Northamptonshire Scouts pay respects to Hiroshima Peace Park during Jamboree trip to Japan

Picture: Northamptonshire Scouts

Picture: Northamptonshire Scouts

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Scouts from Northamptonshire have visited the Peace Park at Hiroshima, the site where the first atomic bomb was dropped 70 years ago.

The Scouts are representing the United Kingdom at the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan.

Taking a break from the vibrant main Jamboree site with its 30,000 participants the Northamptonshire group have been taking part in a moving visit to the Peace Park in the Centre of Hiroshima. This part of the Jamboree programme takes Scouts in mixed groups from almost every nation on earth to experience the solemn and reflective atmosphere created in the Peace Park.

Scout leader Louise Bailey, from Unit 39 “The Cobblers” jamboree contingent, said: “The main Jamboree has been really awesome but this experience will give each and every one of our participating Scouts a chance to reflect upon the need to understand and respect cultural and religious differences and to take practical action to build a more peaceful and tolerant world.

“The first step in this work is to building long-lasting friendships around experiences like this. Since joining the movement as a leader I have had some fantastic experiences but this turning out to be the most thought provoking and moving experience of my life.”

Explorer Scout Ben Prestidge spoke from the ‘Hiroshima Peace Park’: “This has been very moving experience, as a young person I have a duty to make sure that things like this must never happened gain.

“A good way of making that a reality is to learn to respect and understand others cultures, religions and customs.

“When you have lived and worked together for two weeks and shared food and drink it’s really helps understand where people are coming from. That’s why this jamboree is such an important experience,” he added.

The World Scout Jamboree runs until August 8. The unit from Northamptonshire are then visiting the homes of other Scouts across Japan before returning to the UK.