UK Scouts have participated in the closing ceremony of the world jamboree in Seoul, which encountered various challenges throughout its duration.
The event marked a reunion of 45,000 scouts from different nations following the cancellation of the South Korean jamboree due to adverse weather conditions.
Weather-Related Issues Prompt Cancellation:
Earlier in the week, concerns over the state of facilities, food availability, medical services, and intense heat prompted the evacuation of UK Scouts, both youngsters and adult volunteers, from the original jamboree site.
These concerns culminated in the decision to cancel the event as a storm approached the Saemangeum site on the southwest coast of the Korean peninsula.
Financial Impact and Organizational Disappointment:
The relocation of approximately 4,500 British scouts and adult volunteers to hotels in the capital city of Seoul incurred a cost of £1 million. This expense would be covered from the UK Scouts’ “reserves.”
Expressing disappointment, UK Scouts’ Chief Executive Matt Hyde conveyed feeling let down by the South Korean jamboree organizers due to the circumstances surrounding the event’s cancellation.
Financial Clarification and Future Plans:
While the financial burden of relocating participants was substantial, a spokesperson clarified that the funds used for this purpose were derived from “charitable reserves” that had been strategically accumulated during the pandemic to manage unforeseen operational costs.
These expenditures are not expected to fundamentally impact future plans of the UK Scouts.
Activities in Seoul and Cultural Exchanges:
The UK Scouts’ involvement continued with a range of activities in Seoul, supported by the British Embassy.
These activities encompassed trekking, bus tours, and cultural exchanges.
Notable highlights included a behind-the-scenes tour of the British embassy for a Manchester scout group and visits to significant sites like the South Korean president’s residence and the War Memorial of Korea for other scout units.
Celebrating Culture and Reunion:
Scouts celebrated a designated “culture day” to showcase UK culture to the global community and learn about the cultures of fellow participating nations.
The culmination of the jamboree experience took place at the Seoul Olympic Stadium, where all 45,000 scouts assembled to commemorate their distinct jamboree journey.
In the coming week, scouts from all corners of the world who took part in the jamboree will embark on their journeys back to the UK, concluding their participation in this unique and eventful scouting event.