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WWF Teams Welcome Youth to the World Scout Jamboree

The 25th World Scout Jamboree was held in early August, the latest version of the “world's largest youth camp”. Held every four years, the jamboree brings together young people and leaders from countries around the world to share their cultures, enjoy new experiences and develop lasting friendships. This year, the World Scout Jamboree was held in Saemangeum in The Republic of Korea and welcomed more than 40,000 people. WWF-Hong Kong is honoured to have been part of this outstanding event.
The 25thWorld Scout Jamboree in Saemangeum

WWF and the World Organization for the Scouting Movement (WOSM) have a long history of collaboration that stretches back to 1973, a partnership that was strengthened in 2017 with the signing of a Letter of Intent for a Framework Agreement.

This long-standing friendship is helping both organisations mobilise their networks to drive global awareness and action on nature and the environment. Currently, WWF and WOSM are working closely to achieve the Global Biodiversity Framework goals and targets under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through various initiatives and programmes. These include the Earth Tribe and Champions for Nature Challenge, Earth Hour, Scouts for SDGs, and numerous others.
The Boy Scouts of the Philippines at Earth Hour 2019

WWF was invited by WOSM to be an organising partner for the 2023 jamboree. As it took place in Asia, WWF-Hong Kong, WWF-Korea, WWF-Philippines, and WWF-Malaysia – with the support of WWF-International – hosted an education tent at the Ban Ki Moon SDG Village. The space, located within the campsite, was filled with exhibits and talks encouraging young people to learn about global issues and become inspired to take action within their communities. This cross-team collaboration also showcased WWF’s conservation work in different regions and created excellent opportunities for Pandas from around the world to exchange experiences and insights.

The WWF tent included several educational activities hosted by the different offices, including exhibitions, fun talks and interactive games on various conservation topics. Scouts from all over the world learned about nature conservation and enhanced their understanding of different aspects of sustainability from this pan-regional sharing. WWF-Hong Kong hosted an interactive workshop based on Lolo's Flying Journey, a teaching kit that features an iconic species that breeds in Korea – the Black-faced spoonbill – as the main character who talks about the many threats faced by migratory birds.
  An exhibition on marine plastics
  by WWF-Korea
  Sharing about biodiversity
  by WWF-Philippines
  A “Lolo’s Flying Journey” workshop
 hosted by WWF-Hong Kong
The “Building a Sustainable City” game hosted by WWF-Hong Kong
In addition to the education tent, WWF-Hong Kong and WWF-Philippines also hosted two “Campfire Dialogue” sharing sessions with scouts on youth engagement work and migratory bird conservation, with WWF-Hong Kong’s Education Team and members of WWF-Philippines presenting their insights to a full house.
WWF staff sharing insights at the Campfire Dialogue

Despite the challenging weather conditions on site, all visitors were fully engaged in the activities and enjoyed sharing their thoughts and feelings with Pandas from across Asia. And of course the Pandas had a memorable time as well!
Photo of WWF staff with Ban Ki-Moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations at the jamboree

Staff Experience
Vernon Leung, Senior Education Officer at WWF-Hong Kong

Group photo with several scouts after playing the “Building a Sustainable City” game

Most of my work involves educating the public. Joining this year’s World Scout Jamboree helped me meet people from all over the world and broadened my vision. The people I met often had knowledge and experience that was different from mine, and I was always delighted to hear their stories and understand how they came to perceive nature the way they did. I also enjoyed sharing my own experience with people during the activities, and I’m happy that the audience always seemed to be amused and inspired.

On top of running the activities, we also invited visitors to leave personalised messages to encourage people to show they ways in which they care about nature. Their thoughts inspired and touched me, especially as this was the first chance some visitors had ever had to learn about nature – this was their “first touch” of nature conservation. One of my favourite messages left by a visitor was, “If we protect nature, nature will protect us”; this reminded me that inspiring people to save the planet is important not only because nature needs our help – it's also a demonstration of mutual respect between people and nature.
A hanging frame on which visitors could leave messages after taking part in the activities

