Bergvliet scouts get set for world jamboree

The 1st Bergvliet sea scouts who will be attending the 25th World Scout Jamboree in South Korea, from left, are Patrick Bartleet, Jake Smith, Alex Clayton, Nathan Smith and Daniel Williams.

Five 1st Bergvliet sea scouts will fly 13 000km away from home in August next year to spend three weeks at the largest scouting event in the world, the 25th World Scout Jamboree, taking place in South Korea

The first jamboree was held by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the scout movement, in 1920. He invited young people from all over the world to the UK to exchange cultures and enjoy scouting adventures together.

Since then, a jamboree has been hosted by a different country nearly every four years.

Teenagers Daniel Williams, Nathan Smith, Jake Smith and Alex Clayton will join a South African contingent of 108 scouts and 30 adult leaders who will be among the 48 000 scouts and adult leaders from 159 countries and territories expected to attend the jamboree.

“Going to Korea seems like the ultimate thing to do as a scout. I have been in scouts for eight years, and this would be a good way to top it off,” said Nathan.

The jamboree’s programme will focus on developing leadership and life skills through various scouting activities.

A tour before the jamboree will provide sightseeing opportunities at the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea as well as in the South Korean capital of Seoul. There will also be a visit to the traditional Gongju Hanok Village.

Daniel is ranked as a Discoverer Scout and is currently working towards his First Class advancement. He said, “Nothing ever just happens in scouts, we earn the qualifications that allow us to do the activities we partake in.”

While the scouts will be far from home, Jake said, “We have been in scouts for so long, and gone on so many adventures, like a three-day hike with our friends, that my parents are not too worried. At the campsite, there is a police station and we are going with our contingent group and scout leaders.”

Nathan is most excited about the chance to meet scouts from other parts of the world. “It will be a great experience to see Korean culture and the cultures from all the countries attending. Every night there is going to be a rotation where you go and eat a meal with one of the other countries. Where they will cook one of their famous meals. And we will get to cook South African food for foreigners.”

Some of the scouts have turned entrepreneur to fund the trip. Alex has been collecting honey from his bee-keeping endeavours for six years now and sells honey at markets. Daniel is selling home-made brownies to close friends and family, and he and Nathan also sell old furniture online. Nathan also teaches surfing.