By: Rafael Ferdinand
From the time I set foot in Japan, my life was changed. What greeted me was even more amazing than I expected.
During the first week, my fellow scouts and I spent our time exploring Japan, setting up base in the city of Osaka. Trips to The Kyoto Shrines, the Osaka Aquarium and the Osaka Castle were among our many awe-inspiring experiences. Japan showed that there is beauty in simplicity.
Finally, the day arrived when we travelled to Yamaguchi to attend the 23rd World Scout Jamboree, “WA: a Spirit of Unity” being the theme for this year’s edition. A long train and bus ride didn’t take away from our energy as we began chanting and singing in chorus upon our arrival to the campsite.
Within the first half an hour I got a small taste of what I was in for, with many scouts from around the world coming to speak to us and share their interests. Upon arrival to the place we would call home for the next week, we turned a barren area into a buzzing campsite filled with eager scouts.
The spectacular opening ceremony made me feel a sense of pride as I realised that I had thousands of brothers and sisters all over the world, an army of scouts that spread across the globe.
The next few days were spectacular. Our time was filled with eye opening modules about technology, nature and the world. The culture module was my favourite as I got to see the other aspects of international culture and society.
Also, the visit to Hiroshima gave me a more positive outlook and different perspective on life.
When the modules were done, the fun continued as our days were filled with long walks across the campsite, trading with countless nations, meeting new people and discovering new things. A real sense of adventure filled us as we dared to try things we had never tried before, all the while showing what our beautiful nation was about.
When it came time to leave, I was a changed person. I had experienced the world all in one place. I finally understood the meaning of the words kindness and happiness and above all that, that scouting isn’t a hobby but a way of life, a family.
Memories of Japan will forever be in my mind. Once a scout always a scout!!!