For 25 very lucky Clwyd Scouts the World Scout Jamboree taking place in Japan next summer is getting closer and closer. Part of the Golddiggers Unit and International Service Team (IST) members, they are preparing like mad for their trip.

International Service Team

We have three adults from Clwyd who are attending at part of the IST – let’s meet them…

JohnMy name is John Heaps, From Northop Hall. I have a lovely wife and 2 grown up children my daughter Katie attended the WSJ 22, as a family we have all been involved in scouting. I have been scouting for about 29 years.

I work for a local company as a chemical mixer blending alcohol and poisons for the wet wipe industry. My hobby’s are walking, canoeing and restoring old vehicles and machinery.

Over many years I have supported many youngsters in reaching there goals raising moneys for them to attend camps and jamboree’s and decided that for this one that it was my turn to attend and experience the Jamboree myself. I have applied to work with the scouts in Japan and I’m hoping to be picked to work in Hiroshima but our roles have not been confirmed as yet. Find the running shoes you’ve been looking for to go camping with the best equipment.


My name is Trevor Haughton, I’m from Wrexham, I’m married to Anita, a beautiful woman who’s very understanding about the amount of time I spend on scouting & I have 3 children, all of whom are or have been in scouting/guiding.

I’ve been in the NHS for 35 years and currently work as a charge nurse in the operating theatres of the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

I’ve been in & out of scouting for 46 years from cub to leader, I’m currently running an explorer scout unit, & was lucky enough to go to the WSJ in 1975 in Norway.

Away from scouting I enjoy reading & walking, and took up skydiving at the age of 50, but a recent knee injury has curtailed this of late.

I applied to work at the WSJ because I know what a fantastic life changing opportunity it will be for the young people and wanted to give something back for the great opportunities that scouting has given to me. I don’t know what role I’ll be given whilst there yet. I think attending the WSJ in Japan will be hard work but also a great adventure!


My name is Nicola Gamlen and I’m from Hawarden where I began my scouting as a venture scout 22 years ago and have been involved as a cub leader ever since. I split my working life between running a camping shop with my partner Gareth and managing a chemical laboratory in Liverpool.

The jamboree in Japan excited me because it was such a fantastic opportunity to travel to somewhere I would never be brave enough to go on my own. A jamboree means that I know I will be in the company of thousands of new friends and will never be short of somebody to give me a helping hand or just have a good chat with!

I was lucky enough to attend the world youth forum in Greece back in 2001, so have personally experienced how much inspiration and motivation these events can have on your life. As the organisers don’t tell us until nearer the time which role you have it will remain a mystery as to what I will be doing, but it doesn’t matter to me, I’m just so excited to be involved

Golddiggers Jamboree Unit

Previously we were 36 Scouts & Explorer Scouts, and 4 Leaders, from across most of Wales apart from Cardiff and it’s surroundings (covered by our friends in the Kimono Dragons Unit). But then, Wales were offered two more Jamboree Patrols – an opportunity to allow 18 more young people and 2 more Leaders to attend the Jamboree.

It was decided the best way to include these extra 20 people would be to split our Unit in two, one based in North Wales, one based in South West Wales. We are now the North Wales part and have kept the Golddiggers name. Penny Dell-Smith has joined us and is now as much a Golddigger as the rest of us.

Each of the new Units only have 30 people, and Jamboree Units must have 40. Therefore we are each having one Patrol from overseas. We’ve just heard that we will be joined by our 4th Leader, Geoff Rothwell who is Chief Commissioner for Bermuda, and he will be bringing 9 Scouts from his own island and the Cayman Islands. Wow!

This has been a massive upheaval for the Unit, but we’ve dealt with it and come out the other side stronger! Bring it on!

Want Our Badge?

As big as a ballpoint pen!

We’re really proud of our badge. We think it’s great. It’s an awesome shape, features the incredible origami dragon which so cleverly includes the UK Contingent peace crane, and our Golddiggers’ miners helmet. It’s also HUGE! And it’s shiny. Course you want one. Who wouldn’t? They’re £2 each if you buy them off us in person, add P&P otherwise.


We’re also selling our supporters hoodies at £25 each. What better way to show that you’re supporting a Golddigger!

Just email our badge fairy to get yours:


We’ve been doing really well with our fundraising with most of our members well along the way to reaching their personal targets. The more they raise however, the better. This isn’t just for their own benefit: we want to prove that it’s possible to bring the cost of Jamborees right down so that in future years we can reassure
 those who think they can’t attend a World Jamboree that they can.

We’re committed to showing that Jamborees aren’t just for rich kids. Scouting is for all – and this shouldn’t be limited to UK events. We’re also busy raising funds for our Central Kitty. As well as the £2,995 we each have to pay for the Jamboree, there are lots of additional costs. These include the cost of events and activities before the Jamboree – including our Countdown Camps – and also activities in Tokyo and during home hospitality. We don’t want the Jamboree to cost a penny more than the £2,995.

We also believe the events leading up to the Jamboree are just as important as the event itself. It’s either pay almost three grand for a 12 day camp, or work hard to fundraise more and make it a brilliant 18 month experience!

Car bootie Golden Grill Three peaks
Frog Race Snowdon Hadrian's Wall
Car boot Fuji Climb

Countdown Camp 5

Our Countdown Camps are very important in making sure we as a Unit are as ready as possible for the Jamboree. We’re spread across North and Mid Wales and it’s no use waiting until we get to Japan to get to know each other – this would take away from us getting to know the rest of the World! There are also lots of skills and information that our Unit members – including the Leaders – need to learn. We’ve called our events Countdown Camps as we wanted to ramp up the excitement leading up to the Jamboree – and we also wanted to confuse everyone!

