Senior visits Sweden for World Scout Jamboree

Senior Sam Vaughn visits with Scouts at the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden.

Photo by Submitted Photo

Senior Sam Vaughn visits with Scouts at the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden.

Story by Taylor Potter, Staff Writer

He walked nervously into the room, not knowing what to expect. He had anticipated the fun in Sweden, but now he just wanted to survive the introductions.Senior Sam Vaughn had arrived July 25 at the shakedown for his World Scout Jamboree troop in Atlanta, Ga. The World Scout Jamboree is the largest world scouting event with more than 40,000 in attendance. It was the troop’s only meeting before the journey to Rinkaby, Sweden, for the jamboree, to be held July 27-Aug. 7.“At the beginning, meeting each other for the first time was awkward; we stuck with the people we knew beforehand,” Vaughn said. “But as soon as we landed in Sweden, we began to show our personalities and mingle with each other, making friends.”Even though the troop had just met less than a day before, upon arrival at the jamboree site they had to set up their campsite in order to be released for activities.

“We didn’t really know who to listen to, or who to ignore, for that matter,” Vaughn said. “But we all understood that setting up camp had to be done, so we all worked together to finish, and after camp was up, we didn’t have any problems with each other.”

Once the tents were up and the kitchen was in order, the participants were allowed to roam the jamboree. Some went to ice climb, eat at foreign restaurants or play on trampolines, while others simply went to meet new people.

“In my free time, I walked around and talked, and traded pins and patches with people from around the world,” Vaughn said. “I went to the booths at the main area and played games and learned about other cultures.”

One activity during the week was the Cultural Festival. During this event troops would dress, act and cook in ways unique to their country.

“During the cultural festival I sampled food from around the world and got a better look at their cultures,” Vaughn said. “There were games from other countries and people dressed up.”

Vaughn, like many others, took notice of the biggest difference between the Boy Scouts of America and worldwide scouting.

“It’s always been Boy Scouts, but everywhere else it’s just scouts,” Vaughn said. “It made me wonder why we don’t have females in scouts in the U.S, because they can do what we do.”

One goal set by the jamboree was to make the participants more globally aware.

“It’s really opened my eyes to other countries and cultures,” Vaughn said. “It showed me a global view of the world. It’s also taught me to be more environmentally friendly.”

After 12 days, luggage littered the camp. Tents were neatly stacked, waiting to be stored. Scouts trekked across the site with heavy bags. Names, phone numbers and hugs were being exchanged. The phrase “See you in 2015!” was heard all over camp. It was time to leave.

“I had so much fun and made so many friends,” Vaughn said. “The fact that I’d most likely never see any of the friends face to face again was very saddening. I didn’t want to leave.”