Korea Jamboree 2023

Date: 31st Aug 2023 Author: Scout Websites

District Korea Jamboree 2023 was a roaring success!

For a week between 5th August to 12th August, PACCAR camp site became the District’s version of the World Scout Jamboree which was taking place at the same time in SaeManGeum in South Korea. Luckily for us, we didn’t face the same challenges our contingent members were facing over there.

“We couldn’t all go the World Scout Jamboree in Korea,” explains Phil Hunt, District Commissioner, “So we decided to create our own, here, about 40 minutes from home.”

Over the course of the week, the camp was attended by over 550 young people supported by 200 adults from 17 Scout Groups and 8 Explorer Units.

The aim was to recreate the look, feel and atmosphere of a Scout Jamboree, so each Group/Unit was asked to represent a country and bring a little of that culture. Entries included Italy, Spain, USA, Canada, Australia, India, South Africa and many more… And like all good Jamborees, each Group site was entered through a camp gate. You can see some of the gates here.

The Camp opened with a traditional opening ceremony where our tiger mascot was officially named Horangi (which is Korean for tiger). Everyone was issued with an official District Camp UK Contingent scarf and a unique Horangi leather woggle to keep (and wear) as a memory of the camp. Despite the inclement weather, the ceremony ended with a highly popular dance party.

We were able to show the opening ceremony at the World Scout Jamboree on out Big Screen in the Main Arena.

Throughout the week, Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Explorers and Network Scouts were able to enjoy the huge selection of activities available at the site as well as lots of District and Group organised games, crafts and challenges.

And like all good Jamborees, there were offsite excursions too – coaches left daily to Whipsnade Zoo and twice a day to Coral Reef Waterworld water park.

The highlight of the Camp was on the Wednesday – ‘Jamboree Day’. The weather was very kind that day! All the participating ‘countries’ assembled in the main arena in the morning for the opening ceremony and then all the participants dispersed to enjoy the truly brilliant activities hosted by the various ‘countries’.

In Spain after a game of human table football you could sample tapas and paella, taste fresh vetkoeks with cheese and jam in South Africa, try out less appetising morsels in the Australian “I’m A Celebrity..” challenge and, in Italy even make a pizza by throwing ‘ingredients’ onto a velcro target. Tasty samples were to be also to be had in India, you could try ice hockey in Canada and you could even test your skills with a blowpipe in Borneo! You could go to Japan, see Greece and Brazil, visit our friends from the USA and even pop over to the Pacific Islands. Everything happens at a Jamboree!

A very popular activity was the Paint Run, sponsored by ‘Spain’

Everyone had the unique opportunity to earn the Join In Korea Challenge badge too – a great looking badge which can be worn on uniform by all the young people and adults too!

Jamboree Day ended with a massive dance party in the main arena. The party atmosphere was terrific. It didn’t matter who you were, where you came from, whether you were a Cub, a Scout, an Explorer or even a Leader – everyone was bopping – Gangnam Style !

The Jamboree mood continued in the sunshine for the rest of the week with more wall-to-wall activities, games and outings. In the Culture Zone there were boomerangs to be decorated, hand fans to be painted and a zillion other Activities in a Box. In the main arena, now that Rounders had finished, the Volleyball Competition was in full swing. In the evenings, as soon as it got dark, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers enjoyed great age appropriate Wide Games in the extensive woods at the Paccar campsite. You had to keep your eyes peeled for the scary monsters!

See the video of the camp here

The camp closed on the Friday evening beginning with the traditional presentation of Awards and thanks. Amongst other Top Awards, Tom Cross finally received his DofE Gold and Queen’s Scout Award (one of the very last certificates personally signed by the late HM The Queen Elizabeth). The organising team were presented with a coveted Order of the Wooden Tent Peg and Peter Tomlin, the mastermind behind most of the planning received a highly prestigious Golden Tent Peg for his amazing contribution.

“We told people that this was going to be The Best Jamboree this side of Korea“, said Phil. “Judging by the smiles and laughter all this week, I think we lived up to that promise.”

The formal part of the closing ceremony over, there followed the final dance party led by the Jamboree live band. What a fantastic end to a brilliant week!

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls