A group of Scouts from Kingston travelled to the US to represent Britain in the World Scout Jamboree, which began this week.

The event will see 5,000 UK Scouts, including Unit 27, (The Swan and Fox) from Kingston, join a total of 40,000 members of the youth movement from across the world for a week of activities and team-building between July 23 and August 2.

Jointly hosted by Scouts from the USA, Mexico and Canada, the Jamboree itself will take place in rural US state of West Virginia, under the theme "Unlock a new world."

Chief Scout and renowned survival expert Bear Grylls said that the Kingstonian Scouts and their comrades from the Greater South West London contingent were among the "brightest and best" in the movement and praised the opportunities they would experience in the coming days.

"Scouts from South West London... are some of our brightest and best and every one of them will be an ambassador for the Scouts, the UK’s largest mixed movement, helping prepare girls and boys with skills for life.

"World Scout Jamborees only happens every four years and tens of thousands of Scouts attend each one. They are incredible festivals of peace, friendship and adventure.

"Young people will make friends for life with people from over 150 countries, experience different food, language and culture while learning new skills. It will be the journey of a lifetime.

"The 2019 Jamboree... 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," Mr Grylls said.

Two Kingstonian Scouts — Anna Ward and Ed Whitehouse (pictured) — discussed their excitement ahead of flying to New York on Saturday (July 20).

"We are looking forward to meeting people from all over the world, whilst taking part in a range of activities that we'd never get the chance to do otherwise!”.

Ed added: "This is not only my first trip to North America, but also my first time on a plane!"

According to their itinerary, the South West London contingent flew to New York on Saturday, where they stayed for 24 hours before heading to West Virginia for the Jamboree itself.

Founded in 1907, the Scouts are the world's largest youth movement, with over 638,000 members in the UK and over 50 million worldwide.

For more information about the UK Team at this year's Jamboree, visit www.scouts.org.uk/wsj