Just a few weeks after he was ordained Priest at Wells Cathedral, Revd James Bell-Winfrow is off to the 24th World Scout Jamboree in America as Chaplain. James, who is Somerset Scouts’ County Chaplain, is going to the Jamboree as the English sub camp Chaplain and will be part of the International Service Team.
The Jamboree in West Virginia is jointly hosted by the USA, Mexico and Canada, and is set to be one of the largest jamborees with 40,000 young people coming from more than 160 countries.
James talks about his role. “The 24th World Scout Jamboree provides a once-in-a-lifetime setting for Scouts aged 14-18 to explore Duty to God, Duty to Scouting, and Duty to the World. The Faith and Beliefs program is a hallmark program of the World Scout Jamboree, designed to facilitate the sharing of religious and spiritual worldviews between those who live said worldviews and those who are curious about them.
As a Chaplain I am the public face of God, living and telling God’s story to the Young People and their leaders at the Jamboree. As a member of a team of chaplains I will help with:
- Spiritual Guidance – If somebody needs to talk to someone? If someone has a question about faith? We will be easy to find. We will be sharing a tent in every subcamp and around the jamboree site with the Listening Ears personnel, so anyone can stop in and talk.
- Corporate Worship – The chaplaincy team is working closely with the World Scout Jamboree Faith and Beliefs area to provide worship services during the jamboree.
- Individual Worship – including daily devotions. There will be a special Jamboree devotional guide for Scouts to best take advantage of the personal and spiritual growth opportunities.
The Faith and Beliefs program is a hallmark program of the World Scout Jamboree designed to facilitate the sharing of religious and spiritual worldviews between those who live said worldviews and those who are curious about them.
It is also an exciting opportunity to help those taking part to connect spirituality with their Scouting. The Faith and Beliefs area will emphasize the connective nature of spirituality, and how our worldviews bring people together.
At a time and in a world when it seems we are more divided, especially internationally and interreligiously, than ever before, this may seem a tall order, yet central to the World Jamboree’s magic lies an ability for any difference to connect people rather than separate them.
The Faith and Beliefs area will tap into this essential spirit of the Jamboree by encouraging scouts to discover a myriad of worldviews different from their own, discovering both commonalities and new perspectives. ”