30 Scouts from North Wales will be boarding their plane for Japan in 12 months time to attend the 23rd World Scout Jamboree.
The group of 27 teenage boys & girls and their three volunteer leaders have spent the last six months preparing for the trip and fundraising to each meet the £3,000 target which is the cost of the Jamboree.
The World Jamboree is the Olympics of the Scout Movement, bringing together over 30,000 Scouts from almost every country on Earth every four years. During the 2015 Jamboree the participants will mark the 70th anniversary of the first atomic bomb to be dropped on the city of Hiroshima with a visit to the site.
Bethan Morris, 15 from Llangollen, said: “One of the things I’m most looking forward to at the Jamboree is learning about a whole host of cultures from every part of the world and their similarities and differences.
“So far we have had several camps meeting the people in our group. Everyone was nervous at first to meet people, but even though I knew nobody I made friends really quickly.
“Fundraising is also a big part of the Jamboree experience and so far I have done bag packing in super markets and a car boot sale along with cash for clothes and collecting jewellery.”
The group have three weekend camps left to complete their training so they will be able to take the best advantage of the opportunities open to them. One will take them to Liverpool to test their ability to navigate round a big city, use public transport and be on time in preparation for their three nights in Tokyo.
Another weekend will be spent in the mountains of Snowdonia to ensure they are fit enough to tackle walking around the gigantic Jamboree site in soaring temperatures and high humidity.
Group leader Penny Dell-Smith, a 21 year old music student from Bangor, said: “I’ve already been presented with a whole world of opportunities. My role has included selecting participants, developing a programme of camps & activities to excite and inspire, as well as fundraising, training on media skills and generally developing the young participants’ skills so that they can get the most out of their Jamboree experience. It has been an incredible adventure so far – and we haven’t even left the country yet!
“It’s been fantastic getting to know our unit members from across North Wales. We’ve had three great preparation camps together and are looking forward to three more – each presenting another challenge to prepare the Scouts for the Jamboree. These camps are truly the highlight of my experience so far.”
The Scouts have had lots of support so far with gifts of raffle prizes, offers of places to camp and donations from supermarket customers in return for help packing their bags. They are still on the look out for help however as they aim to ensure as much can be fundraised as possible so that they trip can be open to all young people, not just those that can afford it.
To find out how to help visit their website at golddiggers2015.org.uk
Pic: Scouts having fun with a blindfold piggyback jousting tournament!