A scout from Maulden joined 30,000 other youngsters from nearly every country in the world at the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan.
Months of planning has led to scouts from over 200 countries arrived in Kirara-hama to experience a trip of a lifetime, with a spectacular opening ceremony starting the adventure.
From the main stage, a sea of young people making new friends, laughing and celebrating could be seen. A rainbow of flags from the UK to Brazil, USA to Pakistan, and Indonesia to Kenya could be seen being waved proudly in peace and harmony.
Jeremy Young, who took part in a tea ceremony with a local family, said: “I was quite nervous before the home hospitality. I was worried about doing the wrong thing and offending the family. I was hosted by the local County Commissioner and took part in a tea ceremony as well as learning lots about Japan. At the tea ceremony we put on happy coats and walked into a room set with a long table cloth, mugs and a stove at each end. Each place also had sweets which were eaten before the tea was drunk. We also got to meet all ages from the scout group with a festival full food and games, including somen noodle soup and octopus dumplings. One of the highlights was visiting a local shrine where I felt welcomed into the culture and trusted to be there as it was a special place for my host who guided me though what to do. It was amazing to experience Japanese culture and their way of life first hand and the way I live at home, such as, taking shoes off before entering the house, helping to keep it clean.”
Adult volunteer, Helen Draycott said: “It’s been great to see the scouts grow and develop over the last two years. To see them interacting with scouts from all over the world is one of the best experiences I’ve had in scouting.”
Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “While lots of people know that Scouting is all about adventure, they often don’t realise that adult volunteers get to do just as much as our young members through their involvement. The World Scout Jamboree is a great example of this. Nearly 4,000 Scouts from across the UK are meeting 26,000 others from around the world and taking part in amazing adventures. That is why I love Scouting so much!”