Scouts to use over £1m from reserves to relocate South Korea jamboree

08 Aug 2023 News


The Scouts has revealed that relocating the World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) in South Korea will cost more than £1m and affect its work for the coming years.

Last week, 4,500 young people and adult volunteers travelled from the UK to SaeManGeum to attend the 25th WSJ, an event by the World Organization of the Scout Movement that takes place every four years in a different country. 

On Friday, the Scouts announced plans to transfer UK attendees from SaeManGeum to Seoul due to an extreme heat wave and the expected impact of Typhoon Khanun. 

Chief executive Matt Hyde told the BBC that the relocation would cost the charity more than £1m from its reserves.

Hyde said that “each British scout had spent about £3,500 on the trip, with many relying on fundraising”.

“We had commitments to those reserves that will of course mean that we can't now do things that we wanted to do over the next three to five years,” he said and called for an independent review.  

‘We’re disappointed and feel let down’

In a video posted on the charity’s website, Hyde said: “We’ve just relocated 4,500 young people and adult volunteers away from the Jamboree site to here in Seoul over the past couple of days. They’re all in hotel rooms and the Jamboree journey continues here in Seoul.”

Hyde said that his charity took this decision because of concerns about young people and adult volunteer safety, citing poor sanitation and the cleanliness of toilets, the amount of food that was available, the unprecedented heat wave and medical services. 

“We’re disappointed in the organisers and the organisation and we do feel let down but the Jamboree journey continues for us. At very short notice, we’ve pulled together an engaging programme of activities and that’s happened largely thanks to the help of the British Embassy who welcomed back all our participants back over the last couple of days,” he added. 

This year, the WSJ takes place from 1 to 12 August 2023.

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