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Barrie teen reflects on challenging, unforgettable experience at scout jamboree in South Korea

Thousands of young scouts evacuated at the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea earlier this month due to a storm and heat wave still said it was a positive experience, including 16-year-old Joseph Krupa of Barrie.

"Once we got to the Jamboree site within a couple of days, a lot of activities had been cancelled because of the heat, and a lot of people were in the hospitals they had there because of heat exhaustion," says Kempenfelt Bay scout Joseph Krupa.

Due to the weather conditions, countries like the UK and the U.S. immediately pulled their scouts out.

The Canadian scouts stayed six days before being bussed back to a university dorm in Seoul, cutting the jamboree short.

"Most of them were okay with it. There were a couple of kids that were definitely upset because they wanted to do a bit more trading with other people at the jamboree," said Krupa.

"The relocation was because of a typhoon that was inbound to South Korea, and so the right decision for the safety of young people to relocate to other parts of South Korea," explained Scouts Canada CEO Liam Burns.

The World Scout Jamboree happens every four years, with this year's event hosting 50 thousand attendees, including 240 Canadian scouts.

"You create a small town for two weeks, and so they always come with challenges. I think the difficulty with this jamboree was those challenges compounded," said Burns.

Even with the unexpected turn of events, Beverly Krupa, Joseph's mom, said she wasn't too worried, adding she was in contact with him every day.

"As a mom, you can tell when your son is sad and upset and everything, and he was always cheerful, saying he had done this and that and it was hard we couldn't do this. But he always seemed upbeat," she noted.

In lieu of jamboree activities, the Canadian scouts were able to sightsee and experience Korean culture.

Krupa said the experience taught him some valuable lessons.

"Life is unpredictable. Sometimes, I guess, because we weren't expecting any of that. We went there, and all that happened, so we had to learn to adapt and kinda go with the flow," he said.

The next World Scout Jamboree will take place in Poland in four years' time. Krupa said he hopes to attend again but this time as a scout leader. Top Stories

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