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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Scouts leave World Jamboree in Korea amid extreme weather

This news post is 8 months old

The UK contingent of over 4,000 young people are now safely in Seoul. 

Tens of thousands of young people and volunteers have been forced to evacuate a campsite in South Korea amid warnings of an incoming tropical storm. 

Members of the Scouts, including the entire UK contingent, have been forced to leave the World Scout Jamboree in Saemangeum as the site experiences a heatwave, with criticism of its organisation and facilities. 

The UK Scouts confirmed on Monday that all young people and adult volunteers had been transferred from the Jamboree site at SaeManGeum to Seoul by Sunday night, following announced plans to do so on Friday.

The UK Scouts paid tribute to the groups of volunteers and members who have worked hard to ensure those taking part in the trip have been properly looked after. 

In a statement published on Monday, the organisation said: “The UK contingent have now been allocated their accommodation. The UK Embassy has been welcoming them as they arrive.

“The UK Embassy and the Mayor of Seoul are also supporting the UK team with developing programme activities so our young people still get the most from the rest of their Jamboree experience in South Korea.

“Other international contingents have also announced they will be leaving the site too.

“We know leaving the Jamboree site may be a disappointment for some, but we will continue the Jamboree experience in Seoul. Young people will travel home as originally planned from 13 August.

“While we have been on site at the Jamboree, the UK volunteer team has worked extremely hard with the organisers, for our youth members and adult volunteers to have enough food and water to sustain them, shelter from the unusually hot weather, and toilets and washing facilities appropriate for an event of this scale.”

While the UK had left over the weekend along with some other countries, blaming high temperatures and poor sanitary conditions at the camp, a number of other delegations had remained, before being forced from the Jamboree on Monday and Tuesday. 

More than 40,000 young people from 155 countries were in attendance, with hundreds falling ill amid extreme heat, with scouts from the UK among those affected by heat exhaustion.