Checking out the scene at World Scout Jamboree will turn your mental image of Scouts on its head. The quintessential Boy Scouts in tan and olive will stand in sea of Scouts from all over the globe. Some wear kilts, others berets, as a brigade of Scouts donning hues as varied as the flags they carry march through Japan next week.
That’s right, international Scouters from all over the world will unite in Yamaguchi from July 28 to August 8 for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree, which takes place every four years. Scouts from the U.S. are packing their bags in preparation. And while their uniforms may reflect the Scout imagery you’re familiar with, the Scouts, themselves, may surprise you.
The Boy Scouts of America’s Central Region Troop 102 is sending four patrols to the World Scout Jamboree. One of these patrols is comprised of six young women who are Venturers and three Boy Scouts, all led by Assistant Scoutmaster and advisor Annette Roe.
“We have six girls from Minnesota, Illinois, and Nebraska, and Kansas and three boys from West Virginia, then myself from Iowa,” Roe introduced the patrol.
Roe is a seasoned Scouter, who became involved in the movement when the first of her three sons joined Cub Scouts. Her Scouting résumé is extensive, as she has assumed roles from assistant Cubmaster to District Commissioner.
Roe explained her jet-setting patrol, “came to be because several of them have been to the 2013 National Jamboree and two have siblings that have gone to the World Jamboree before. They knew it would be a chance of a lifetime to experience this.”
“When I asked them what they wanted to see and do the most they all agreed on everything,” Roe continued.
As to what their leader hopes the Scouts gain from the experience, it’s a little more specific. Roe hopes her patrol takes advantage of the chance to consider global issues.
“I hope they see the world issues and that our small group can make a difference,” Roe said. “It just has to start with one person getting out of their comfort zone and exploring what they can do to change another person’s life. I hope they get involved with groups and organizations around the world to change things and become true friends with others.”
True to most Scouting activities, the World Scout Jamboree challenges youth to be leaders. In a country that is not home for many in attendance, Scouts explore current events shaping the world and participate in community service projects – all this among tens of thousands of fellow Scouts from every corner of the planet.
“This is one place that is truly trying to bring everyone together and form a bond that will work together to change the world,” Roe explained. “If each Scout in attendance came home and started helping others then we have 30,000 people changing lives around the world.”