Jamboree in Korea - Global Controversy
Jamboree in Korea - Global Controversy
  • Reporter Yang Seo-Yeon
  • 승인 2023.09.06 11:32
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▲The campsite of the World Scout Jamboree / The Seoul Newspaper
▲The campsite of the World Scout Jamboree / The Seoul Newspaper

  On Aug. 1, the 25th World Scout Jamboree opened in Saemangeum, Jeollabuk-Do. The World Scout Jamboree is a youth international camping competition held every four years by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and this Jamboree reached a highest all-time scale with about 43,000 participants from 152 countries. However, this Jamboree has received tremendous criticism from day one and has caused various controversies.
  On the day of the opening ceremony, participants suffered from thermal diseases that continued to occur due to the hot heat wave. Since Saemangeum is a reclaimed land created by reclamation, there is no space to avoid the scorching sun of hot summer because it is a field without a single tree. As a result, the organizing committee created shade shelters everywhere, but it was not able to solve the fundamental heat problem. There was also a problem that patients could not be treated properly due to poor medical facilities and a lack of medical personnel and drugs. From Aug. 1 to 3, at least 500 patients with thermal diseases were recorded.
Many participants complained of inconveniences because the facilities were not properly prepared. Rainwater from the rainy season did not drain out, so it was muddy everywhere, and the organizing committee urgently put 100,000 plastic pallets in place after heavy rain in May to put tents on them. In the end, participants had no choice but to set up tents in a poor mosquitoe infested environment in hot sunlight with water holes caused by heavy rain. Additional facilities, such as shower rooms and toilets, were also poor. They suffered further inconveniences due to poorly secured privacy stalls in the shower rooms and an absurd lack of toilets.
  In response to this situation, delegates from around the world gathered on Aug. 5 to hold a meeting, and it was decided that the Jamboree would be held until the end as scheduled. The government supported additional cleaning, management, and medical services. 
  However, due to the influence of Typhoon Khanun, each country decided to continue their Jamboree experience in other parts of Korea and left the campsite sequentially from the morning of Aug. 8. The remaining schedule was carried out in various regions. The Jamboree competition, the center of controversy from the beginning, ended with a K-pop performance on the last day.
  Even though the Jamboree was held after a long preparation period, it became controversial worldwide due to poor facilities and inappropriate responses. The actions of passing on each other’s responsibilities without admitting their wrongdoings should be severely criticized, and I hope that the Korean government has learned valuable lessons about responsibility and the proper mindset when preparing for a global event.