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World Scout Jamboree FAQs

This information relates to the previous World Scout Jamboree. Publicity and updated information for the 2023 World Scout Jamboree will be released in Summer 2021

When is the Jamboree/how long will I be away for?

The dates of the Jamboree itself are 22 July – 2 August 2019. However, you should also allow several days for a pre/post Jamboree experience and Home Hospitality (HoHo). Overall, you are likely to be away for around 2.5 weeks.

Where is the Jamboree?

The 24th World Scout Jamboree is hosted jointly by Mexico, USA and Canada. It will take place at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, a 10,000 acre campsite, in West Virginia, USA.

What is a Jamboree campsite like?

45,000 people is the size of a small town, once everyone arrives there will be tents as far as the eye can see! It can often take as long as one hour to walk from one side of the site to another, particularly if you keep stopping to say hello to Scouts from all over the world! Your unit will be allocated a small area to camp in, this is where you will sleep, cook and relax for the 12 days.

What is the Jamboree theme?

The Jamboree theme is Unlock a New World. You can find out more about the theme and activities on the Jamboree website at

What will a typical day be like at the Jamboree?

You will normally go to activities as a whole Unit, or sometimes in your Patrol of 9 Scouts and 1 Leader. There are a huge variety of amazing activities in a typical Jamboree programme, too many to list here! They are likely to include the most adventurous activities the Summit Bechtel Reserve can offer, such as zip wires, mountain biking, climbing and BMX biking. Jamboree programmes also typically include community based activities, a Global Development Village (where you take part in activities to learn about global issues) and a zone where you can sample cultural activities from all over the world.

In the evening, after the duty Patrol has cooked dinner (maybe with some visiting Scouts from another country), there is still lots to do on site. You might choose to go badge swapping, trying to find the rarest badges out there. Or, you might join in some of the evening entertainment, watching a traditional performance from another country or even getting up on stage yourself!

What are the ceremonies?

It wouldn’t be a Jamboree without the Opening and Closing Ceremonies! It is quite incredible to have 45,000 sat together in one field. The atmosphere is electric and it is likely to be a very special part of your Jamboree experience.

What is the pre and post Jamboree programme?

The UK Contingent typically organises a 2-3day experience for UK Scouts just before or after the Jamboree. We don’t have any details yet for this in 2019, but as an example the UK Contingent to the Japan 2015 Jamboree spent 3 days exploring the sights of Tokyo.

As well as the pre/post Jamboree experience, you will also participate in Home Hospitality (HoHo) before or after the Jamboree.

What is HoHo?

There is a long history of Scouts enjoying HoHo (Home or Hosted Hospitality) before or after a Jamboree. It can provide a very special insight into what life is like in that country. The plans are still at an early stage, but it is expected that the UK Contingent will be able to stay (in pairs) with Scout families in North America for a few days before or after the Jamboree.

For many past participants, HoHo is often one of the highlights of the whole experience!

What will the weather be like in West Virginia?

The month of July in West Virginia is usually hot and humid, with daily high temperatures of around 26°C. Some rain, particularly thunder storms are likely during the summer months in West Virginia. Humidity is likely to be high during the Jamboree, and this will make the ‘real feel’ temperature seem much hotter than the forecasted 26°C.

Can I combine it with another holiday?

This is unlikely to be possible. Travel is organised centrally by the UK Contingent Management Team (CMT) and there will be an expectation that your unit travels to and from the Jamboree together.

The lead up to the Jamboree…

How many Scouts from my District and Surrey will be going?

You will be allocated to one of 3 Jamboree Units from Surrey. Each Unit consists of 36 Scouts and 4 Leaders from Surrey. So that’s 108 Surrey Scouts and 12 Surrey leaders in total!

Each District is allocated a certain number of places, this varies from 3 to 12 depending on how many eligible Scouts/Explorers are in each District. We normally try to make sure at least one other person from your District is in the same Unit as you.

Who are my Jamboree Unit Leaders?

These are leaders from across Surrey, who in addition to their usual Scouting role have successfully applied to become one of Surrey’s Jamboree Unit Leaders. They will be with you every step of the way, from organising the preparation camps to the Jamboree itself.

How many preparation camps will there be?

Typically you will need to attend weekend preparation camps every 2 months or so in the lead up to the Jamboree. Your Unit leaders will normally try to rotate around different campsites in Surrey so the same people don’t always have to travel the furthest.

You are expected to attend every camp unless it is unavoidable. They are really important to ensure that every member of your Unit can work as part of a team to make sure you get the most out of the Jamboree experience. The camps are also really fun!

