SAVANNAH — David Porter traveled with a contingent of Boy Scouts to the World Jamboree last summer in Kirarahama, Japan, where he was one of more than 30,000 Scouts and leaders from 161 countries.
Porter, 16, a junior at Richmond Hill High School and member of Boy Scout Troop 486, is a Life Scout — one rank below Eagle Scout. Having been in Scouting since he was 7, Porter was enthusiastic about being selected to participate in the World Scout Jamboree, which was held for 12 days in late July and early August.
For Porter, who enjoys camping, canoeing and gaming, the trip was his first outside of the United States. He began preparing more than a year in advance to be part of Jamboree Troop 40, composed of Scouts from the 11-state Southern Region of the Boy Scouts of America. Prior to the trip, the 36 Scouts and four leaders of the troop converged in Atlanta, where they met each other.
While in Japan, Porter visited Hiroshima and neighboring towns, where he experienced Japanese culture and cuisine, swam at a nearby beach, viewed exhibits from around the world, participated in a variety of international events, and traded Scout badges. According to Porter, the American-flag badge and the Boy Scouts of America uniform shirt were in high demand by traders from other countries. He reports that his most-memorable trades were with Scouts from Switzerland and Sweden.
Porter said it was an “experience of a lifetime.
“It promotes international goodwill, eliminates national borders, exposes Scouts to other ways of doing things and reveals that common stereotypes are not always true,” he said.