A GLOBETROTTING Scout from Halstead has travelled 4,000 miles for a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of youngsters.

Megan Stoney, 15, is one of the 5,000 British Scouts to pull up their tent pegs and make for hills of West Virginia for the 24th World Scout Jamboree.

On the trip, she has rubbed shoulders with 45,000 explorers from almost every country in the world, swapping skills and stories against the picturesque north American backdrop.

Megan said: “We are having an amazing time here at the World Scout Jamboree.

“We have been white water rafting. We were with lots of people from all around the world and it was great to try and communicate with them when we didn’t speak each other’s languages.

“We have spent the last year preparing for the jamboree, learning new skills and making new friends and it is amazing to finally be here and experience everything the Jamboree has to offer.”

Megan was joined on her walkabout by friend Isabella Crawford.

She said: “My favourite part of the jamboree is just meeting everyone, all the different cultures, learning and trying new things.”

The two-week event, which runs from July 23 to August 2, was opened by the UK’s Chief Scout and TV survival expert Bear Grylls.

He said: “World Scout jamborees only happen every four years and tens of thousands of Scouts attend each one.

“Young people will make friends for life with people from over 150 countries, experience different food, language and culture while learning new skills.

“This is set to be one of the biggest and most exciting yet. The theme is ‘unlock a new world’ – focusing especially on how we can create a sustainable world together.”

Scouting was founded in 1907 and has grown to become the world’s largest youth movement.

In anticipation of this year’s Jamboree, participants raised a combined £14 million to attend the event and clocked up 2.3 million hours of fundraising, while the 5,000-strong UK contingent put in 48,000 days of pre-event training between them.