The 24th World Scout Jamboree takes place from the 22nd July to the 2nd August 2019 at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in West Virginia, USA. It will be jointly hosted by the Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Canada and the Scout Association of Mexico. See: World Scouting Jamboree
Information regarding costs and numbers is sketchy at the moment so this is a heads up for the adult team and young people selection process, and to allow you some time to consider whether you would like to apply for the Bedfordshire Unit Leadership team and, if necessary, bring yourself up to date on any required training. The timeline may shift as information comes available.
For those unaware of the setup, the County will likely be allocated a Unit (or part of a unit). A unit consists of 36 young people and with a 1 to 9 ratio this means 4 adults required – a Unit Leader and three assistants. The young people must be born between 22 July 2001 and 21 July 2005 with no exceptions, which means they will be between 14 and not quite 18 at the actual event.
Basically any appointed adult in the County, there is nothing that says it must be Scout or Explorer leaders – if you are a Beaver or Cub Leader, ADC, GSL or whatever and feel you have what it takes then you are also welcome to apply.
The last two are mandatory ongoing training and are valid for five years. Both are available as on-line courses if required (search Scout Safety training or Scout Safeguarding Training). If you do these on-line, print off/screenshot the certificate as evidence and let your LTM know as the system does not automatically update your training record on Compass.
Other things to consider – this is two years of pretty hard work. You will be melding a bunch of 12 to 16 years olds to a cohesive and close knit unit of 14 to 17.99 year olds, seeing them through what may be difficult teen years, running many camps and events, going into districts with the Young People to talk about what they are doing, encouraging and helping them raise the necessary funds – for those unaware – a place on the Jamboree does not come cheap- £3500 to £4000 possibly, but it is doable as is demonstrated by the young people every time.
For the actual event you will probably need at least three weeks off work – the event is some 13 days, plus travel to and from plus the very strong likelihood of Ho-Ho, ie Home Hospitality, which may be tacked on the beginning or end of the actual event. Basically this involves a few days living in the Scouting Community of one of the host countries – even within people’s homes.
It’s hard work but the rewards are immense – seeing a collection of diverse young people turn into a first class team of responsible, confident, near adults and leading them on one of the greatest adventures Scouting has to offer. You do not do it on your own, there are various meets and sessions organised by the UK contingent for the adults.
Again, for those unaware, the Jamboree cannot run itself. An IST- International Service Team- is formed which performs the myriad tasks required to run a huge camp of many thousands. There will be opportunities to apply for the IST- you will have to pay a substantial fee- this is run on a UK National Level rather than County Level- no info as yet as to how and when to apply.
It is not our decision as to whether a Young Person should apply or not-it is theirs (and their parents!). The only criteria is the age range. When the information- and there will be an introductory note similar to this shortly- starts to appear, it is our duty to ensure that every eligible young person has access to that information. Every young person that applies will be given the opportunity to attend the selection weekend.
Finally- application forms for Unit Leadership Places will appear in due course- you will be able to apply for the Unit Leader place or just the Assistant Places. Anyone unsuccessful for the Unit Leader can have their application put forward for the Assistant Places if they so wish.
Meantime, have a good think about this and if you need to, get your training up to date (it should be whether you apply or not!)
Alan Burnham 30 January 2017