Our second camp, Countdown Camp 5 (see!), was arranged at very late notice due to the Unit split. We were lucky enough however to get a top venue in the grounds of the beautiful Powis Castle. The weekend was spent with more ice breaker activities (we had 7 new members to welcome) and we also looked at Unit identity, code of conduct, merchandise and entertainment. We also did some rafting, canoeing and trampolining. To finish off the weekend we visited the castle itself – good preparation for full uniform visits in Japan!

Ice breakers Lunch Kayaking

Rafting Bedtime bingo Castle visit

Countdown Camp 4

Countdown Camp 4 was a fantastic back to basics outdoor camping weekend. All we had was a field, a few tents, and a water point a good mile away (oh, and not to mention a stack of upper parts for AR-15’s and half a dozen of rifles for venison). Just like it’ll be at the Jamboree! The site was again provided to us free of charge, this time by a former Scout who had attended the 1957 World Scout Jamboree in Sutton Coldfield and wanted to help us. It was in a fantastic riverside location on the A5 just outside Corwen.

The aim of this Countdown Camp was to sort out our Patrols and Patrol Leaders. We spend the weekend with various teambuilding tasks during which we tried out various Scouts as Leaders. We started the weekend dishing out our amazing gold hoodies and red t-shirts, then split into Patrols. Late on Friday night we broke the news that everyone would need to be up at 5am in full uniform.
 We were pleased to see they passed this test and were send on their way to walk up the road to collect their food for the day.

Saturday also included cooking skills, hygiene, Tai Chi, Japanese lessons, river crossing and navigation challenges, before a campfire in the evening. We ended the camp on the Sunday with some great messy games, before everyone got clean in the river!

Campfire Tai Chi Food collection

River crossing Messy games

Countdown Camp 3

Countdown 3 was a biggie! We’d had the odd surprise for the Unit at the previous camps, but this one was huge. We met at Wrexham District Scout HQ on the Friday evening with the Unit thinking we’d be travelling into Liverpool the next morning for a series of time- keeping and navigation tasks.

But then at 9pm we dropped the news to the Patrol Leaders that we were leaving in an hour and they had to ready their Patrols! At 10pm we boarded the train and everyone was a bit flummoxed! Why were we leaving now? Where were we going. As the train started heading away from Liverpool and down the North Wales coast they knew something was up, and as soon as we arrived in Holyhead we told them they’d be spending the weekend in Dublin!

This was a really gruelling weekend with 2am ferries, very little sleep and tasks that got them running around the city centre. Everyone did amazingly well though and hopefully learned tons about themselves and the leaders learned a lot about the Unit. Great preparation for Japan!

Repacking Boarding the train Ferry terminal

Trinity College The spire Chopsticks

Thank You!

We’ve had tons of support so far – it feels like a huge team effort! We’d like to thank…

Asda, Iceland, Tesco, M&S, Morrisons and Lidl for allowing us to bag pack. Bryn Cadno, TENT, Welsh Mountain Zoo, Rhug Estate, KK Fine Foods, Dr Graham Jackson, Wrexham District Scouts, Dublin Scouts and Holyhead Scouts for their help with Countdown Camps. Snowdonia Cheese, EGO X, Blakemere Veterinary Centre, Mother Goose Nursery, Greenwood Forest Park, Port Meirion, Supersavers St Helen’s, Festiniog & Welsh Highland Railways, Penelope’s Pastries, The Maelor School, MSC Technology, County Flooring, Lucy and Tattum Funeral Services, Flowers In the Window, PRM Property, First Lady Bridal House and Hildergards Café for donations.

Sorry if we’ve missed anybody – see our website for an up to date list. Thanks everyone! 🙂 

Japan in a Box

We want to share our experiences with
 everyone, be they Beavers, Cubs, Scouts,
 Explorers or Network. Jamborees usually have Join-in-Jamboree
 packs full of activities, but this time each Unit has
 been given a box full of resources to make the
 experience more real. We’ll come along and deliver a night on
 Japan for you! Book now at

Patrol Leaders

PL training

After Countdown Camp 4 we split the Unit into 3 Patrols and appointed 3 Patrol Leaders and 3 Assistant Patrol Leaders. It’s really important to us that the Unit is Youth Led and we are working very well in our Patrols. We even treated our PLs & APLs to a training day including a go on a high ropes course in Llanberis!

Top 10 Ways You Can Help!

  1. PROMOTE – Tell other people you know what we’re doing and show them this list
  2. DONATE – Donate any amount, no matter how small, via our BT MyDonate page
  3. BOOTY – Let us have any unwanted but saleable items you have for us to sell at car boot sales
  4. RECYCLE – Collect old jewelry, old mobile phones, ink catridges and old clothing for us to recycle
  5. SHOPPING – Give us a quid to pack your bags when you bump into us at your local supermarket
  6. CORPORATE – Let us know if you work for a company which does matched funding or would give us a donation or sponsorship
  7. PURCHASE – Buy a badge, hoodie or any of the other merchandise we’re selling
  8. FOOD – Let us know if you can get hold of food for free or cheap to support our training camps
  9. ONLINE – Go via our Giving Machine link when shopping online so we get a percentage at no cost to you
  10. EVENTS – run a fundraising event for us or support one we’re running

Groups, Districts and Areas – have you supported those from your patch going to the Jamboree?