We know from experience, that Unit members who don’t make it to all the activities don’t get the most out of the Jamboree. You should think about this before applying, as it will be expected that Jamboree activities will take preference over pretty much anything else you might have planned.

I play football/work every Saturday morning, what about the preparation camps?

Generally, you are expected to attend every camp unless it is unavoidable. We would hope that your football team wouldn’t miss you too much for one game every couple of months. If it is really important, or you can’t get time off work, then you may have to discuss with your Unit leaders whether it is okay to miss part of a particular camp.

How much will the preparation camps cost?

There will be a cost for food, materials and any activities at the preparation camps, just like typical Scout camps. These won’t be included in the Jamboree fee. Your Jamboree Unit Leaders will do their best to minimise these costs and might expect you to participate in fundraising activities for the unit, to subsidise these weekends or buy Unit equipment and clothing.

What will my District expect from me?

There are always lots more applicants than places for the Jamboree, by selecting you over everyone else your District is placing a lot of trust in you to be a good representative. Additionally, they are likely to invest a lot of time and money supporting you.

In return, your District might occasionally expect you to attend certain events to represent the Jamboree. Particularly, after the Jamboree an important part of your role will be to spread the message about International Scouting, by getting out and talking about your experience to younger Scouts across the District.

Application process

Who can apply to go as a participant?

To apply to be a participant you must be born between 22nd July 2001 and 21st July 2005.

What happens if I was born outside of these dates?

If you were born after these dates you will be eligible for the 2023 Jamboree. If you were born before these dates then you should look at other international activities, such as Roverway, or the International Service Team for the Jamboree.

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline was 17th September 2017. Please do not apply through the online form unless your District has notified you that a late application will be accepted.

What is the application process?

In Surrey, each District is allocated a certain number of places and they will choose Scouts to represent them.

The application process for every District is the same!

Online Application form here (Deadline Midnight 17th September 2017)
Selection weekend in September-November 2017

How will my District be selecting their participants? What will the selection weekend be like?

We want to select young people who will make the most of the opportunity and be ambassadors for Scouting and the UK – and return to Scouting as ambassadors for the World Scout Jamboree experience and the international nature of Scouting.

The selection weekends will be fun and quite similar to normal Scout camps, with lots of games and activities. You might have to do a very short presentation or interview, but it is nothing to be worried about! We are looking for:

  • An interest in international Scouting/Guiding
  • An ability to work in a team (not necessarily as a leader but a full member)
  • A commitment to Scouting
  • A commitment to the Jamboree experience and training events
  • The ability to take responsibility for yourself
  • Experience of camping and basic Scouting skills

I haven’t been a Scout for long, can I still apply?

Yes. The Jamboree isn’t a reward for being a Scout since the age of 6 or having all of the badges. Most important is that you can demonstrate a commitment and enthusiasm towards Scouting.

I’ve never been abroad before, can I still go?

Yes. Your Unit Leaders will be there to support you all the way!

Does it matter that I don’t know anyone else applying to go?

We know from all of the past 23 World Scout Jamborees that you will form lifelong friends with the other Scouts from Surrey in your Jamboree unit, so you shouldn’t worry if you don’t know anyone else. Your Unit leaders will spend lots of time on getting-to-know-you and team-building activities to help everyone become firm friends.

I don’t think I can afford the Jamboree fee?

The UK Contingent fee is £3495.  You can read more about what the fee includes and the breakdown of the various components of the fee via this link.  As with all Scouting activities, we don’t want people to be put off applying to attend the Jamboree on financial grounds:

  • Your Group and District may be able to offer financial support or help you with fundraising activities.
  • Past participants have found it possible to fundraise in the lead up to the Jamboree through things like bag packing, themed evenings and sponsored events can also be lucrative.
  • Other bursaries and financial support may be available.
  • The fee will be paid in instalments across around 1.5 years.
  • If you have concerns, in the first instance you should contact your District to discuss the fee, in confidence. Please do not let it put you off applying.

I have a disability / special needs, can I still go?

The Scouting ethos is that Scouting is open to all, and the Jamboree is a good example of this. We will need to know, and may need to carry out a risk assessment and put in place a care plan. This process may identify additional requirements that we need to put in place, but hopefully, it will enable us to proceed.

There are a lot of questions on the application form and I don’t like writing?

The application form is just part of what your District will be considering when selecting their representatives.

You should do your best to think about your answers carefully, but it won’t matter if your spelling and grammar are poor!

Who can I ask another question to?

There are lots of people who will be able to help you:

  • Your Scout/Explorer leader
  • Your District
  • Previous Jamboree participants

After those, if you still have a question you haven’t been able to answer, please contact James Turner, the member of the Surrey County Scouts International Team responsible for Jamboree.

James’ e-mail is:

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls