December 6, 2019, by abrierley

Global Placement Grant – Volunteer at 24th World Scout Jamboree West Virginia, USA

By Matthew House, 2nd year, BSc Finance, Accounting & Management

For my placement I travelled to the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, USA as part of the International Service Team for the 24th World Scout Jamboree. My specific role was working as part of the UK Food House team which involve, taking orders and money, preparing food, serving food as well as cleaning and running entertainment events in the evenings.

I am a volunteer within The Scout Association and the World Scout Jamboree occurs at a different location across the world every 4 years. As an Explorer Scout I was unsuccessful in gaining a place as a participant to the Japan World Scout Jamboree in 2015 so I set my sights on going as an adult in 2019 and thankfully was successful in being part of 750 adults chosen from the UK to volunteer at this amazing event.

Personally, my greatest achievement from my placement was obtaining the IST Service Award which was awarded to 2000 out of the 10000 IST at the event. It involved going above and beyond within your role as well as being an active part of other events and entertainment.

However, as the UK Food House Team we also had a great achievement. Our ‘unique’ food was selling proper British chips and we managed to wash, peel, chip, fry and sell 11.5 tonnes of potatoes in about 10 days! We felt like this was a major achievement!

My biggest challenge was definitely the heat! I’m not used to very hot temperatures and it was very often hitting 36 degrees between 10am and 4pm with very little cloud cover. I managed to overcome this by dressing appropriately and following the hydration guidelines as laid out by the Jamboree organisers.

I improved my ability to work well in part of a team in a high paced environment. I also improved my communication skills as the World Scout Jamboree hosts Scouts from across the world with their only being 6 nations without scouting.

My provider was The Scout Association which is a UK youth organisation. The World Organisation of the Scouting Movement (WOSM) co-ordinates the World Scout Jamboree every 4 years in partnership with the host nations scout association. It is a great placement however quite limited in the fact that only a certain amount of people are selected to attend and they need to be a volunteer with The Scout Association initially.

Matthew’s top tips for undertaking overseas placements:

1 – Research different placements and find one that appeals to you

2 – Search for funding opportunities such as grants (they are out there!)

3 – Ask friends that have done a placement before about their experiences

Posted in Global Placement Grant