A GROUP of Flintshire Scouts have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in the USA.

The 11 Scouts took part in the 24th World Scout Jamboree, joining 5,000 other scouts from the UK and in total 45,000 from nearly every country in the world in West Virginia.

The jamboree offered the young people the chance to learn new life skills, take part in some high adventure activities, and make friends with scouts from 150 countries around the world.

The educational event - which takes place every four years and has been running since 1920 - brings together the world’s young people to promote peace and mutual understanding and to develop leadership and life skills.

The Leader:

Daisy Carol - member of Fluffy Dragons unit - flying the Union Jack at the opening ceremony

Tomos Hebden, 15, from Hawarden, who was part of the North Wales Fluffy Dragons unit, said: “The whole event was by far the best experience of my life, but particularly the jamboree element of the trip.

"It started from the moment I was welcomed by a German International Service Team member and then helped set up camp with the US contingent.

“Although I am an adrenaline junkie it quickly became apparent that wasn't what I was enjoying on camp, it was the social aspects of meeting and understanding so many cultures and nationalities. I sang with the Irish, danced with the Mexicans, cooked with the Polish, played football with the Egyptians and rugby with the Antipodeans.

“The night times were just as busy with concerts and parties but if there wasn't a party to go to we made one.”

The Leader:

Jack Rayers with a fish he caught during one of the many activities

There were a huge range of activities available on the 14,000 acre Summit Bechtel Reserve, from 50mph zip lines, to scuba diving and climbing on one of the largest man made climbing walls in the world.

The Leader:

Sammy Bakewell, Adam Bakewell, Heather Jones, Izzy Bramham, Alex Livingstone and Jack Rayers in New York

Heather Jones, 17, from Penyffordd, said: “The activities were amazing, surprisingly one of my favourite activities was fishing, it was pretty much a guaranteed catch every time. The white water rafting was incredible, as expected and I really enjoyed the stand up paddle boarding. The zip line through the canopy was really awesome.”

The Leader:

Flintshire Scout Alex Livingstone with new friends from across the globe

The Jamboree itself was 12 days long, with trips to New York, Washington and Canada provided before and after, meaning the scouts were away for almost three weeks.

The Leader:

Brothers Adam and Sammy Bakewell at the Jamboree

Adam Bakewell, 17, from Penyffordd, added: "The Jamboree can only be described as an experience of a lifetime. The chance to interact and immerse yourself in the cultures of over 150 different countries while doing world-class activities is an opportunity that I’ll never forget. From Australia to Austria, Brazil to Japan, we met scouts from all over the globe. Culture day allowed us to visit camps from all countries and try out their food and learn about their different cultures.”

“My favourite part of the trip was staying with a Canadian Scout troop in Burlington, Toronto. We learnt about scouting in Canada and Canadian culture. We also had a surprise visit to Niagara Falls, which was a clear highlight for myself and the rest of the group. A boat trip through the falls was nothing short of spectacular.

“This was an incredible experience that shows that scouting is no longer that of tying knots and singing campfire songs but that of memory making, unforgettable and life-changing trips such as ours.”

The Leader:

Tomos Hebden with friends