Two students, Einar and Loke, embark on a remarkable journey at the Jamboree event in South Korea, experiencing unexpected adventures like disco buses and a surprising typhoon warning.
This summer, two of our students, Einar and Loke, had the incredible opportunity to attend the Jamboree event in South Korea. The Jamboree is a gathering for young people aged 14-17, held only once every four years, making it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The fact that it took place in South Korea this year added a unique and unforgettable dimension to their journey.
I sat down with these two enthusiastic and talkative students in my office to learn about their adventures. They were eager to share every detail with me.
Their experiences during the trip can be divided into two versions. The more entertaining version includes tales of a disco bus, a homemade slip 'n' slide in the shower area, daring evening swims in the tides, joyrides on golf carts, breathtaking fireworks displays, mysterious shopping expeditions, epic water gun battles, and leisurely walks in bathrobes, slippers, and face masks
The second version delves into the cultural encounters, challenges in communicating with non-English speakers, the purpose of the Jamboree camp, the spiciness of the local cuisine, various mishaps they encountered, and the unexpected disruption caused by a typhoon warning that prematurely concluded the camp. They also shared the profound life lessons they gained from their 3 ½-week adventure on the other side of the globe. We have chosen to present the latter version here, but for those curious about the more lighthearted version, they can seek out the students to hear those stories.
Now, let's delve into what Jamboree is all about. Jamboree's primary goal is to foster connections between countries, with a recurring theme of peace. These international gatherings occur every four years and involve participants from diverse backgrounds. The camp our students attended resembled a small town, covering an area nearly as large as Landskrona. It hosted an impressive 39,000 participants and 11,000 staff, complete with a hospital on-site. Interestingly, the campsite was situated on an old seabed, and despite a one-day delay due to wet conditions, the initial arrival was a stark contrast, with temperatures soaring to around 35 degrees Celsius. The intense heat led to many participants suffering from heat stroke and requiring medical attention.
Each Jamboree has a distinct theme. This year's theme was "Draw your dream," although the students noted that they didn't participate in many activities directly related to this theme. The event offered a wide array of activities, including music and cultural experiences, paragliding, and countries hosting their own activities while sharing their cuisines.
Aside from the camp, the students began their journey with a tour of South Korea, exploring Seoul and various other cities. They visited a museum focused on the Korean War and the UN memorial, as well as iconic mountain landmarks. However, their most cherished memories revolved around the people they met and connected with.
Despite some logistical challenges at the camp, such as poorly planned arrangements, excessive plastic use, less-than-ideal restroom conditions, and limited escape options from the scorching heat, they maintained a positive outlook.
Navigating the language barrier was one of their major hurdles, as English was not widely spoken. Ordering food became a humorous challenge involving animated gestures to convey their desire for milder flavors, yet they occasionally found themselves with unexpectedly spicy meals. They noted that older South Koreans they encountered seemed apologetic about any inconveniences they faced and were keen to maintain a positive image of South Korea.
Back in Sweden, news of a typhoon warning reached their families. How did they cope with this unexpected twist? On the sixth day of camp, they received word of a potential typhoon and, like many other countries, made the decision to relocate. They were accommodated at a university in a different part of the country for the remainder of their stay.
Reflecting on their journey, the students emphasized the importance of making the best of every situation and finding joy in seemingly mundane moments. They encouraged others to seize opportunities like this one, emphasizing that scouting is far from the stereotype of sitting in the woods eating pine cones—they had a blast.