Published: 11:47, 21 August 2019
| Updated: 11:59, 21 August 2019
Three lucky Faversham Explorers have just returned from an “unforgettable experience “ at the World Scout Jamboree in America after being selected to attend two years ago.
Daniel Jones, 17, 16-year-old Freya Scott, and Toby Child, 14, were three of 4,000 Scouts from the UK to head to West Virginia for the gathering, which is put on once every four years.
It sees more than 40,000 Scouts between the ages of 14 and 18 come together from across the world.
For Daniel, Freya, and Toby, it all started two years ago when after a day of presentations and activities they were selected. But, to be able to go, they needed to raise funds for themselves and also for Scouts in poorer countries who would be unable to attend without support.
Through quiz nights, boot fairs, coffee morning and more, the trio managed to hit their target.
Prior to the jamboree, Scouts from Kent who had been chosen to attend precamps where they were placed in units consisting of 40 people.
Daniel said: “I was in Bohemian Raspberries, Freya was in Wonky Donkeys and Toby was in Kentucky Fried Pigeons.”
They flew out to New York on Saturday, July 20, before arriving at the jamboree site at the Summit Bechtel Reserve on Monday, July 22, with more than 40,000 Scouts from 152 countries.
Scout chief ambassador Bear Grylls spoke at the opening ceremony, which featured music, drone displays and fireworks.
Daniel added: “We participated in many of the activities on offer including climbing, abseiling, scuba diving, white water rafting, zip wires, shooting, archery, mountain biking, paddle boarding and many other activities.
“After a fantastic jamboree we then headed off to Washington DC on Friday, August 2, where the UK contingent attended a baseball game.
“Concluding our trip, we stayed in Canada experiencing their culture before heading back to JFK airport via Niagara Falls to arrive back home on Friday, August 9.
“Myself, Freya and Toby would like to thank family, friends and all the people of Faversham who contributed to supporting our experience, whether through fundraising or other means.
"The jamboree has given me opportunities that I could have only imagined. Friendships have been forged for life and unforgettable memories have been created, which could never be recreated. This opportunity has given me the best experience of my life.
"To think, this started two years ago at a selection day then going to America not long ago with my unit called the Bohemian Raspberries, a group of newly made friends, but came back as a family. It truly is a life changing experience."
Reflecting on the experience, Freya said: "The jamboree has helped me to further appreciate some of the smaller things in life, for example showers with warm water.
"My favourite part had to be learning about new cultures on culture day, and of course eating the food from different countries. I also loved meeting all the people from many different countries and making new and very good friends."
Although Toby had broken his arm before heading out to America, he says he had a "great time".
He added: "I had lots of fun in the global development village where I learnt about sustainability in the modern world and participated in the world village where I could get stuck in with culture from all over the world.
"Adding to the wonderful activities on offer the general atmosphere of the jamboree was amazing with everyone, no exception, being friendly and nice."