Paul Plunkett, 14, and his father, Kent, will be traveling to Thailand to for the World Boy Scout Jamboree
Photo by Andrew Davis TuckerPaul Plunkett soon will embark on the experience of a lifetime. At least it will be the greatest adventure the 14-year-old Evans resident has participated in to date.
Plunkett, a Boy Scout since he was 10, will attend the World Scout Jamboree in Thailand for two weeks, leaving tomorrow and joining more than 25,000 scouts from around the world.
More than 130 countries will be represented at the 20th World Scout Jamboree, with 4,000 to 6,000 staff members manning various stations. Paul's father, Kent Plunkett of Augusta, will be among the people returning to the world jamboree as a staffer. He and Blake Hart of Aiken will be attending their second world jamboree as staff members. The elder Plunkett, who has earned scouting's highest honor of Eagle Scout, attended the World Scout Jamboree in Japan in 1971.
"The friendships you get from scouting are unlike anything sports will do for you," said Mr. Plunkett. "It's a wonderful learning experience."
The theme for this year's World Scout Jamboree is Share Our World, Share Our Cultures. According to the Web site set up for the 2003 jamboree, the event is a "unique opportunity for young people from all around the world to take part in this world event in Scouting spirit of sharing, living and learning our cultural diversity."
Paul, who will celebrate his 15th birthday while in Thailand, is looking forward to learning more about the culture of Thailand and other countries as he meets scouts from across the globe. In addition, Plunkett is eager to experience rafting and canoeing on the Indian Ocean and providing assistance to people in Thailand's local villages.
"I would like to meet a lot of people from all the different countries," said Plunkett, a freshman at Greenbrier High School. "I want to try some of the food over there, too."
Attending major scouting events is not uncommon for Paul, who backpacked 65 miles in New Mexico at the Philmont Scout Ranch this year and attended the 2001 National Jamboree in Fredericksburg, Va. He currently is working to identify a project for his Eagle Scout badge. While he anticipates his impending trip to Thailand, his father is eager to be attending his second World Scout Jamboree and share in the experience with his son.
"I am living my experience again through Paul," said Mr. Plunkett, who has also attended two National Jamborees. "It's just a big celebration."
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