The Korea Scout Association (KSA) will host the 25th World Scout Jamboree in 2023. Image used under Creative Commons licensing from World Scouting.

Centro Mondial, Bringing Scouting to the World

The Jamboree will be filled with scouting adventures of every flavor. Some of these, like adventure and outdoor skills, may come more readily to mind than others. But, as the UK Scout Association’s tagline reminds us, Scouting is not just about knots and tents, but “Skills for Life.” Centro Mondial’s programming looks at the world and how Scouting can prepare us to take it by storm.

With fewer than 90 days to the Jamboree, Meghan Pierson and Andrew Miller, Centro Mondial area leads, are starting to see years of work come together to form a program with no real “analog to other World Jamboree or National Jamboree programs.” Centro Mondial, they told us in a recent interview, is about preparing scouts for “living the Scout Promise & Law throughout the rest of their lives.”

Of course, camping and high adventure are a blast, and of central importance to the Scouting program, but Scouting doesn’t end when we inevitably take off our uniforms and go to school, work, and the rest of our lives. The idea behind Centro Mondial is to provide a space where scouts can engage with global topics in a very real way, topics that “go from the enduring, like Faith and Beliefs, to the cutting edge, like 3-D Printing.” To that point, Andrew and Meghan emphasize that Centro Mondial will not simply be a collection of cool things for people to “ooh” and “aah” at, but “an exploration of skills and concepts that will carry our participants through the rest of the century.”

Centro Mondial has three parts: Faith and Beliefs, Living in the 21st Century, and North American Dream. Faith and Beliefs, as we discussed in an earlier post here, will be an opportunity to engage with the various faith traditions through which we engage with the world. This will be a great spot to learn about others’ faiths and philosophies and to share your own. Living in the 21st Century will look at the central questions of the modern world and how we can actively engage with them. Central themes will include Food, Exploration, Communication and Media, Transportation, and the Future of Work. Finally, North American Dream will look at what North Americans value, taking a particularly close look at what the three host countries share and how they differ.

Living in the 21st Century

The framing for Living in the 21st Century is set to provide an integrated view of how we live our lives, interweaving jobs, hobbies, STEM, sustainability, conservation, ethics, and inclusion, rather than covering them in isolation. For example, explains Andrew, “Scouts don’t live their lives saying, ‘now I’m going to do Conservation, now I’m going to do STEM.’ They say, ‘I’m going to go to the store, how am I going to get there? I’m going to buy food, what food should I buy? I read something on social media, what is it actually saying? I’m going to start a career, how do I choose one that will support me and my family until I retire? How can I turn my passion into a job?’”

The program emphasizes the need for equality and equity on a global, but also local, level by pushing participants to think about how they should include the differing needs of others in everything they design, discuss, and do in the future. For example, scouts will have a chance to look at the roles dyslexia plays in questions of Communication and Media. Transportation will ask, among other things, how do we make sure everyone is included in how we move around? Food will ask, are the ways we feed our community meeting everyone’s needs?

This is not to say that Living in the 21st Century is just a bunch of folks sitting around asking big questions; it will be an energetic area of shakers and movers who are actively forming the future of our world and want to include scouts in that process. Experts will be present to help you engage with space exploration (with NASA as a guest exhibitor), a Virtual Reality exploration of our environments, genetic research, a collaboration with the Washington DC-based Newseum (focusing on Social Media), an Escape-room-esque Exploration Trail, a television studio and radio communications station, and the Out of Eden walk, along with various sustainability projects to name just a few. In addition, according to Meghan, the STEM content of this Jamboree has been expanded “beyond belief” from previous Jamborees. This is going to be the place to get you excited about the future.

North American Dream

North American Dream started with the idea of a Culture Area, a common program element at World Jamborees, and, as with the other elements of the Jamboree program, it was taken to the next level. “In North American Dream, we’re trying to explore our commonalities and our differences in more than just social cultures. We’re looking to create dialogue around the values, economic systems, natural resources – some of the big topics that manifest themselves, similarly and uniquely, in our three countries,” say Meghan and Andrew. This is no small task. After all, “our host nations have an incredible amount of diversity.”

For us North Americans, this is both a chance to deeply connect with scouts from various corners of the world regarding some questions particularly relevant to our home continent and to share our experiences with new friends. As Meghan puts it, “Just because you hold a certain value, perhaps a belief in entrepreneurship for example, and are from North America, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t contribute to the dialogue and enrich your perspective about this diverse landscape.”

Some of the topics to be covered in North American Dream include interconnectedness and globalization, innovation, civil liberties, entrepreneurship, market economics and the roles of financial systems, natural resources, and peoples’ cultures. These are big topics that you will have a rare opportunity to discuss with people of vastly different perspectives. When else might you be able to hear what someone from each of the other continents feels about capitalism? Or our natural resources?

Overall, Centro Mondial will be an amazing place to take what you’ve learned in scouting and apply it in the rest of your life. In Andrew’s words, it “will help scouts strengthen and challenge their views, look at elements of global trends in a new way, and consider the future path of their lives with an expanded perspective.” Meghan, reflecting on Centro Mondial as well as the Jamboree as a whole, is hoping that, “it helps each of us discover so many other ways to embrace scouting and how it can infiltrate every element of one’s life.” See you there!

The post was originally posted on May 2, 2019 by

Ben Beese

US Contingent Webmaster

The post was originally posted on May 2, 2019 by

Ben Beese

US Contingent Webmaster

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