Scouts ven­ture off to Ja­pan

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

On the day school went back, three Manawatu scouts skipped the coun­try for the 23rd world scout­ing jam­boree in Ja­pan.

Ol­lie Hig­gi­son and Matilda Fyles, both 14, from the Ash­hurst Scout group and Lin­coln Phillips, 15, from Roslyn make up three mem­bers of a small Kiwi con­tin­gent who will spend three and a half weeks away – 10 days at the jam­boree and other time sight­see­ing while stay­ing with Ja­panese fam­i­lies.

It’s a big deal. World scout jam­borees only come around ev­ery four years.

Each of the teens has had to raise $6500 for the trip. It has taken 18 months of sausage siz­zles, raf­fles, do­ing odd jobs, act­ing as moto-X stew­ards and carpark at­ten­dants for the small­hold­ers auc­tion, a barn­dance, and busk­ing to ac­cu­mu­late the money.

Lin­coln’s younger brother Reuben, also a scout, con­trib­uted jam he made.

Matilda is par­tic­u­larly grate­ful to one man, a for­mer scout, who re­sponded to her busk­ing by giv­ing her $50.

The cost, which in­cludes spend­ing money, could be one of the rea­sons why only 25 scouts are at­tend­ing the jam­boree from New Zealand.

About 33,000 scouts from 144 coun­tries are de­scend­ing on Ki­rara Hama, a sea­side lo­ca­tion in Ya­m­aguchi City with its theme ‘A Spirit of Unity’.

This year is the 70th an­niver­sary of the atomic bomb­ing of Hiroshima and Na­gasaki, and the Manawatu trio will be at­tend­ing a peace cer­e­mony in Hiroshima, a two-hour drive away from the jam­boree site.

Matilda and Ol­lie have been mak­ing pos­sum fur wog­gles to trade with fel­low scouts, while all three are tak­ing badges and pins to swap as well as scout scarves.

As well as meet­ing other scouts at the jam­boree, it is with barely sup­pressed ex­cite­ment that they talk about a trip on a spe­cial scouts bullet train to take them from Osaka to the jam­boree, and a visit to Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios.

All three are ex­pe­ri­enced scouts. Ol­lie, who is home­schooled, has just com­pleted his Chief Scout Gold Award, the high­est scout­ing award. Matilda who has been at Awat­apu Col­lege but is mov­ing to the UK, is well on the way to com­plet­ing her Gold Award. Lin­coln, from Palmer­ston North Boys’ High School, is also work­ing to­wards his Gold Award.

On Au­gust 22, Ol­lie and Matilda will make a pre­sen­ta­tion about the trip in the Ash­hurst RSA as a way of thank­ing the com­mu­nity for its sup­port.

PHOTO: DAVID UNWIN/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Manawatu scouts Ol­lie Hig­gi­son, 14, Matilda Fyles, 14, and Lin­coln Phillips, 15, have scooted off to at­tend the World Scout Jam­boree in Ja­pan.

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