TEN Halesowen Scouts and two leaders are looking forward to a trip of a lifetime after being selected to attend an international jamboree in Japan.
Among them are three from the same family – Jack and Katie Parton, aged 14 and 16, and dad Andrew who received a late call up, as first reserve when another leader had to drop out.
They will spend 10 days at the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Kirara-hama, Yamaguchi City, next summer, where the theme will be a Spirit of Unity.
West Mercia Scout County is sending a 40 strong team and the Halesowen group also includes Sam Legge, Rob Chandler, Greg McArthur, Elayna Barnsley, Will Jones, Zack Dimmock, Ed Cook and brother s Matt Wong, aged 16 and Scout leader David Wong, aged 24.
The Scouts, aged 14 to 17, were selected independently and are embarking on a series of bonding camps in the run up to the event, which has already included a trip to London and photographs outside 10 Downing Street.
The West Mercia unit has to raise almost £3,000 for each participant to cover the attendance fee and Dudley Council has given grants of more than £6,200 and a further £5,750 pledged towards the cost.
Mr Parton, from Hasbury Scouts, said: “The council has been fabulous and we are very grateful for its generosity.”
A series of fundraising events is being planned and the Scouts are hoping local businesses will also support them.
At the jamboree, 30,000 Scouts will camp and work together to find out about each others’ cultures and faiths learn new skills and take part in adventurous activities.
Mr Parton said: “I am privileged to have been chosen to support the young people of Halesowen and West Mercia on their life-changing adventure to Japan.
“Thirty thousand Scouts from all over the world getting together irrespective of creed, colour, religion, politics or wealth, just to celebrate life - it makes your hairs stand on end."
The group will be away for three weeks, travelling to Tokyo before moving on to the jamboree, as part of the 2,400-strong UK contingent.