Scouts from every corner of the world will soon have the experience of a lifetime at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. The bid to host the 2019 World Scout Jamboree is a combined effort of the Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Canada, and the Scout Association of Mexico. This will be the first time the World Scout Jamboree has been held in the United States in more than 40 years.
The bid to win the 2019 World Scout Jamboree was voted on by the World Scout Conference, which comprises 160 national Scout associations that represent 220 countries and territories around the world. The 160 associations make up the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and each member association is able to send Scouts to represent their country at a world jamboree.
The North American bid committee began its work in 2009 and met six times to plan the bid process. A youth contingent from Canada, Mexico, and the United States submitted its bid to the World Scout Conference, and toured the West Virginia site. The group wanted to experience the site firsthand and gather photos and other testimonials to support its presentation to the World Scout Conference in Brazil in January.
For 12 days, thousands of young people from around the world gather in a tented city for activities and adventure during a world jamboree. Young people will learn to swim, meet others, and create lifelong friendships. Scouts have an opportunity to interact and participate with others from different cultures and to build solidarity and understanding across cultural and geographical boundaries.
The Summit, the Boy Scouts of America’s newest high-adventure base and the permanent home for the BSA’s national Scout jamboree beginning in 2013 and continuing in 2017, consists of 10,600 acres.
“Scouts who attend the 2019 World Scout Jamboree at The Summit will, for the first time at a world jamboree, be able to participate in white-water rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking. We are very pleased that the conference saw the wealth of new and exciting activities that will be available at this site and will make it available to young people in the program,” said James Turley, international commissioner.
Aimed at 14- to 17-year-olds, Scouts attend the world jamboree in groups called contingents. They are encouraged to meet other Scouts from different cultures, religions, and countries, ultimately learning that strangers can become friends. The event is supported by thousands of international adult volunteers.
While Scouts Canada has hosted a world jamboree in the past—1955 and 1983—this will be the first time that Asociación de Scouts de México, Asociación Civil will share hosting duties with Canada and the United States. “The Asociación de Scouts de México is proud to join Scouts Canada and the Boy Scouts of America to host the 2019 World Scout Jamboree. The opportunity before us is magnificent because the Asociación de Scouts de México is a smaller Scout association and most likely would never host a world Scout jamboree on our own. Here, we will combine our talents and our cultures to bring what will prove to be one of the most incredible, successful jamborees ever!” said Presidente Nacional Omar Lugo Aguirre.
To enhance international contingents’ visit to North America, some Scouts will begin this trip in Mexico, where they can immerse themselves in more than 3,000 years of Mesoamerican culture. Also available will be tours of Canada’s vibrant cities and unspoiled wilderness. U.S. tours will include Washington, D.C., the Grand Canyon, and Hollywood.
“There has always been a wonderful relationship between Scouts Canada, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Asociación de Scouts de México,” said Mike Scott, international commissioner for Scouts Canada. “The planning process for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree will help develop this friendship and spirit of cooperation even more. This event will involve and engage a huge number of our adult volunteer leaders and young people in a process that will immerse them in different cultures and cause them to be terrific ambassadors for Canada.”
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America prepares young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21, and more than a million volunteers, in nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit http://www.scouting.org/.
About Scouts Canada
Scouts Canada was founded in 1909 and is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. With a membership of about 146,000 it is the second largest Scout association in North America. Scouts Canada has always been in the forefront of world Scouting, providing leadership and financial support to other Scout associations. Scouts Canada hosted the last world Scout jamboree held in North America in Calgary in 1983. For more information on Scouts Canada, please visit www.scouts.ca.
About the Asociación de Scouts de México
The Asociación de Scouts de México has always been a leader for Scouting in Spanish-speaking countries throughout the Americas. It continues to host large regional events and provide leadership to several Scout associations. Founded in 1920, the Asociación de Scouts de México is headquartered in Mexico City and boasts a membership of more than 30,000 members, making it one of the largest Scout associations in Latin America. For more information on the Asociación de Scouts de México, please visit www.scouts.org.mx.