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US Boy Scouts Welcome Hundreds of International Scouts to National Jamboree

International Boy Scouts from 26 countries at a jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia

Thousands of Boy Scouts from across the United States and around the world are celebrating 100 years of scouting at this year's Boy Scout National Jamboree. The Scouts stage the event every four years, bringing together boys ages 11 to 18 for 10 days of adventure, fun and friendships. This year's gathering has attracted hundreds of international Scouts.

These Boy Scouts traveled from El Salvador to this army base in Virginia to join tens of thousands of other Scouts who are attending the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree.

Carlos Hernandez says it is a once in a lifetime experience for these Salvadorian Scouts.

"For them it is a little bit overwhelming because most of them, it's their first time out of the country," said Carlos Hernandez. "And we are happy to be here."

This year's Jamboree has the largest international contingent ever - nearly 400 Scouts from 26 countries.
Chase Olivieri is from Puerto Rico. He says the Jamboree is the perfect setting for international Scouts.

"It's just an opportunity to really meet and mingle with kids from all around the world," said Chase Olivieri. "It's just a new opportunity to make friends, experience different activities and just have fun. That's what it's all about."

These Scouts are from the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Elechi Todd says he enjoys meeting fellow Scouts from around the world.

"I met people from Puerto Rico," said Elechi Todd. "We were on the bus with some Egyptian Scouts and people from Granada. When I saw people from Saudi Arabia, I didn't feel so different."

Icaro Mota is from Brazil. He says he accomplished more than he thought he could on the rope pull.

"I am scared of heights a little bit and I went really high today so that was really great," said Icaro Mota.

Most of the International Boy Scouts are integrated into groups of boys from the United States. Vimell Presad from Malaysia is happy he's taking so many wonderful memories away from the event.

"I think the friends, the hospitality of the American Boy Scouts, the activities," said Vimell Presad. "This is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity being here."

No matter where these boys come from they say they share the special bond of being Scouts and hope after they leave this Jamboree they can establish friendships that will last a lifetime.