Scouts forced to leave Jamboree due to heatwave
Scouts from Bermuda have been forced to leave the World Jamboree in South Korea and go to a hotel due to a punishing heatwave.
Nine Bermuda Scouts left the island at the end of last month for the Jamboree, led by Geoff Rothwell, chief commissioner for the Scout Association of Bermuda.
Speaking yesterday, Mr Rothwell said: “We have just boarded a bus and are leaving the Jamboree and heading to Seoul.
“It is quite hot, but the biggest problem is that the campsite is on reclaimed land so there are no trees.
“The Bermuda contingent is doing fine as we are more used to the heat. We will be staying in a hotel in Seoul.”
South Korea raised its hot weather warning to the highest level for the first time in four years, with temperatures around the country hovering between 95F and 100F (35C to 38C).
Over the weekend, the UK Scout Association announced it was pulling out more than 4,000 British scouts and moving them to hotels.
Hundreds of US scouts also left the site yesterday and relocated to a US military base near the capital, Seoul.
An e-mail from the US contingent said leaving was necessary because of the extreme weather and resulting conditions.
About 40,000 scouts from 158 countries, mostly teenagers, are at the Jamboree campsite built on land reclaimed from the sea.
Long before the event’s start, critics raised concerns about bringing that many young people to a vast, treeless area lacking protection from the summer heat.
Mr Rothwell added: “The plan is to meet up with some of the other countries who have left the Jamboree and arrange some group activities in Seoul. The scouts are in good spirits and we are having a great time.
“We left the Jamboree early because the UK Scout Association determined that that was the best course of action to ensure the safety of the scouts given the extreme heat.”
The Jamboree is due to finish on August 12.