Worthing girl shares first trip abroad with 45,000 other people
Worthing teenager Niamh Dignan's first trip abroad is one to remember, as she has shared it with around 45,000 other young people at the World Scout Jamboree.
Niamh, 16, has spent two weeks in West Virginia, learning knew skills and meeting people from nearly every country in the world.
She said: "I visited an Irish unit and was met with the Irish Scouts chanting and singing and dancing an Irish Scout song. The atmosphere was incredible.
"I have never been abroad before, so this whole experience of living so close to other cultures is breathtaking. It just shows how diverse the world is.
"There is so much respect for everyone’s individual culture here at the jamboree. It’s helping me build up a tolerance for other people."
Another Worthing Scout at the jamboree, Ciara Ingold, 17, says the skills she has learned will be useful for her future.
She took part in a world culture day, meeting lots of different people in a short space of time. She said she made lots of new friends, mainly from America and Italy.
Ciara feels she has improved in valuable skills for life, such as fundraising, communicating and budgeting, and said this will be hand for her in the future.
Leaders from Worthing were also selected for the UK team, including 25-year-old assistant Explorer Scouts leader Michael Priest.
He said: "It's amazing to get to show young people who have only really experienced one type of culture to so many others. I have seen Niamh develop since we have got here, becoming a lot more confident and outgoing.
"It’s also great to see her bringing back new friends from all corners of the globe for tea and dinner, they are all relaxed and just having fun."
Michael has been involved in Scouting since he was a Beaver but this was his first jamboree. He is also one of the first youth commissioners for West Sussex Scouts.