London (Parliament Politic Magazine) – UK scouts are preparing to depart from an international event in South Korea that has been severely affected by scorching temperatures. The outdoor World Scout Jamboree, attended by over 40,000 young individuals from across the globe, has witnessed hundreds falling ill amidst the blistering 35C (95F) heat.
Confirming the news, the Scout Association stated that the British contingent, consisting of more than 4,000 members and the largest group present, will be relocating from Saemangeum to Seoul. In response to the situation, the South Korean government has pledged to dispatch water and medical personnel to the site.
Parents Show Concern Over The Camp Evacuation
The World Scout Jamboree, renowned as the largest youth camp worldwide, convenes scouts from various countries every four years, with each edition hosted in a different nation. This year’s event, the first since the pandemic, is scheduled to continue until 12 August.
Numerous parents, interviewed, expressed their disappointment as their children had dedicated years of preparation and often raised substantial funds to participate in this highly anticipated gathering.
AccuWeather forecasts thunderstorms in the region where the jamboree is taking place, exacerbating the already sweltering conditions. With high humidity, temperatures are expected to feel even hotter than 40C.
The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), the largest international Scouting organization, has urged the Korean Scout Association, the event’s host, to consider an early conclusion. However, the host has decided to proceed with the jamboree, assuring participants that every effort is being made to address the challenges posed by the heatwave.
WOSM Has Called South Korean Government
In light of these circumstances, the WOSM has called upon the South Korean government to fulfill its commitments by providing additional resources and prioritizing the health and safety of all participants.
The largest scouting organization in the UK, UK Scouts, has announced that their group will be relocated to hotels within the next two days in order to alleviate the pressure on the overall campsite.
The organization has ensured that their volunteers and others have worked diligently to provide their members with sufficient food, water, shelter from the unusually hot weather, and appropriate toilet and washing facilities for an event of this magnitude. The group is scheduled to return home on August 13th as planned.
Parents of children at the campsite have expressed their concerns, stating that no activities are taking place due to the extreme heat and that some individuals with specific dietary requirements are not being accommodated. On the other hand, some parents have defended the event, claiming that their children were disappointed to have to leave.
Toilets In South Korea In A Deplorable and Unsafe Condition
One mother from the north-east of England, who preferred to remain anonymous, shared that what was supposed to be a remarkable life experience for her 16-year-old daughter has turned into a survival mission.
She acknowledged that they were aware it would be hot, but not to the extent that it currently is. The tents are unbearably hot, making it impossible for them to cool down. The mother’s daughter reported that the showers and toilets were in a deplorable and unsafe condition, with floating rubbish, plasters, and hair clogging the drains.
The mother expressed her relief that her daughter would be relocated to Seoul, which is approximately 120 miles (197km) away from the campsite. Another parent revealed that the situation was so dire that they decided to send their daughter back to the UK on Friday. Their priority was their daughter’s well-being.
South Korea Facing Intense Summer
However, Peter Naldrett shared a different perspective, stating that his two children were frustrated, upset, and angry about having to leave. He mentioned that although the toilets were not in the best condition, they were manageable.
UK Scouts has been asked to provide a comment regarding allegations of inadequate sanitation. In response to these claims, the Foreign Office stated on Thursday that it has dispatched officials to support British scouts on the ground.
South Korea is currently enduring an intense summer, prompting authorities to issue the country’s highest hot weather warning for the first time in four years. The camping event primarily attracts participants aged between 14 and 18, with groups representing 155 countries.
According to officials, at least 600 individuals have received medical treatment for heat-related illnesses in recent days. However, their nationalities have not been specified. In light of criticism suggesting a lack of preparedness for extreme heat, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has announced the dispatch of aid to the site.