Local scouts head to US for world jamboree

Howick locals, Andy Hancock and son Sean, are off to a Scout Jamboree in the US.

They were preparing for it for the last two years and finally the day had arrived when a contingent of 40 Scouts plus 20 scout leaders and dads accompanying them, took off on Sunday to the 24th World Scout Jamboree in North America.

It’s the biggest scout jamboree with representatives from 180 different countries.

Seventeen-year-old Quentin Stephen from Edgewater College says there are over 150 million active scouts from all over the world and the jamboree brings together people from different cultures with different values, “which makes it an awesome experience”.

“The theme this year is ‘Unlock a New World’, which allows us to discover new things,” he says.

Jamboree is from July 22 – August 2 at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia,

“The US has been preparing the campsite for the jamboree since 2005.”

Quentin says that four years ago he was in Japan for the World Scout Jamboree and got to do things he would have never done otherwise. Like visiting Hiroshima and seeing how bombs are detonated.

That apart, he says being a scout has opened doors to Outward Bound Trips, flying a helicopter in Nelson, running a 21k marathon and making lifelong friends.

Callum Clark also from the Venturers at Trinity Scouts Highland Park says that the trip is all about friendship, leadership and adventure.

The 16-year-old Saint Kentigern student has made a lot of friends like Quentin only because he has been in scouts since he was little.

Being his first international jamboree in West Virginia, Callum says he looks forward to travelling with his best friend and can’t wait to meet people from vastly different worlds.

The 21-day trip they say is not just about knots and woggles. It’s not just about just for boys either.

Girls are also part of Scouts. In 1987, girls were officially allowed to join scouts.

The World Scout Jamboree which  is about scouting fellowship unites the world’s young people to promote peace and create multi-sensory experiences.