International adventures are back as hundreds of Scouts enjoy selection weekend of camping

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Hundreds of Scouts from every district in Hampshire have come together to celebrate the Scouting spirit and decide who is going to South Korea in 2023 for their next international adventure at the World Scout Jamboree.

A chance to meet Scouts from across the world, a Jamboree is an opportunity unlike any other. This year, more Hampshire Scouts than ever have applied to go, so last weekend was a chance to see them in action and work out who is going.

But those who can't go with us won’t be left out. Hampshire Scouts are instead running an alternative road trip across Europe. Project 23, as it’ll be called, will take in a number of countries and will be just as powerful an experience.

As well as talking to lots of Scouts at the selection camp at Lyons Copse, we caught up with Jools. He's the lead volunteer for International trips within Hampshire Scouts and is in charge of this challenging decision.

What will young people get out of this weekend?

"Whilst the camp was a selection event, the most important factor was that everybody should have a fantastic fun weekend, meeting loads of new people and making new friends. Hopefully, we gave them all a small taste of what a World Scout Jamboree is like."

Why is it important for young people to take get that taste?

"All Scouts should have the opportunity to take part in an International Expedition. It enables young people to learn about other countries and cultures. To make friends across the world. To build bridges and to see issues affecting the world first hand.

"This all helps to make the world smaller, and helps young people to have a better understanding of the world."

How many volunteers are here this weekend and what part are they playing?

"A weekend selection camp for 400 young people takes a massive amount of volunteers. Altogether, we had around 150 volunteers on site over the weekend.

"The volunteers did everything from running all of the activity bases, catering, first aid, car parking, erecting marques, driving mini-buses, additional support for young people, data entry and running around collecting score sheets. Without all of these volunteers, the event simply would not have run smoothly or effectively.

"As camp leader, you have to be able to hand areas over to a team and trust that everything is organised and runs smoothly. For most of the volunteers, it was a turn up for the weekend and be prepared to do anything.

"Around 30 volunteers have been heavily involved for at least a month, putting in significant planning time. I must say a massive thank you to everybody that helped in anyway to make the weekend possible, and especially to Mark and Caz who helped with the central planning and running over the last three months."

What happens now for all the young people?

"Hopefully they have rested and, chatting to the many new friends they have made at the weekend, reliving there shared experiences. In early November, they will receive a posted letter with the outcome of the weekend, which will be either an invite to join the World Scout Jamboree, or an invite to join Project 23. Both will be amazing International experiences."

Any final thoughts?

"It was so amazing to see so many happy smiling faces on young people over the weekend. After the last 18 months, I think we all needed it (including all of the volunteers). I am so glad that I remembered to book the sunshine."

Jools Sore, lead volunteer for International at Hampshire Scouts was talking to Steven Osborn, Media and Communications volunteer.

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