Red Deer Scouts back from Japan World Jamboree

Scouts Canada Venture members have recently returned from a trip to Japan, where they partook in the Scouts World Jamboree and explored the region.

In addition to meeting hundreds of Scouts from across the world, the group decided to stay a little longer and explore some of Japan’s wonders.

“It was very good. I liked it a lot. What we did was spend four days in Hong Kong with all the Canadians, and then we went to the Jamboree for 10 days. Then my group spent a week touring around Japan – we even climbed Mount Fuji,” said Evan Schollie, 17.

“It was very cool going to the Jamboree because they put you into a group with people from the other countries so I was able to meet some scouts from Norway and the United Kingdom, and it was very interesting to learn about their countries and what they do.”

Schollie was one of over 350 Canadian Scouts and Venturers to attend the World Jamboree, and one of nine from Red Deer. He is currently in his last year of scouting and said he would miss the experiences that come as part of the group.

The group of participants from Red Deer toured around Japan and were able to partake in a variety of interesting activities.

“We had lots of free time, but went off site a couple times. We went to the Hiroshima Memorial, and to some limestone caves nearby. We had lots of activities where we learned about the different cultures through the cultural centre that was set up there,” Schollie said.

“I think my favourite part was climbing Mount Fuji. It takes two days to climb, so we spent a night in the mid-mountain hut and then got up early the next day to climb and see the sunrise. It was very nice and I liked it a lot.”

Jocelyn Mosset, 15, also took part in the trip and said she very much enjoyed getting a chance to explore other cultures.

“I had such a blast just getting to see the different cultures. It was very ‘wow’ – lots of culture shock. We went to Hiroshima to see the Peace Memorial. That was interesting and very shocking. We went into the caves in Japan, as well,” Mosset said of some of her favourite experiences.

The World Jamboree events happen every four years, and bring together more than 30,000 scouts from across the world to experience each other’s cultures. This year marked the 23rd World Jamboree.

“I’d say the biggest thing for me about this jamboree was the culture shock – I’ve never been anywhere before, and this was my first trip. Japanese people were very kind and polite. They were constantly making sure we had everything we needed and that everything was okay,” Mosset said.

In order to attend the event, participants worked to fundraise for two years.

“We had to do a lot of bottle drives, and doing ticket sales as well for paintings. We had somebody paint replicas of photos we’d taken, so we sold tickets for those and did raffles,” explained Mosset.

Both Schollie and Mosset said they enjoyed the culture and new experiences that came from attending the World Jamboree.

“Japan is very different and I liked it a lot, but I think what I learned is to keep an open mind when you’re trying new things. Especially new foods – the food was very different, but you have to keep an open mind and try everything,” laughed Schollie.