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The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

World Jamboree 2023 — A Scout’s Perspective

World Jamboree 2023 — A Scout’s Perspective

What even is a World Jamboree?

The World Scouting Jamboree is an event of the World Organization of Scouting Movement that is educational and promotes peace and understanding among young people from around the world that occurs about every four years. Specifically, a jamboree is an event of a joyful, noisy gathering that originated in America around 1860 to 1865. It involves scouts between the ages of 14 to 17 from all over the world. Typically, there are tens of thousands of attendees ranging from scouts to staff members and troop leaders. The World Jamboree is held in different countries around the world. More than 170 countries with a wide range of scouts attend and get to meet with other scouts from other countries and trade patches and different things from their country with other things from other countries. The scouts that attend can be venturing scouts, sea scouts, or “boy” scouts. These participants are both guys and girls, with some countries having different troops to separate and others just having combined troops. The jamboree normally consists of a touring time for foreigners to view the country, an opening ceremony, the actual jamboree with many activities, and the closing ceremony. The price of the Jamboree ranges from where the individual is in the world and their country of origin, though it is normally very pricey, as the flights and everything is included in the price. The largest World Jamboree occurred in 2019 in West Virginia with 45,000 members that attended and stayed the whole jamboree.

World Scouting Jamboree 2023

The World Jamboree for 2023 took place in the Republic of Korea in Saemangeum. It occurred in August. There were about 43,000 participants from 158 countries. It was supposed to be held from August 1st to August 12th. American scouts and some scouts from other countries arrived early and did their touring beforehand. They went to places like N Seoul Tower and Korean folk villages. The theme was draw your dream and had scouting participants draw hopes for the jamboree and had some scouts sing the song of the jamboree. The US contingent had a total of 14 scout troops of about 36 people with four leaders each and 200 IST (International Service Team).

Problems of the Jamboree

The World Jamboree took a turn this year when many problems occurred that resulted in UK and US members to be pulled out three days in, along with the whole event being shut down early. The event occurred on an old dried salt marsh with temporary structures. This resulted in the camp being flooded before the US scouts got there, which ended in the US troops having to stay at Fort Humphrey, the military base, for a night. During the whole event, the temperature was extremely high, topped with high rates of humidity and little shade. This resulted in many participants suffering from heat related injuries that were for a while more than what was anticipated, so medical professionals were not in enough supply to be sufficient. Participants were especially suffering during the opening ceremony and in the afternoon when the sun would be the strongest. On top of that, there were some shortages in food supply as the scouts were given meals that they would have to prepare themselves or a “cold” lunch that they would take with them while they went around the jamboree. With these problems, there were also beginning to be sanitation problems within the bathrooms, as they were not washed as much as they should have leaving disgusting conditions. With all this information the UK and US Contingents decided to pull out their participants after the Republic of Korea took too long to fix the issues. By day three of the jamboree, the problems were starting to be resolved, yet the

Contingents decided that they were going to take out their participants for their own safety. A few days after the Contingents pulled out their scouts, a typhoon caused the rest of the scouts to be forced to leave the jamboree, with many staying in hotels in cities like Seoul. The US members were moved back to Fort Humphrey where they went and did other activities, as well as more touring around the country during their stay. The US scouts went to a Korean baseball game, a water park, folk villages, palaces, a mall, and other key places in South Korea.

 

Opinion from an Attendee

I happened to be able to attend the 2023 World Jamboree. This was a once in a lifetime experience, as I will be aging out of scouting soon. Although this trip cost a lot of money, I was able to fundraise and save up the money I would need for supplies and the trip itself. I am the only girl in Massachusetts who attended, and I was able to meet many amazing people from across the country just in my jamboree troop alone. I belonged to US Troop 11 and was the patrol leader of the Wendigo Voyageurs patrol. I met many friends that I still speak with to this day and hope to see again. We all went through this experience together and I would not trade my troop with any other. My leaders were exceptional and very understanding when it came to the stresses of the Jamboree. For the scouts, the jamboree itself was a lot of fun and allowed us to interact with people from all over the world. We were able to trade socials which allow us to talk to the people we met even now. Though once things started to change as we were pulled out, everything was unknown.

“Hurry up and wait.” That became my troop’s catchphrase, as most was unknown, even for troop leaders. Through this we got to become closer than ever and create memories that will never be forgotten. No matter whether it comes to the baseball game that was really a party, or the waterpark that was a relief from the heat, or the mall that seemed to dwarf any mall I have ever seen. The US Scouting helped keep the World Jamboree a memorable experience that shaped who I am. Though the media was mostly reporting about the negatives of the jamboree, we were kept in the light with the activities and events. Truthfully, through the hard parts, there were days and times when all I wanted was to go home and be with my family. Today though, I would happily do it all over again if I could. It does seem from the outside sometimes that there were really more negatives, but honestly I believe that the positives outweigh them. The media seemed to only glance over the positives, but throughout the whole thing I had faith in the World Jamboree for keeping me safe so I was able to enjoy everything as much as possible.

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth Richter, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Elizabeth Richter is a part of the Class of 2024 at LHS and her first year on the Cub as a staff writer. This is one of her many activities including Boy Scouts, LHS Cares, National Honors Society, Leading Lions, and Table Top Games Club. When she isn’t at school she can either be found reading a good book, drawing, or working at Camp Ramah. She enjoys helping the community through service projects and other activities. She hopes to write many articles about the school and activities in the community. One day she hopes to work for the FBI as a detective. She hopes to travel the world and grow the list of countries she has been to.

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