Seventy two young people from West Sussex are taking part in the biggest occasion in the Scouting calendar.
Held once every four years, the World Scout Jamboree is an educational event which brings together young people aged 14 to 18 from around the globe to promote peace, mutual understanding and respect and develop leadership and life skills.
Hosted by Scouts Canada, the Asociación de Scouts de México and the Boy Scouts of America, the 24th World Scout Jamboree runs from July 22 to August 2 and is based at a campsite in the mountains of West Virginia, North America.
The theme of this year’s camp is ‘Unlock a New World’.
Rachael Grantham is assistant scout leader for Chichester 12th Scouts and one of eight young people to have been selected to take a group of scouts abroad in the role of assistant unit leader and represent West Sussex Scouts at the Jamboree.
Rachael said: “The Jamboree experience extends beyond your home, beyond the boundaries of our countries, to create a global adventure that will last a lifetime.”
She said over 40,000 scouts from 169 countries are attending, with 100 units from the UK alone: “Two units are attending from West Sussex, each made up of 36 young people and four leaders. As a UK contingent, not only are we attending the 24th World Scout Jamboree, we will also be visiting New York, Washington DC and, potentially, Canada.”
George Murphy and Molly Berry from Southbourne Explorers are taking part in the 2019 World Scout Jamboree, each fundraising £3,500 to attend.
George said: “I am extremely excited about this adventure because I’ve been in Scouting for many years now and this will be a highlight of my time in the movement. It will be great to see other cultures and Scouting’s effects across the globe. I’m hoping to be able to understand these cultures as well to see how they differ to ours.”
Molly said: “Scouts has been a massive part of my life since I was six, attending my first Beaver meeting. Therefore, the World Scout Jamboree has been on my radar for many years and I am so excited to finally be attending! It is such a outstanding opportunity for me and I hope to learn so much about Scouting across the world as well as be educated about other cultures, which will help me grow in so many ways.
“I can’t wait to gain a deeper understanding of the world around me and meet even more wonderful new people.”
‘Adult volunteers required’
Nationwide, Scouting’s aim is to prepare more young people with skills for life, supported by ‘amazing leaders delivering an inspiring programme’.
As part of its ‘Vision for 2023’, the movement hopes to grow, become more inclusive, be shaped by young people and make a bigger impact in our communities.
Group Scout leader Tony Tunnell said Chichester is one of nine districts in West Sussex aiming to grow membership.
Tony said: “Judging by the size of the waiting list, especially in the city of Chichester, there are many young people who would like to join the movement, to be able to have fun and take on new challenges and responsibility.”
Groups are keen to encourage young people to have their say: “February was #YouShape month, where groups concentrate on getting young people to decide how and what they do in Scouting on a weekly basis. This is quickly becoming the norm in a lot of groups.”
In order to achieve this vision, Scouting relies on adult volunteers to help support and inspire young people.
Tony said Chichester district is ‘very lucky’ to have mayor Martyn Bell as its chairman: “He has done sterling work in supporting Scouting in the district.”
The district currently needs a district commissioner to oversee the management of Scouting in Chichester: “Ideally, some Scouting knowledge would be useful; however, this is not required. The role is about managing and growing the adult base in Chichester to ensure there are sufficient adults available to organise and run not only the weekly meetings, but also district activities for all groups.”
Other vacancies include assistant district commissioners for Scouts and Beavers, to take on a more active Scouting role in organising district-wide activities for multiple groups.
Fund-raising is also essential, as Scout huts are old, wooden and expensive to insure and heat: “Fund-raising is important for most Scout groups to maintain their properties and to purchase new equipment, allowing adult leaders to give young people the location and resources they need to achieve their aims. Look out for fund-raising activities in your area and support your local Scout Group!”
For more, contact any Scout group, visit www.scouts.org.uk or call 0345 300 1818.