This past summer, Scouts from the National Capital Area Council attended the 25nd World Scout Jamboree in Seoul, South Korea. For two weeks, the Scouts bonded, shared stories, laughed, and explored Korea with thousands of Scouts from around the world. As they
journeyed far from home to experience a once in a lifetime event, they came back as better and brighter leaders of tomorrow. Several of the Scouts detailed their adventures, from arriving at the airport to saying goodbye for the last time. Arriving at camp, Dillon stated “I found solace in the diversity of Scouts gathered in one spot from around the world who shared my passion and love for Scouting…Walking to the concert area was the most unique experience I’ve had. Scouts from all types of countries were marching with us, waving flags, singing songs, and talking in so many different languages. The opening ceremony had many speakers: from the event organizers to even the president of South Korea. The ceremony ended with a drone and firework show that drew out the logos of all the past Jamborees in the sky and ended with an image of the founder of the Scouting movement, Lord Baden Powell.” Scouts got to tour parts of Korea, and Phalha describes their time outside of the Jamboree, “One of my favorite parts of the tours were buddying up with new friends and exploring the different cities and towns we stopped at. I loved discovering more about modern Korea through these outings. Even coming to find one of my new favorite desserts, Korean shaved ice. We looked everywhere for the shop that our tour guide, Jake suggested but eventually we had to ask for help in which we met a very kind owner who apparently had a daughter that was going to the World Scout Jamboree later that week.” Abbey talks about the the wonderful culture of Korea and how much she enjoyed the experience, “On the days between the 6th and the Closing Ceremony, we went to a South Korean Water Park, a traditional Tai Kwon Do and Folk Festival, went to the Samsung Plant, and a South Korean baseball game at which they had cheerleaders! Baseball is huge in South Korea.” She mentions that though it was not what she expected, she was excited to have gone and become a better leader for it. The Scouts from Troop 612 in Virginia allows us to see how beautiful the experience of learning new cultures and sharing a love of Scouting: “Throughout our stay at the camp, we often visited the Scouts from Vietnam, sharing our own scouting experiences with Vietnamese Scouting, despite our country’s differences. The camp was incredibly massive, designed to accommodate over 40,000 people…Trading was a significant part of the World Scout Jamboree, a universal activity that transcended language barriers. Given our Troop 612’s involvement in lion dancing, we worked to obtain patches and neckerchiefs from Hong Kong, which featured designs related to lion dance—a meaningful aspect of our culture.” The Scouts had an incredible experience that turned out to be full of fun, joy, and an appreciation for the many cultures. As they departed camp, they looked forward to seeing their friends in Poland in four years at the next World Scout Jamboree!