SCOUTS from across Portsmouth have seen 18 months of fundraising pay off as they attended the 23rd World Scouts Jamboree.
This once in a lifetime opportunity has seen a group from the city’s chapter fly out to Japan, joining more than 30,000 Scouts from 200 countries in this huge celebration.
Each Scout had the task of raising £3,000 to send themselves and supporting Scouts from countries such as Bhutan and Botswana, and developing countries across Eurasia, to join in the festivities.
The event, which has taken years of tireless planning and organising, kicked off with an opening ceremony welcoming the children to their new home, their very own tented city near Kirarahama.
As a sea of all the different countries’ flags greeted the children, one Portsmouth Scout was amazed at the number of people in attendance.
Bobby Kerry, 15, said: ‘Seeing all the flags united together made me feel that Scouting could change the world.
‘It’s not every day you can walk from tent to tent and enter a different country to learn about their lives.’
During their time in the Land of the Rising Sun, the thousands of Scouts will have the opportunity to take part in hundreds of activities focused on discovering new cultures, the environment, sustainable development and global issues.
In preparation for their time in Japan, the Scouts were aided in their fundraising by a dedicated team of volunteers.
One of the Hampshire unit leaders, Fi Durrant, who has supported the children to get to the jamboree, said: ‘The jamboree is a brilliant experience for the Scouts, but it’s huge fun for us adults too.
‘The looks on the children’s faces when they saw the jamboree site for the first time was overwhelming. It’s remarkable to see how their hard work has paid off.’
As well as being a fantastic opportunity for young people, the jamboree is a chance for adult volunteers to take part in activities, and learn new skills that they can use in other aspects of their lives.
The Scouts are always looking for volunteers. For more details visit www.scouts.org.uk.