Alicia in Year 10 (Duckworth) is fundraising for a once-in-a-lifetime-trip to the USA this Summer. This is the story behind her fundraising efforts and how you can help.
This summer I will be attending the World Scout Jamboree in Virginia (USA) as part of the UK contingent. The Jamboree is a gathering of around 40,000 scouts aged 14-17 from around the world. Much like the Olympics or the World Cup, it is held every four years with different countries taking turns to host the event. The Jamboree started in 1920 and its most recent host countries were; the United Kingdom (2007), Sweden (2011) and Japan (2015).
In 2013, my sister, Isobel, was selected to go to the 2015 World Scout Jamboree in Japan. She was very excited but, to be honest, I was not really interested! Of course I was very proud of her but she’s my sister, I was only 10 and Lego was much more interesting! Isobel made loads of friends from all over the world, saw and experienced some amazing things, brought back some great goodies and it just looked like she’d had the best time. She came back a different person. She was more confident and eager to try new things which made me a lot more interested in it.
In November 2017 I applied to become part of the UK contingent for the 24th World Scout Jamboree. I was invited to attend an initial selection camp on a very cold and wet weekend in November. I did lots of activities such as abseiling, human pyramids and other team building exercises.
Unfortunately, and despite trying my best at the camp, they didn’t select me. I was devastated. I was inconsolable but something in me decided to keep trying and in May 2018, we found out that there were 7 new places up for grabs.
I faced a dilemma. What should I do? Should I go for it again but know that I might be upset all over again or just leave it? I was convinced this was “my thing”. It seems at Dover College everyone has a “Thing” and I was certain the Jamboree was mine.
I decided to “think differently” in my application this time. Would it work?
After a few weeks of waiting, my mum woke me up to talk to a scout leader who said he’d like to offer me a place. I must have sounded quite unenthusiastic as I was still half asleep, but fortunately he didn’t change his mind. The next day I did wonder if I had dreamt it but it was real. I was now part of a joint Kent and Sussex Unit and was going to the World Scout Jamboree!
In order to travel to Virginia this summer I have to raise nearly £4000. A large part of this money supports scouts from developing countries to also have this once in a lifetime experience.
To date I have raised nearly £3000 thanks to friends, family and some fantastic and generous people in the local area. Events such as cake sales, tombolas, race nights and bingo events have got me to this point, but there is still a way to go.
This Friday (15th March) I will be holding a series of fundraising events at the College in order to get me closer to my target. I will be asking my fellow students to donate £1 and dress up in the colours of the American flag (Red, White & Blue) as well as holding a break time sweet & popcorn sale. I am eternally grateful for the support of my peers and family, as well as Dover College for supporting me in this way.