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Jamboree journey

(L-R) - Ayla, Cooper, Millie and Imogen at Melbourne Airport bound for South Korea (Photo – supplied)

By Matt Romania

The World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) is an event that resonates deeply within the scouting community. Founded by Lord Baden Powell, the very first WSJ took place in London in 1920. Powell’s vision was to invite young scouts from across the globe, enabling them to exchange cultures and embark on a grand adventure.

In 2017, the Korean Scout Association secured the right to host the 25th World Scout Jamboree in Seamanguem. So, in 2023, from 1 to 12 August, the global youth camp returned to South Korea with an Australian contingent from Ballan.

Recent times saw four remarkable youngsters from the 1st Ballan Scout Group standing tall, representing not only their scout group but also their local community at the international Jamboree in South Korea.

“Lord Robert Baden-Powell had a vision; a vision that grew to see youth all over the world united through one cause, one movement, one purpose,” Group Leader Tony Bellette told The Moorabool News.

This event, which draws over 50,000 young minds and adults from an astounding 158 countries, is indeed a monumental endeavour. Yet, what stands out is watching the youth take charge, laying the foundation of a global community.

“It’s not just about gathering in large numbers. A World Jamboree signifies an unparalleled realm where barriers break down. Prejudice, colour, language, race, economic backgrounds, religion, or even names become irrelevant,” Mr Bellette said.

“What reigns supreme are acceptance, joy, and freedom. Imagine a world where the only transaction is the swapping of badges and where the youth can freely traverse from one country’s campsite to another.”

Gratitude runs deep within the 1st Ballan Scout Group, who wish to express their heartfelt thanks to those in the local community. Support poured in from many, including the Ballan Country Women’s Association (CWA), Ballan Farmers Market, Steptoes Op Shop, Ballan Country Grocers, and Sam Rae MP.

As a final word on this unforgettable experience for Ballan Scouts, Bellette encapsulates the sentiment.

“A World Jamboree is where our youth grow, destined to be the influential adults of tomorrow.”