Capital Scouts troop off to the US for a jamboree of world culture

Scouts from Edinburgh are part of the 5,000 ­members from the UK ­joining 40,000 others to take part in the World Scout ­Jamboree, a skills and adventure festival happening right now in West Virginia.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 6:00 am

Two city teenagers have been meeting 45,000 Scouts from nearly every country in the world – sharing their skills while enjoying high adventure in this picturesque part of North America.

The Jamboree is a massive event with a huge campsite described by organisers as ‘roughly the size of the city of Dundee’.

The event offers young people the chance to learn new skills that they can use in other aspects of their life and learn about different cultures from around the world. Ethyn Smith and Sonny Reid have been meeting Scouts from across the world and taking part in exciting activities.

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Ethyn, 17, said: “I’ve only been here a few days and I’ve already found out loads about other cultures.

“Also, my ability to work as part of a team is a skill I’ve taken away from the run up to the Jamboree.”

The World Scout Jamboree is the culmination of two years of work for the leaders, which has involved camps and team building events preparing the young people for living on a humid site in West Virginia amongst Scouts from nearly every country in the world.

Sonny, 16, said: “It’s incredible to see the scale of Scouting around the world, and I’ve also learnt new skills from some of the other countries – from ­traditional crafts to new languages.”

The event was opened by UK Chief Scout Bear Grylls, who 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, languages and cultures while learning new skills. It will be the journey of a lifetime.

“The 2019 Jamboree, jointly hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico, is set to be one of the biggest and most exciting yet. The theme is “Unlock a new world” – focusing especially on how we can create a sustainable world together.”

Scouts, the world’s largest youth movement, was founded on 1 August 1907 and there are now approximately 40,000 young people involved in Scouting in Scotland.

The organisation helps members, both boys and girls, enjoy fun and adventure, while developing skills for life: the practical, character and employability skills they need to succeed.

More than 200 activities are offered by Scout troops around the UK, from canoeing and caving to coding and community projects, made possible by the efforts of 163,000 adult volunteers.

Worldwide, Scouts has more than 50 million members, both male and female, with pack members able to qualify for more than 250 Scout Activity Challenge badges.