Allow British Scouts Who Will Be Over 18 in 2021 to Attend the European Jamboree

Allow British Scouts Who Will Be Over 18 in 2021 to Attend the European Jamboree

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Max Watson started this petition to The Scout Association and

This summer thousands of scouts from all over the world were due to attend the European Jamboree in Gdansk Poland. However, due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, the event was delayed until 2021. As the event is for 14-17 year olds this obviously meant that any current participants who will be over the age of 18 during the rearranged date were unsure as to whether or not they would be able to attend. The World Organization of the Scout Movement left it in the hand of individual national bodies to decide whether or not over 18s would be allowed to attend as participants however British Scouting have decided that this would not be the case and anyone born before the 2nd August 2003 would not be able to attend as a participant. 

This will affect roughly 25% of the UK Contingent who will have already spent many months planning, fundraising and getting excited for this event. For many members it may be their first chance to attend a jamboree or even to visit another country and that has been taken away from them purely because they happen to have been born a few months earlier then others. As well as the participants who will no longer be able to attend however, the contingent members who will be young enough will also be impacted. Basically all of the contingents will have already started having training events and will have already started bonding as a group and now members will be told that they now have to go without their friends.

UK Scouting have stated that the reason this decision has been made is because other events, such as Roverway, that have participants who are both over and under 18 are designed for this mix in age and have the relevant safety procedures for this whereas Eurojam has been designed purely for 14-17 year olds. Whilst this would have been a valid argument for anyone over 18 wanting to attend the original event the situation is now completely different. Many countries, such as Spain for example, as well as UK Guiding will be allowing 18 year olds to attend so Eurojam will likely adapt their programme and safety policy to accommodate for this. Similarly UK Scouts have stated that anyone who will now be over 18 could look into applying for IST yet, whilst IST is a very fulfilling experience, it is not for everyone and many scouts will just want the chance to attend as participants. It would also be very easy for the current UK safeguarding regulations to be applied by implementing rules such as 18 year olds can't share tents with under 18s and any 18 year olds attending must be DBS checked.

To conclude UK Scouting have made a kneejerk reaction to deny many young people the chance of a once in a lifetime experience purely because of situations out of their control. Whilst there are clearly many ways to get around this problem, as shown by the countries allowing their older participants to attend, they have decided to enforce a ruling which will not just impact the participants now unable to attend, but their contingent as well who will have already formed friendships that are now meaningless. This decision has been made despite many other organisations, including UK Girl Guiding allowing participants to attend.

Quick edit as there are a few people saying we haven't offered any alternative ways this issue can be sorted. There are a few of us looking into how other countries as well as UK Girl Guiding are making it possible for their members to attend and we will include these suggestions in our email to The Scout Association  when we send them off although any other suggestions would be much appreciated as well.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!