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Bear’s Advice To Young Scouts At The World Scout Jamboree

As chief ambassador to the World Scout Organization, a global family of around 57 million Scouts and volunteers in 216 countries and territories worldwide, and Chief Scout in the UK, Bear Grylls traveled to the opening of the 25th World Scout Jamboree which took place in Saemangeum, South Korea on August 1.

Bear described the event as “50,000 scouts from all across the world getting together to learn new skills, develop great friendships, have an adventure, and celebrate everything that is incredible about scouting.”

Bear’s Advice On True Adventure

“True adventure lies not just in climbing mountains or crossing rivers, true adventure is in here,” Bear told the scouts on the opening night of the event. “True adventure is the courage to dream big, it’s the courage to take risks, and to overcome difficult obstacles that stand in our way.” 

During the opening days, Bear reminded the scouts that true adventure is a state of mind. “Be proud. Keep shining bright and making a difference. You can change the world,” he said.

“Make friends for life, learn skills for life, and have experiences for life. 

Extreme Conditions

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Unfortunately, the Jamboree event experienced some extreme weather conditions, as a heatwave saw temperatures as high as 100°F (38°C), followed by a typhoon forecast. Bear initially advised the scouts to stay hydrated and look out for one another, but some of the scout delegations had to leave the event, which was eventually forced to end early.

On his social media, Bear praised how the scouts dealt with the conditions:

“What an incredible force for good the scouts are, especially when times get tough. So proud of all the tens of thousands of scouts who have battled some tough conditions in Korea at the 25th World Scout Jamboree,” he wrote.

Community Spirit

“The truth is a Jamboree is wherever Scouts are. It’s a community rather than a set location, and I know they will carry on with their adventures with the selfless determination and resourcefulness that they’ve shown throughout. Keep shining bright and I can’t wait to hear what you get up to!” Bear said.

Bear added that he especially loved meeting some French Scouts, La Cyclodysée who cycled many thousands of miles to be in Korea for the Jamboree. “And only 15 punctures on their whole journey between them! True adventure-spirit and endeavor,” he said. “And finally, huge respect to all the volunteers and International Service Team members who have given so much to support young people. True inspirations.”

Dealing with Disappointment

Image by Sean Murphy

The jamboree was supposed to run until August 12 but with the expected arrival of Typhoon Khanun, which was going to hit the region in South Korea where the Jamboree was taking place, all participants had to depart early.

Bear Grylls gave the scouts this advice on dealing with disappointment:

“It’s such a shame for so many Scouts I know, but I’ve learned over the years to always respect such extreme weather and temperatures and to act early to prevent disasters,” he says. “So many other adventures lie ahead for these Scouts I know. We will: Improvise. Adapt. Overcome!”

Scouting Advice

Bear gives more advice on scouting principles in his new book, How to Be a Scout by Bear Grylls, which will be published at the end of September. In the book, Bear passes on the skills and stories he’s learned over his years in the scouts. 

“The Scout Movement is one of the greatest families on earth and Scouts embody the spirit and timeless camaraderie that comes through shared outdoor adventures,” he says. “It’s a book for anyone who is a Scout, was a Scout or hopes one day to be a Scout — a book that will inspire people to do their best, learn new skills, live life to the full, and make a real difference in the world.”

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