A big journey ahead…

I am heading to South Korea. Not on a holiday. A much bigger adventure than that and with the weight of guiding the adventure of 36 young people that are going with me. For the last ten or more years, I have been a Scout Leader. I have been on many scout camps in my time but this one will be the biggest one by far – 25th World Scout Jamboree.

For the 36 young people, it is a once in life time opportunity. You can only be a participant between the ages of 14 and 18. World Scout Jamborees happen once every four years so you get one bite at the cherry. I am one of four leaders supporting the Scouts selected from British Scouting Overseas Scouts on their once in a lifetime trip. What a weight on our shoulders.

Volunteering is good for the soul and all the more so when it allows you to have adventures, be outdoors and work with young people. It keeps you grounded and helps to keep you playing – as a great writer said ‘ You don’t stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing.’

In preparing the unit for their experience, we need to give them a taste of the country that they are heading to and one of the exciting part of this for me is exploring the foods and flavours of the place. It’s a bit trickier for us compared to other UK contingents who all live close to each other. We have Scouts and Guides in Malaysia, the Middle East and all over Europe. All our meetings are on-line.

On camp, we will be provided boxes of food that we will have to cook ourselves – the chances are high that there may be some unfamiliar ingredients in the boxes, some recipes that we may not have come across before – so why not start exploring Korean food now.

The first challenge set is to make Kimchee, simply explained as a spicy Korean sauerkraut – fermented vegetables with Korean chilli flakes, garlic and ginger. I am looking forward to using it in some Korean dishes.

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