for participants, this includes: scuba, zip lining, climbing, skateboarding, mountain biking, paddle boarding and white water rafting. There was also the challenge of climbing up Mount Jack. As well as that there were many international food houses to try, a sustainability treehouse to explore and plenty of activities covering global issues, faiths and beliefs, exploration and communication. These activities also presented the chance to earn badges along the way.

Although there were many exciting activities (scuba being my personal favourite) to take part in, for me, meeting Scouts from all around the world and learning about them are my best memories from Jamboree. In particular on cultural day where I first met my good friends from the Netherlands and making good friends with a couple of Americans. I hope to stay in good contact with them for years to come.

Following the twelve crazy days of Jamboree we visited Washington D.C and Canada to see some of the sights. I think it’s safe to say the baseball game we saw was the highlight of Washington for most of the UK Contingent.                                                                                                                                                                        Overall I think the Jamboree was a fantastic experience, leaving me with memories that I will never forget. I’ve grown in confidence, gone out of my comfort zone and made life-long friends along the way.

Back home, advice to Young People – By Kristofer Bolin-Schmitt

Some would say that The Jamboree really starts when you get back and inspire the rest of the Scouts back home, the meaning of The Jamboree and how it impacts on us all individually.

Inspiring us to strive to do our best within our world and the community surrounding us.  The Jamboree has taught all four of us how important Scouts are to the world, making every effort to make the world a better place, proving how impactful unity has evolved over the years.

This once in a lifetime opportunity has allowed us, a small few, to now motivate the Scouts back home to not only apply for future Jamborees but to also do their best to improve their community surrounding them.  With the community that we have as Scouts we do not realise how much of an impact we provide for ourselves and others.  Helping and giving to those less fortunate than ourselves, aiding the third world countries to elevate and thrive just like everybody else.

The equality that is shared is proven to be effective as they are now also able to attend The Jamboree via the extra money raised  through the participants of the more wealthier countries.

Even if you are not picked we have found that you are still part of this journey through the help of fundraising so that not only us but people from other countries can participate in this amazing experience.

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