Beyond the Build


World Scout Jamboree: Building Better Leaders

Today marked the conclusion of the 24th World Scout Jamboree, where 45,000 Scouts from 167 countries came together at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. For 2 weeks, the Scouts participated in skill challenges, learning a bit more about each other’s countries, enjoying diverse food and more importantly, learning to respect each other’s differences in religion and culture. It was all centered round the Jamboree’s five core principles: adventure, friendship, leadership, service and sustainability. There was also the age-old Scout tradition of “patch trading,” popular as ever.

For me, and the others in our group, our day trip was a visit we will never forget. At least one us got to enjoy a nice meal of fried crickets, another Scouting first for me.

As we were flying home that evening, I could not help but wonder the impact these two weeks had on the Scouts who attended. Who knows what great things they will do in their lives, maybe leading their nations or just helping to make our world a bit better place. Hopefully the largest takeaway was that while we are all different–skin color, culture or religion–we can try to understand each other a bit better and respect the differences. Then, enjoy the possible.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.