Another highlight of this trip was the fun and positive working atmosphere created by the Pandas from different regions. We were so glad to have support from WWF-International, and the Korea team were such warm hosts. It was also a sincere pleasure to work and share experiences with our colleagues from the Philippines and Malaysia. The weather was the greatest challenge for all of us at the jamboree, and the number of visitors was much higher than we had expected. Even though this was the first time we had worked in a cross-team environment, we struggled together and helped each other. Hosting an education tent with enormous visitor numbers was not easy, but as Pandas working together, we supported each other and succeeded in the end.
Group photo of the WWF Jamboree team
It was really great working with colleagues from different offices. I met with Dino from WWF-Philippines and we talked about marine wildlife in our home seas. Compared to the Philippines, Hong Kong’s underwater wildlife is less diverse and incredible; but Dino said that WWF-Hong Kong’s education work provides an excellent reference for their team, as our education centres are very impressive. Each team has their own advantages and challenges, and it was inspiring and a source of support to share our experiences with others.

Time flies and this year’s jamboree had to finish earlier than planned due to an approaching typhoon. We didn’t have much time to say goodbye to each other. But I will always remember this time working together and I’m sure we’ll meet again in the future!
Poki Wong and Vernon Leung, representing WWF-Hong Kong at the 2023 World Scout Jamboree


Staff experience
Poki Wong, Education Officer at
WWF-Hong Kong

“Thank you so much. I loved your presentation!”, said one of the scout leaders just after I had finished a short interpretation of “Lolo’s Flying Journey”. My name is Poki and I‘ve been working as an education officer at WWF-Hong Kong for two years. The 25th World Scout Jamboree was my first overseas working experience with WWF, and one of the most satisfying moments of the trip was when I heard those words.

Over the past two months, my colleague Vernon and I, along with other Pandas from Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, and the WWF International Office collaborated and worked hard to make the jamboree a success. Working alongside colleagues from offices in different countries was a new and challenging experience for me, as we had never met before and we all came from different backgrounds and working cultures. Our goal was to conduct interactive activities and create an exhibition at the Ban Ki-Moon SDG Village, putting on workshops about global environmental issues for the participating scouts.

When we were just starting to work together, I was nervous and shy during the first online task force meeting. I was concerned that we might have different opinions or clash about certain things, but I encountered nothing but respect, adaptation and acceptance with everyone – we all tried our best to make things possible and make things happen. This harmonious working atmosphere made me feel much more confident about expressing more of myself. On 31 July, we finally met face to face. It was a magical moment when everything became physical and true after finishing all the set-up work.
A group of young Korean children take part in a Lolo’s Flying Journey workshop. Panda staff from WWF-Korea (left) and WWF-Hong Kong (right) cooperated on the activity.

Interestingly, when we worked together, the language barrier was not a challenge at all. A group of young kids from Korea visited our tent and really wanted to take part in the Lolo’s Flying Journey workshop. I thought it was a good chance to spread conservation messages to young Koreans – after all, Korea is the home of the Black-faced spoonbill, the main character in the game pack! So I worked with a Panda from WWF-Korea – she translated my English into Korean for the kids and the result was a successful workshop. “Together Possible” is not just a slogan, it embodies the way WWF works, and this experience proved that anything is possible if we work together.

Before the jamboree, I would never have thought there could be so many ways to host an activity. We met such diverse audiences – a wide age range, from young kids to elderly people, participants with different levels of English, and scout leaders from different backgrounds and cultures and with different expectations. This was a huge learning experience that immeasurably enhanced my soft skills like flexibility, adaptability and problem-solving.
Two children from Malaysia enjoyed putting animals and infrastructure magnets onto a sustainable city map.
This workshop was originally designed for youths, but we adapted it for all audiences.
In addition to the “Lolo’s Flying Journey” workshop, we also designed a city planning workshop specially for scouts, to facilitate deeper discussions about sustainable development. Though the content was aimed at older youth, these two young kids from a Malaysian family were highly engaged in interacting with the animal magnets. I quickly tried to simplify the content, helping them to match the animals with the right habitats and guiding them to think more about suitable locations for building houses and roads. The parents were delighted to see their kids learn conservation messages in an easy and playful way. This was an important lesson for me – to stay objective and flexible when leading an education activity, and try to focus on the process so I can guide different participants to the same goal in different ways; instead of giving up without trying and thinking that “this is not our target audience” or “the content might be too difficult for them”.

For both Poki and Vernon, the World Scout Jamboree was a milestone event, in their personal lives and in their careers. Not only did they learn that environmental education can transcend cultures and boundaries, but that when knowledge, experience and resources are pooled, anything is “together possible”!