Even the best Scouts could not be prepared for jamboree’s size

Hannah Ellis, left, and Neal Dodge who went to the world scout jamboree
Hannah Ellis, left, and Neal Dodge who went to the world scout jamboree
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HANNAH Ellis and Neal Dodge knew the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden was big, but were still awed by its size.

Hannah, 18, from Bury St Edmunds, said: “I had no grasp of how big it was until I got there. What brought it home to me was the opening ceremony when you were looking down on 40,000 people. Take 10,000 off that and you have the number of people waiting to get into Scouting in Britain.”

Neal, 15, from Culford said: “But the numbers didn’t matter really, it was the atmosphere. Even though it was massive, it was friendly. Everyone was welcoming.”

Hannah added: “It was like walking through the middle of a town but with everyone talking to you.”

The pair had to go through interviews to be among the 40 Suffolk Scouts in the 3,000-strong British group. They also had to raise money to go, which not only funded their trip but sponsored Scouts from poorer countries, including Seirra Leone and Ethiopia.

The jamborees are held every four years and a huge campsite, with its own shops, was created at Rickaby, near Christianstad. The next jamboree is in Japan.