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