Can you help Bedfordshire scouts reach 2023 Jamboree in Korea?

'This is the chance to support 36 Bedfordshire scouts on the opportunity of a lifetime'

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 11:15 am
Updated Thursday, 6th January 2022, 11:16 am

Adventurous Bedfordshire scouts are appealing to local businesses to support their fundraising for a "once in a lifetime" trip to Korea.

Thirty six lucky youngsters have been selected from across the county to travel to Asia for the World Scout Jamboree in 2023 and have embarked on a huge donations drive to raise £160,000 for the travel costs.

The Jamboree, which takes place every four years, will see the schoolchildren meet fellow Scouts from across the globe, as well as take part in exciting challenges ranging from physical games to tasks involving sustainability, engineering and STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Maths).

Fundraising for the Jamboree with Nick (left) dressed as an elf.

Nick Kealy, Unit 17 Jamboree Leader (Bedfordshire), said: "It's the equivalent of the Scout Olympics.

"I have seen lifelong friendships formed at Jamborees and it is an amazing opportunity for young people.

"There's all sorts of activities; the last one was 2019 in America and before that it was Japan.

"There was the sharing of cuisines, shooting, rafting, ziplining, a whole wealth of activities."

The Jamboree selection process.

The World Scout Jamboree was founded by Robert Baden Powell with the first event held in London in 1920.

The gathering is usually held once every four years, the aim being to share values and best practices, as well as learning about different nations,

Nick added: "For example, Polish scouting has no upper age limit - you can still be a scout in your 30s.

"There's also a chance to explore different countries. In America we visited New York beforehand, and this time we're planning to take the scouts to Seoul after the Jamboree."

Nick at the Jamboree selection process.

Representatives from the seven scouting districts in Bedfordshire will be travelling to Korea, including: Ampthill and Woburn, Bedford and Ouse Valley, Biggleswade, Dunstable, Falkes District (Luton), Icknield District (Luton), and Leighton-Linslade.

The 36 intrepid travellers were whittled down from 140 applicants, with an impressive 100 attending a challenging selection process which included physical, arts and crafts and pioneering activities.

Nick said: "We were looking for conduct, skills, problem solving - you don't always know the answer but do you give it a try - and looking for older ones who were encouraging and mentoring the younger ones.

"The scouts who have been selected are buzzing and we were sent some great reaction videos from the parents."

The Jamboree Unit (17) will represent themselves as the 'Bedfordshire Bees' during the trip, with the name linked to sustainability as well as having similar colours to the Korean's tiger mascot.

They are now looking for local businesses to sponsor their trip, as each place costs over £3,900 per child.

The busy scouts have begun fundraising activities - watch this space - and any interested companies can contact [email protected]

Nick concluded: "This is the chance to support 36 Bedfordshire scouts on the opportunity of a lifetime and to represent Bedfordshire in Korea."