900 Belgian Scouts and Guides off to America for International Jamboree

More than 900 Scouts and Guides from across Belgium are leaving for America today in order to take part in the International Jamboree that is being held in the state of West Virginia. Around 40,000 Scouts and Guides from countries all over the world will be attending what is the world’s biggest Scout camp.           

Although the Jamboree doesn’t actually start until next week, the Belgian participants are flying across the Atlantic today.

The man in charge of the Belgian delegation Jasper Hulsmans told VRT Radio 1 that “We and the participants are going to take a pre-trip around America first. We will arrive in New York this evening. We will then visit Washington DC and Philadelphia. We are doing this to enable the participants to get to know each other better”.

This year’s international jamboree is the 24th to have been organised. All of the Scouts and Guides taking part are between 14 and 17 years old. For 12 days the youngsters from countries all over the world and with a host of cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds will live, work and play together. 

At 3,500 it’s not cheap

However, the cost of a trip to the International Jamboree means that is too expensive for many families. The parents of each Belgian Scout or Guide attending the Jamboree have had to stump up  3,500 euro. Participants from richer countries like Belgium also pay more in order to make it cheaper for youngsters from poorer countries to attend.

The aim is to have Scouts and Guides from as many countries as possible attend the Jamboree.

Jasper Hulsmans is keen to reassure Belgians that the Belgian Scouts and Guides at the International Jamboree will not be taking part in shooting events that are being organised by their American hosts.