Portsmouth Scouts join 45,000 others in West Virginia for World Scout Jamboree
SCOUTS from across the area have joined 45,000 others for a major world get-together.
Representatives from more than 150 countries have joined chief Scout Bear Grylls in West Virginia in the USA for the 24th World Scout Jamboree, where they will enjoy two weeks of activities and making new friends.
Waterlooville youngster Daniel Cooper, 14, said: ‘There are so many activities to try over the next couple of weeks. I’m really looking forward to the five-mile zip line course.
‘This is going to be such a great way to develop skills which will last me my lifetime.’
The two-week skills exchange kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony, with a sea of young people making new friends, laughing and celebrating.
A rainbow of flags from the UK to Brazil, USA to Pakistan, and Indonesia to Kenya waved proudly.
Mieszko Polak, 14, from Portsmouth, said: ‘The thing I’m most looking forward to is meeting so many new people you wouldn’t normally get to meet.
‘It’s such a great atmosphere, so vibrant, the activities are so great and the opening ceremony was unreal.’
Chief scout Bear got the biggest cheer as he propelled from the roof of the main stage, before delivering an inspirational address urging the Scouts to make the most of their time at the jamboree and learn as many skills as they can to take back to their home countries.
He said: ‘World Scout Jamborees only happen every four years and tens of thousands of Scouts attend each one. They are incredible festivals of peace, friendship and adventure.
‘Young people will make friends for life with people from over 150 countries, experience different food, language and culture while learning new skills. It will be the journey of a lifetime.’
Fourteen-year-old Tona Loving, from Fareham, said: ‘You learn new things, and even if you’ve done them before – it still feels like new! Before travelling to jamboree, we learned how to pack and use transport properly as a large group.
‘If you don’t go to a jamboree, you’ll regret it because it’s great fun.’