Author: Edward Tse
The essence of Scouting has always included the elements of adventure, friendship and unity. We all come from different walks of life. However, we have the passion for being a part of this movement that promotes youth to become better individuals and create a better world. My recent experience at the 23rd World Scouting Jamboree in Japan (also known as WSJ) was a culmination of this spirit. Allow me to share it with you.
My name is Edward and I am a Rover from Ottawa, Ontario. This was an incredibly adventurous and mind-opening journey, one that definitely had me interacting with people from all over the globe. Situated in Kirara-hama, Japan, over 30,000 Scouts from 155 countries were in attendance – making this event truly global. From July 28 to August 8, 2015, the site was filled with numerous events and activities. Participants got exposed to a wide range of outdoor activities, cultures, science and technologies, community service, and current global issues. The joys for the outdoors paired with international understanding couldn’t have been any higher.
I was part of the International Service Team (IST) with the Canadian Contingent at WSJ. IST members are around 8,000 Volunteers who come from all over the world and are tasked with delivering an unforgettable experience for all the participants. My roles included planning and organizing a robotics activity designed to introduce youth to robotics and computer programming, as well as, to teach and survey participants about global environmental sustainability. This type of gathering only occurs once every 4 years, so my involvement began months before I would arrive to this new home.
Hosted in a park with multiple campsites and even a stadium, my adventure was bound to unfold. From setup before the event to the post-event tour, it surely felt like I was networking with the world. Some highlights included ranting with American, Luxembourg and Hong Kong students about our daily lives, exchange badges and other merchandise with people from Thailand to Brazil to Taiwan to Kuwait, learning some Mandarin from an Austrian girl, and summiting Mount Fuji with many, many Rovers from the UK. When I wasn’t volunteering, I participated in onsite cultural activities and went with friends to visit various Japanese cities.
Future Jamborees, such as ADVenture 2016 in Whistler, BC offer the opportunity to live and breathe the Scouting life, where memories and friendships are waiting to happen.