New horizons

New horizons

When 14-year-old Explorer Scout Annie travelled to Denmark, she had no idea how brilliant the experience would be. Here, she tells us all about it.

Being at an international jamboree made me feel as though I had 40,000 brothers and sisters from all around the world. I didn’t need to know their names or where they came from, because Scouting was our link.

I’ve been in Scouting for eight years now – through Beavers, Cubs, Scouts to joining Explorers and being a Young Leader for Beavers. I’m also registered partially sighted; I have nystagmus, astigmatism, hypermetropia and my vision is recorded at 6/18 in both eyes.

An amazing journey

One of my friends persuaded me to apply for the trip to Denmark, which consisted of a week at Holstebro Jamboree in the east of the country and another at a camp close to Copenhagen. I was hesitant because I’d never done anything like it before, but the moment I sent off my forms I knew I had started on an amazing journey.

After months of fundraising, which included bag packing, running jumble sales, coffee mornings and doing a sponsored triathlon, it was overwhelming to finally arrive in Denmark at 4am one July morning.

I met so many brilliant people throughout the week and every day was an adventure. From taking part in a life-sized version of Angry Birds to three-legged football, maypole dancing, and hosting dinner for 130 people on our open fire, there are too many highlights to mention.

Great fun

I joined a 1,500-strong flash mob in the town – the sight of all us Scouts doing random stuff like jumping up and down 10 times amused all the local residents and was great fun.

Scouting is a big family but I don’t think you understand it until you’ve been at a huge event. It was inspiring to look around to see an endless sea of Scouts. I loved the fact that even though nothing was perfect and we were all muddy, everyone still had smiles on their faces.

My trip changed not just how I act but how I feel. I’m more independent. I believe in myself and believe that I can do things rather than asking for help all the time. I am more comfortable with my visual impairments and more confident in myself because everyone is unique in their own special way.

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