This report is part of a series from members across the district for the Annual General Meeting to be held online on 8th July 2020.
Last year, I had the most memorable summer holiday, as I was one of the lucky 3000 + participants to be selected to join the UK contingent at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.
I shared my Jamboree Experience with over 50,000 scouts and leaders from over 169 different countries from around the world and what an adventure it turned out to be.
After nearly 1½ years of fundraising and training, I arrived with my sub-group “The Hampshire Aces ” in the U S of A!! We had a brilliant 24 hours in New York, a city that genuinely doesn’t sleep – the sights, sounds and smells were mind blowing! After a very long journey travelling through numerous States south, we finally arrived at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia for twelve days of pure adrenaline fuelled fun!
The site was unlike anything I’d seen before. In fact, it is larger than some entire countries and it was to become my home for an adventure of a lifetime. Situated in the wilds of the state of West Virginia. Together we lived, ate and joined in over 50 different activities including river rafting, zip lining, rock climbing and mountain biking as well as attending numerous special events and ceremonies around the whole site to thrill and challenge the most adventurous of scouts! During our stay, the jamboree site became the 3rd largest temporary city in the state of Virginia that summer!
The theme of the 24th Scout Jamboree was “Unlock a New World”, this represented the new adventures, friendships and diverse cultures we shared throughout this amazing event. During our time at the Jamboree we
join to seek solutions to international challenges such as sustainability, poverty, hunger and conflict. Unlocking the potential within each scout, to return to their own countries, as messengers of peace and to grow the power of scouting.
There are too many high points to the Jamboree, however a couple of the true highlights of my Jamboree experience were the opening and closing ceremonies, filled with wonder, excitement and the pure size of these
spectacular events! The opening ceremony welcomed all the scouts from all around the world with a mixture of music, theatrics as well as famous musicians, dignitaries and leaders from around the world. The most memorable part of the opening ceremony for me was the unique drone display. Colourful lit drones slowly aligned to form different symbols within scouting, I was wonder-struck as I watched the sky light up during the wonderful light show.
The closing ceremony was just as energetic, marking the end of our Jamboree experience, twelve days of cultural exchange, skills building and memories to this truly unique global event. Inspiring messages of
encouragement and motivation were delivered by the Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and from Mr Ban Ki- moon former United Nations Secretary General, highlighting the vital roll that 50
million scouts can play in the future of the planet. Live performances, singing and dancing helped build the sensational atmosphere, that also included our high tech “Novus” wristbands lighting up during the show. The
closing ceremony culminated in a magnificent fireworks, pyrotechnics and laser light show that lit up the summit stadium and surrounding skies of West Virginia.
It was a pretty emotional day when we had to leave, even though as a group we were heading off to visit Washington DC and also travel up state to Canada, but I had had a truly amazing time, meeting and making loads of new friends.
Having been a lucky participant at the 24th World Scout Jamboree, I have become part of scouting’s unique history that goes back as far as Lord Baden-Powell and the second person within my family to attend. My great
grandfather attended the 2nd World Scout Jamboree in Denmark back in 1924. I plan to share all that I have learnt and experienced while attending this truly unforgettable life changing adventure – that I will treasure for the
rest of my life!