IRVING, Texas and SAEMANGEUM, South Korea – On Friday, August 4, 2023, the US contingent to the World Scout Jamboree announced it would depart the 25th World Jamboree site early because of ongoing extreme weather and the resulting conditions at the jamboree site. While we regret the need for the early departure, the move ensures the safety of our Scouts and alleviates pressure on the jamboree site services and infrastructure.
The U.S. Scouting contingent will have a regular day of jamboree program on Aug. 5, then move to nearby U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys (Camp Humphreys) on Aug. 6 and remain there until August 10. Afterwards, Scouts will resume their regular schedule.
There are 43,000 Scouts and international service team members from 158 national Scouting organizations attending the event, including the contingent of 1,100 Scouts and adults from the BSA.
The 25th World Jamboree runs from Aug. 1 – 12 in Saemangeum, South Korea. Extreme heat and humidity caused challenging conditions for attendees at the 12-day, outdoor event. With the safety of all participants as a top priority, the US contingent elected to depart the event early.
“World Jamborees are a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience, however the ongoing weather conditions and the impact on site services and infrastructure made it necessary to depart early,” said Lou Paulson, contingent lead for the BSA.
BSA’s on-site leadership is in continuous communication with WOSM, and the Korea Scout Association, which hosted the event. The Korea Scout Association has engaged all levels of their government to support the jamboree and ensure a safe, quality experience for youth and leaders.
Through the early days of the event, the Korea Scout Association and the South Korean Government worked to mitigate the impact of the heatwave by increasing shaded areas and water around program activities, making more air-conditioned spaces and transportation available, deploying additional doctors and nurses, and increasing the availability of medical facilities and ambulances. Unfortunately, the persistent heat and humidity ultimately led the contingent to make the decision.
The Boy Scouts of America is grateful to the Korea Scout Association, South Korean Government and WOSM for their efforts in the face of this historic weather event.