The Scouting World Jamboree 2023 Has Become a National Embarrassment
The scouting world jamboree 2023 was supposed to be a global adventure of a lifetime. But six years and tens of millions of dollars later, it has become a national embarrassment.
After the UK Scouts pulled out citing water shortages, food quality and sanitation issues, the US contingent has decided to leave too. But some are staying to learn how to innovate in adversity and develop bonds forged in adversity.
Scouts have a unique opportunity to learn more about themselves and the world around them at the World Jamboree. The event is hosted by a different country every four years and brings 14-17 year olds together from around the globe to promote peace, encourage leadership skills and foster global citizenship.
Despite being a predominantly outdoor event, the World Scout Jamboree offers more than just adventure and cultural exchanges. Various special sustainability initiatives like the Better World Tent and Global Development Village help participants develop the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable development in their communities back home.
As for entertainment, the twilight hours at camp are some of the most memorable moments for attendees. They’re the time when friendships are made that will last a lifetime. This year’s twilight activities include music and dance programs from popular K-pop stars, and visiting local temples, museums and factories. The local government has even recruited hundreds of people to clean showers and toilets, which some parents complained were filthy or unkempt.
Scouts are able to experience a range of high-adventure activities at the Summit, including whitewater rafting, rock climbing and bouldering, skateboarding and BMX. They can also try shooting sports, zip-line challenge courses and mountain biking. During the two-week jamboree, Scouts can give back to their West Virginia communities through service projects and participate in a variety of other social activities.
Extreme heat has led to hundreds of attendees seeking treatment for heat-related illnesses, and snakes have been found under beds at the camp in Saemangeum. Parents of British attendees have said their sons were being exposed to conditions they believe to be unsafe, and the UK contingent has pulled its 4,000 participants out of the event for their own safety.
The event has been a public relations disaster for South Korea, with many attendees expressing their dissatisfaction with the organisation of the camp on reclaimed tidelands. The World Organization of the Scout Movement has called on organizers to mobilise additional resources and make health and safety a priority.
Entertainment is an essential part of the jamboree, providing a range of activities for scouts to experience new cultures, build strong friendships, and have fun. From musical performances to theatrical shows, dance workshops, and more, these programs provide an opportunity for scouts from all over the world to create memories together and make the most of the jamboree experience.
The Cultural Showcase, a new addition to the Celebrating Humanity program, offers scouts and adult leaders a unique way to highlight their culture at the event and demonstrate core Scouting values of kindness and friendliness towards all. Participating in this activity is as simple as registering for the Cultural Showcase and arriving at the site with your cultural items to display.
Interested scouts who want to experience both the BSA National Jamboree and the 2023 World Scout Jamboree are encouraged to apply to become an International Service Team (IST) member by January 31. This is an excellent opportunity for scouts to expand their worldview and gain leadership skills at the same time.
Opening and Closing Ceremonies
The World Scout Jamboree allows young people to embrace adventure, broaden their horizons and grow into remarkable individuals. Even with a series of hurdles this year, thousands of Scouts and International Service Team members from 158 nations forged bonds in the face of adversity and left enriched by their once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As the sweltering event came to an end on Friday, Ahmad Alhendawi, secretary general of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, praised participants for adapting to the challenges and inspiring the world. He also promised to take the necessary steps to make the next Jamboree more sustainable.
The 2023 World Scout Jamboree brought together thousands of 14-17 year olds from all over the world for a week of fun and challenging activities. For more great info, visit the official BSA contingent website. Scouts can still sign up for a pre-tour with the U.S. contingent to tour Seoul and learn more about Korea’s culture and history.