Kenilworth Explorer Scouts ready for World Scout Jamboree adventure in USA

Kenilworth Explorer Scouts going to the World Jamboree in the USA
Kenilworth Explorer Scouts going to the World Jamboree in the USA

Eight Kenilworth youngsters and their leaders will join a larger group of 80 Explorer Scouts from Warwickshire to travel to the USA for the World Scout Jamboree.

The Warwickshire group will join an even larger number of 4,500 youngsters and leaders from the UK to attend the 24th World Scout Jamboree held in West Virginia.

Doug Faulconbridge, one of the two Kenilworth Explorer Scout leaders going on the trip, said: “It's a real world event. There will be 45,000 young people and their leaders from 170 countries there.

“It shows how Kenilworth fits into the world and some of the problems Kenilworth faces are the same everybody faces in rest of the world.”

The Kenilworth group leave on Saturday July 20 for the three-week trip, which includes a weekend on the way in New York, followed by the 10-day jamboree and then a few days in Washington DC. The trip finishes in Canada where another scout group in Ontario will host them for five days.

Doug added: “We're going to see a baseball game. We're going to see the Baltimore Orioles play the Toronto Blue Jays, which is really good since we're going to Canada.”

The Kenilworth Weekly News published a letter to the editor from Chief Scout Bear Grylls, who will be at the jamboree, wishing all the Warwickshire scouts luck as they head off on their trip.

Bear Grylls, who was the UK's youngest chief scout at aged of 34, said: “World scout jamborees only happen every four years and tens of thousands of scouts attend each one. They are incredible festivals of peace, friendship and adventure. Young people will make friends for life with people from over 150 countries, experience different food, language and culture while learning new skills. It will be the journey of a lifetime.”

The jamboree, designed for people aged 14 to 17, will be held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, a sustainable site with more than 14,000 acres of forested mountains adjacent to more than 70,000 acres of national park in the scenic New River Gorge area of West Virginia.

Some of the adventures they will take part in range from white water rafting to zip lining, to climbing among others.

Doug added: “It's going to be as carbon neutral as possible. Environmental issues are at the top of the list. The site was originally an open-cast coal mine and they've reclaimed it and set it up as the national scout site of America.”

The group has worked for the last two years holding fundraisers from car washes, to cake sales, afternoon teas and sponsored bike rides to pay for the £3,500 trip. The group also received help from several community and civic organisations such as the the Kenilworth Town Council, Kenilworth Rotary Club, Kenilworth Lions Club and Kenilworth Round Table.

When the group returns they will make presentations on the trip to the community groups who donated and helped make the trip possible.

Four years ago three members of the group went to the last World Scout Jamboree in Japan.

Doug added: “One of the things we want to do is leave a little bit of a legacy. We want to make sure the momentum caries on for the next one in four years time.”