What better setting to receive a Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award than with Scouts from all over the world? More than 200 youth from nine countries earned bronze, silver and gold distinctions of the internationally-recognized honor during the World Scout Jamboree. The ceremony was part of several award events during the jamboree, which wrapped up at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia last week.
Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award
Youth have been striving for this award since the 1950s. Last year, the Boy Scouts of America partnered with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA, bringing the opportunity for American Scouts to earn the award. It’s available for young people ages 14 to 24 who devote months to community service, learning new skills and participating in physical fitness and adventurous activities. Nine Americans earned the award, including Chicago-area Venturer Lillian Weihert, who received a Silver Award.
“It has taught me how to stay more committed and on a single goal,” she says.
Worldwide, the award draws more than 1.3 million participants and 200,000 volunteers in more than 130 countries and territories. Some of the other countries represented during the jamboree ceremony included Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Slovakia, Ireland and Australia.
“Ask anyone from abroad about the award and likely they will tell you it celebrates what young people are capable of,” says Elizabeth Higgins-Beard, CEO of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA. “The award challenges them to reflect, dig a bit deeper and perhaps try something new.”
Scouts BSA, Venturing Awards
Several Scouts capped off advancement journeys at the World Scout Jamboree, completing Eagle Scout or Venturing Pathfinder boards of review.
A couple of new Eagles include Zachary Cline of Troop 527 in Kokomo, Ind., and Grant Gaura of Troop 89 in Bettendorf, Iowa. Will Cooper of Crew 4385 of Princeton, N.J., earned his Eagle Scout Award earlier this summer and completed his board of review for the Venturing Pathfinder Award while at the jamboree.
Each camper at the World Scout Jamboree wore a digital wristband as part of a jamboree-wide game called Novus. They could “click” their wristbands with others merely by touching them together; doing so would instantly share contact information and digital profiles, so campers could keep in touch with their new friends for years to come. The more you connected with others, the more you were rewarded with digital badges and points. Winners of the Novus game were selected from each region, base camp and sub-camp and received special neckerchiefs.
The Novus wristbands were a cool element to the jamboree. Not only were they used to help you connect with others, but they lit up during concerts at the stadium shows.