By Trent Madsen, For the Deseret News
RINKABY, Sweden — One hundred sixty Utah Boy Scouts were in the presence of 40,000 young men and women of various countries during the 12-day 22nd World Scout Jamboree held in Rinkaby, Sweden. The event, which is held every four years, began on July 27 and ended Saturday night with a closing ceremony that will be a lasting memory fo those in attendance.
The Jamboree included scouts from more than 160 countries and almost every religion, race and culture. The main goal of the worldwide event was to bring in scouts from all corners of the earth to communicate and educate each other about their lifestyles and cultures and to make new international friendships.
The last Thursday of the Jamboree was designated for this purpose, as it was the cultural festival day. Scouts went around the whole camp experiencing food, art, customs and cultures from other countries on a day that was capped off by a concert that included some of the most popuolar Swedish music stars.
World peace was another goal of this year's Jamboree. Module activities were held every day to educate the young people of the world to respect themselves, other peoples and the planet that we live on. Most of all, the Jamboree's purpose was to provide an environment for the youth of the world to come together and have fun.
A theme that repeated itself frequently was the promotion of what youth can do in their respective areas of the world, one small step at a time. The Utah scouts from the Salt Lake Valley made a large contribution in comparison to the rest of the camp, despite being very small in number.
Ten Utah scouts really wanted to make a difference in the world through their actions. The scouts believe that by giving a helping hand at least once a day, they can change the world for the better. They were awarded the Venturing Bronze Award at the camp by President Gibson of the General Young Men’s Presidency of the LDS Church.
Just like any big event, there was a closing ceremony that was characterized by some as “unbelievable.” Many European singing stars sang for the crowd of 40,000, and the appearance of the King of Sweden made for more excitement at the celebration. After he spoke, a performance by a Swedish band so big they are named after a continent — Europe — played for the scouts to close out the 22nd World Scout Jamboree by singing their signature song, “The Final Countdown.”
The host country of Sweden passed on to Japan on Saturday night as the Jamboree in Sweden officially closed.
The Utah Scout Contingent is still in Europe and will tour Denmark for two days before returning to the Wasatch Mountains.
Trent Madsen, a scout from Utah, attended the 22nd World Scout Jamboree.