The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield has a huge connection to Scouting following the 9th World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) at Sutton Park in 1957. This celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Scouting movement since the first camp at Brownsea Island Dorset and Robert Baden Powell’s 100th anniversary, the founder of the Scouting.
The Royal Town hosted 33,000 Scouts from 85 countries in the 2,400 acre park with another 17,000 British Scouts camping within a 15 mile radius and these travelled daily by bus to enjoy the activities on offer for the 12 day event. Near Streetly gate there is the well-known Jamboree stone marking the spot where Lady Baden-Powell delivered the closing address of the Jamboree.
For every subsequent World Scout Jamboree, Sutton Coldfield Scouts have sent young people and their leaders around the World to represent their town and county. Next year, the 24th WSJ will be held in North America at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, a sustainable Jamboree site, comprised of more than 14,000 acres of beautiful forested mountains adjacent to more than 70,000 acres of national park in the scenic New River Gorge area of West Virginia. Sutton Park would fit into the site alone about 9 times!
In June 2017, 9 Scouts and Explorer Scouts from Sutton Coldfield were selected to join the Birmingham Jamboree Unit made-up of 36 young people and 4 adult leaders. The Unit leader Richard Berry is also from the town and volunteers at the 17th Sutton East Scouts based in Four Oaks. Subsequently, several adult leaders from Sutton have also volunteered to help run the Jamboree as staff and are heading out ahead of the young people.
The 40 participants from Birmingham are part of around 5000 Scouting members from all around the UK heading to West Virginia and have to raise the funds to attend. This is the largest contingent to leave the UK on a Scouting event. The theme, Unlock a New World, invites Scouts to unlock new adventures, new cultures, and new friendships. The Jamboree is hosted by Mexico, Canada, and the USA and is a jamboree that embraces the growing trend of leadership development and global citizenship that the movement has cultivated. The World Scout Jamboree is above all an educational event that brings together the world’s young people to promote peace and mutual understanding and to develop leadership and life skills.
The choice of activities during the 12 day event range from mountain biking, white water rafting, climbing, hiking, shooting and many more. Following the jamboree, the Unit will be heading for some home hospitality in Canada all being well with Scouts and their families.
When they reach the Jamboree all the equipment will be there for them, but it all has to be paid for in advance along with the flights, uniform, equipment, food, road travel etc. For the 40 participants, the target is £155,000, for the Sutton Coldfield members it is just short of £40,000. The Unit has been fundraising for over 12 months, but would appreciate any individual or corporate sponsorship to boost funds.
The Unit has planted over 1000 native trees and shrubs at the County Scout Camp site and at the National Memorial Arboretum and are selling these for £10.00 and many people have dedicated a tree so celebrate a birth or to remember a loved one.
The Sutton Coldfield Scouts have many ways to get in touch and would very much appreciate any offers to increase funds as below.