The Scouts were part of the 3,500 strong UK Contingent, second in size only to the Japanese Contingent, and had to get through a gruelling selection process to represent their country where three people applied for every place. Once through they spent 18 months training and getting to know each other before their journey even started, and set about raising the £3,000 it cost to go.
The Scouts started their adventure with three nights in Tokyo where they visited an earthquake simulation centre, went up a tower called the Sky Tree which is twice the height of the Shard in London, and enjoyed an evening of Japanese drumming. They then travelled at 200mph on a specially chartered bullet train to the Jamboree site in Yamaguchi where they spent 12 days.
Bethan Morris, 16 from Llangollen, was one of the participants. She said, “The whole entire atmosphere was electric! It was amazing to be able to talk to anybody as you walked around the site. Everybody was so happy to be there and it really showed in the constant smiles and chatter.”
During the Jamboree the Scouts took part in water activities, explored the surrounding natural landscape, visited local schools and took part in a World food festival. They also did activities in the Global Development Village and marked the 70th anniversary of the dropping of a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima with a visit to the city.
Sam Wilde, 16 from Gresford said: “I loved the Global Development Village because it opened my eyes to the numbers of charities and initiatives that are doing great work around the world both globally and locally for all sorts of people.”
Lewis Roberts, 17 from Wrexham said: “Visiting Hiroshima made it feel real and it was just shocking to see how much devastation could be caused. It’s just madness.”
After the Jamboree the party travelled north to the district of Mie where they split into pairs each hosted by a Japanese family for two nights giving them the opportunity to find out how people in Japan live their lives.
The next World Scout Jamboree is taking place in the USA in 2019.
Unit Leader David Morris said that those who wanted to attend should not be put off by the cost: “The cost for Japan was £2,995 and to many people this seemed an unreachable target, but many of our members managed to fundraise not only the full Jamboree fee, but all the extras that went on top too.”
“In total we raised £75,000 as a Unit of 40 people which was incredible, but is easily possible to do again. We’d like to thank all those who helped us raise this target and take so many young people to Japan.”
You can relive the Jamboree experience by watching their daily vlogs below…