A group of Scouts and Explorers from across the County have been given a helping hand by The East Lancashire Masonic Charity in their bid to reach the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in North America.

40 Scouts from around the Scout Association’s “Greater Manchester North County” will be jetting off to the United States of America with stops in New York, Washington, 10 days camping in West Virginia and a few days staying with a Scout troop in Canada all on the cards. The East Lancashire Masonic Charity has been doing its bit to make the trip a reality by offering advice and making a £1200 donation.

The gathering is held every four years and will attract over 45,000 Scouts from across the globe, who come together to experience different cultures, make new friends and enjoy a variety of adventurous activities. Approximately 4,500 representatives from the UK will attend this year’s event in the USA.

Steve McNee is the leader of the Explorer Group which is based in Middleton.  He explained “The World Scout Jamboree in North America is an incredible experience that will change the lives of all the 45,000 young people who attend.  Not only is it an adventure, but meeting and working with young people from almost every nation on earth helps foster intercultural learning and tolerance which is badly needed in today’s world. The Masonic trusts support in helping young people from across the globe build more peaceful and tolerant communities is greatly appreciated.”

The younger members of the group have also expressed their appreciation.  One of them, Explorer Scout Emily, 15, said “This is going to be an adventure of a lifetime and one that I have truly worked hard to achieve, we have fundraised £4000 each to be part of what is going to be an absolutely brilliant opportunity, I can’t wait to meet people from all over the world and bring back lots of ideas to use within local Scouting.” Another young lady, Explorer Scout Kate, 16, added: “I’ve had an amazing time already, and I know the adventure is only going to get better!  It’s such an honour to have been selected to attend and I can’t wait to try all the activities which will be available to us on site and all the sightseeing!”

The donation from the Freemasons will be used by the Scouts to help pay for equipment that will be needed ahead of the event which is due to take place at the Summit Betchel reserve in West Virginia in July and August this year.

We are hoping that the members of the group will attend the ELMC’s AGM in September to be able to tell Freemasons from across East Lancashire about their experiences.

Steve Clark on behalf of East Lancashire Freemasons said “This is a perfect opportunity for these amazing young people to engage with scouts from across the world in what is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.  It is a privilege to be able to help them achieve their objective, and I am looking forward to them returning and telling us about their experiences.”

  L-R :  Steve Clark,  Kathy, Jack, Emily, Steve McNee and Reann.