TWIN brothers George and Will Lister from Whitley will be jetting off to the United States of America in 2019 on the adventure of a lifetime.

The 13-year-olds have both been selected to join a 45-contingent from Wiltshire taking part in the International Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.

They are the first Scouts from the 1st Broughton Gifford and Holt Scout Group to go to an International Jamboree since the 1995 jamboree in Holland.

George and Will were “beyond excited” to find they had both been selected to go. George said: “When I opened the letter I was amazed that I got through and I was lost for words. I can’t wait to go and experience so many amazing new things and meet new friends.”

Will added: “When I first opened the letter I was really excited because as soon as I read ‘Congratulations” I knew I had got in. I’d been out all day playing football so everyone was waiting for me to open it.”

Seven Scouts from West Wiltshire have been selected – two from 1st Broughton Gifford and Holt Scout Group, two from Bradford on Avon, two from Trowbridge and one from Warminster.

In total, 4,500 Scouts will be going from the UK, and the International Jamboree – which is held every four years - will attract more than 40,000 Scouts from all over the world.

The 2019 International Jamboree in West Virginia is being organised by the Scouts of North America, including the USA, Canada and Mexico, from July 22 - August 2, 2019. George and Will are looking forward to the chance to meet and work with Scouts from countries all around the world and to the many new experiences that will bring them.

When the jamboree is over, they will also have the opportunity to extend their trip by staying with a family in USA or Canada for a few days before flying home to the UK.

The twins, who will be close to 15 by the time the jamboree begins, have been involved in Scouting at Broughton Gifford since joining Beavers when they were six years old.

Their mother, Alison Candlin, said: “They’re really intrepid, outdoor boys who have always enjoyed the camps and nights away they have had with Scouts, from sleeping with sharks at Plymouth Aquarium in Beavers to PGL and camps at Potterne with Cubs and longer camps under canvas, often on greenfield sites with no facilities, with the Scouts.

“This year’s summer camp in Dorset was a real highlight for Will, with coasteering and other water activities on the programme. George’s favourite camp so far remains his first Scout camp in 2015 in an idyllic farmer’s field alongside the River Usk in Brecon.”

The boys are now busily thinking of ways to earn money as each needs to raise around £4,000 to pay for their flights and jamboree costs as well as helping to pay for a scout from a developing nation to attend.

The boys have already started planning how they are going to raise the funds. Will said: “For fundraising, I’m hoping to do a 24-hour bike ride with my brother in the spring.

“I’m also hoping to do a craft market and I’m doing jobs around the village. It’s going to be a challenge raising that money but it’ll be worth it for the trip of a lifetime.”

Alison said: “They’re going to need all the help they can get to raise their money, particularly coming from one family - there are only so many times you can reasonably fleece Grandma for mowing her lawn!

“They are getting busy making items out of wood and paracord that they can sell at craft markets, rolling up their sleeves to wash cars and help neighbours with gardening and odd jobs, and planning some bigger events, too, such as a 24 hour bike marathon and bag packing at local supermarkets.

“They would welcome the support of local businesses and organisations or anyone with an ingenious fund-raising idea that might help them on their way.”


The first stage was to complete an application form, answering questions about their proudest Scouting moment, what they hope to get out of the jamboree and what the jamboree motto - Unlock a new world - meant to them.

‘Challenge’ and ‘adventure’ were words that featured heavily in both their applications. Both have never been this far from home before, so it really is an adventure for them to travel to a new world.

In mid-October they were invited to attend a weekend selection camp at the Wiltshire Scout Centre in Potterne Wick, along with around 110 other hopeful Scouts, Explorer Scouts, Air Cadets and Sea Scouts, where they were assessed on their teamwork and scouting skills.

Their father, John Lister, one of the Scout Group’s leaders, said: ”They had a terrific weekend of team exercises, including a pioneering project to build a jamboree gateway from wood, orienteering, and a Crystal Maze-inspired challenge earning time in which to build a fire and try to burn through a length of string above it.”

The itinerary for the 2019 International Jamboree has a very enticing website showcasing the action-packed activities that might be available to them, including white water rafting, high octane mountain biking and the longest zip wire they have ever seen.

While they are both apprehensive at the thought of going so far from home with a group of people they don’t know, and daunted by the prospect of raising the money to pay for it, the thrill of being able to visit another country and meet scouts from around the world - all without their parents cramping their style – has outweighed their reservations.