Adam Crawford has gone camping with the Scouts - just over 6,000 miles away in Japan.
Adam was chosen to attend the 23rd World Scouts Jamboree, which is being hosted in Yamaguchi City in Japan this year.
A member of the 2nd Lurgan Scouts, the Lurgan College student was selected to travel across the world with thirty-five other Scouts from across Northern Ireland. Accompanied by four leaders, the group arrived in Japan last week to participate in this universal event.
“Adam’s away until August 10th,” explained his mum, Joanne Crawford.
“It’s the World Scouts Jamboree, which they have every four years. He had to go through tests, proving his scouting and leadership skills, and was then selected to go.”
The tests might just be continuing, too, as Adam and his fellow Scouts are quickly acclimatising to a completely different culture in Japan.
“It’s quite a big thing,” said Joanne. “So far, they have recorded a high of 51°C - and they’re staying on a campsite.”
The first World Scout Jamboree took place in 1920, and the worldwide gatherings have been taking place ever since - giving Scouts the opportunity to get together and learn about one another’s cultures.
This trip has been two years in the planning, so Adam has spent a bit of time getting to know the other Northern Irish Scouts before they jetted off. So far, the group have been extremely busy - with visits to Tokyo and Hiroshima, and Adam has celebrated his sixteenth birthday over there, too.
“The first three days, they stayed in Tokyo,” Joanne explained. “They then visited Hiroshima, which was hit by the atomic bomb during the war; this year marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing, so that was an experience. They have also visited an earthquake centre, and will spend a few days with ‘home hospitality’, during which they will stay with Japanese families.”
Adam has worked his way up in the Scouts to Explorer level, and his appetite for adventure appears to be unstoppable.
“He loves heading up to the Mournes and has his Duke of Edinburgh to do when he comes home!” said Joanne. “The group had a bit of fundraising to do before they travelled to Japan, and did various things. Adam did an abseil down the Europa Hotel in Belfast with a group of other Scouts. The leaders are great at organising everything - telling them where they need to be and when, so that made everything possible.”
You can follow the Scouts’ Jamboree adventures on the ‘UK Contingent Unit 62 Northern Ireland’ Facebook page.