Fringe Box



Summer of International Events for Guildford Scouts

Published on: 11 Oct, 2023
Updated on: 10 Oct, 2023

By Neil Wibberley

World Scout Jamboree

You may have seen about the 25th World Scout Jamboree in South Korea on the news over the summer.

Read on, if you want the perspective of someone who was actually there. 

Pictures from the World Scout Jamboree.

In my opinion, the campsite was flawed in a number of areas including toilets and the standard of campsite living, but this didn’t stop us from being positive and having a great time.

The plan had always been for our unit to spend a few days in Seoul both before and after the Jamboree, but we actually spent much longer there. 

This wasn’t a problem as there was plenty to explore. The UK Contingent decided to pull everyone out from the site soon after we arrived, and we continued our Jamboree in Seoul.

We visited the war graves, The Korean War museum, the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, palaces, gardens, a theme park and changing of the guard.

There was a games day at the Olympic Park between UK contingent patrols. The company who supplied food for the Jamboree site organised a day where we made Korean food and played Korean games.

We went up the N-Seoul tower at night and enjoyed the view over the city. Seoul was a wonderful city. The people were very kind, they offered activities for us to do when they met us in the city.

We were able to swap badges, neckers and other items both in the few days we were at the Jamboree site and when we met others in Seoul. 

We didn’t explore too far from our part of the sub-camp, as it was so hot, but we met with Scouts from Taiwan, Australia and the USA. 

Ultimately everyone was evacuated from the Jamboree site due to an incoming typhoon, and relocated to various sites in the locality of Seoul.

Somehow the closing ceremony was relocated to the World Cup stadium near Seoul, and we went by coaches. After the official speeches there was a K-Pop concert and fireworks (although the fireworks weren’t in a position that I could see them!)

Despite the Jamboree not going quite as planned, I still landed at Heathrow Airport after nearly three weeks away wanting to go to the next one in Poland as a member of IST, and I would encourage Scouts to go to apply to go when the time comes. 

Thank you to everyone who supported me beforehand and was concerned about us when they heard the Jamboree hitting the headlines.

We learnt about the worldwide family of Scouts, we made friends from far and wide and we learnt how to cope when our plans were suddenly changed. 

Sam Hawkins – (St Nicolas 9th Guildford Explorers and Unit 72 Surrey Saja from UK Contingent at 25th WSJ)

Netherlands Trip

Scouts from Guildford West – 1st Rydes Hill, 1st Stoughton and St Nicolas 9th Guildford attended. 

Pictures from the trip to the Netherlands.

This has been the first District led trip since 1991, when the Venture Scouts at the time went to the Netherlands as well. 

The Scouts stayed at the Buitenzorg Scout Centre where they met other Scouts from the Netherlands, Germany and Northern Ireland.

Over the week, the Scouts hiked, painted clogs, participated in archery on the site, as s well as visiting Eftleing Amusement Park, and Amsterdam. 

They also went on the High Ropes course at an adventure park near Rotterdam, cycled through the flat Dutch countryside and ran an international campfire for the whole site.

KIX 2023

Scouts and leaders from 1st Normandy and 1st Jacobs Well joined 700 other Scouts from Surrey in Switzerland.

Oskari from 1st Jacobs Well said: “Nineteen Scouts and Leaders from 1st Jacobs Well took part in KIX 2023.

Pictures from the trip to KIX 2023.

It was a big expedition and journey for all, on many levels. Unforgettable experiences, venturing into new terrains, challenging one’s limits, making new friends – and many learnings around teamwork and ourselves. Big thanks from JW to organisers and all participants for co-creating and sharing the experience.”   

This year sees the centenary of KISC, where at the beginning of August, saw officials from Switzerland and members of WOSM (World Scout Scout Movement) and members of the commissioner team from UK Scouting take part in the festivities.

While Surrey Scouts were on site, they met Scouts from Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal and other parts of the UK.

While 1st Normandy visited the Rothorn on their Troop day, travelling by coach, then steam boat and then by train to the summit.

Thirteen coaches set off from Cobham services (thanks to them for accommodating their departure and return).  

Apart from the UK contingent visiting South Korea for the World Scout Jamboree, this expedition was the largest contingent of Scouts from the UK visiting overseas this year.

While in Switzerland, Scouts walked high into the mountains with our trained (and KISC trained) mountain walkers.

They rafted from Thun to Bern (as well as getting to visit Thun and Bern), went high into the trees as part of a high rope course in Interlaken (as well as getting to visit Interlaken).

All Troops also helped out on site and got to visit the local area. 

Troops also chose a Troop day, where some Scouts went up the Schithorn (the one in the Bond movie), Jungfrau, Rothorn (via a steam ship and train), visited the Thermal pools in Brigerbad, went tobogganing at Lake Oeschinen, rode a zip wire and Trotti bikes in Grindelwald, among other activities.

Expedition leader Ian MacQueen said: “KIX 2023 took two years to plan with the aim to give 700 Scouts and leaders the opportunity to try new activities, make new friends and learn skills for life.

“I think it is safe to say we achieved our aim and more. My thanks to the staff and leaders who made the event a success. We will now start to plan KIX 2026.”

If you are interested in volunteering with Scouts, send an email to 

For further information on either district, visit their websites.

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