Maia Seymour (17), one of 40 Scouts from Lincolnshire at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in the USA
A South Holland teenager is in for a summer of a lifetime visiting the USA.
Maia Seymour (17) is one of 40 Scouts from Lincolnshire to have flown off to the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.
About 40,000 Scouts from around the world, including 5,000 from across the UK, will experience two weeks of activities and friendship at the international event which is held every four years.
Maia, a sixth-former at Bourne Grammar School, said: "I couldn’t believe it when I actually jumped on the plane, with an airport full of Scouts, after having counted down the days until we left.
"I finished packing two weeks ago and all the while I was thinking 'I don’t live in a city and I've never been to one without my parents'.
"The people I am with in the USA have become my closest friends, but I can’t wait to make more friends with Scouts from all over the world.
"We have skills to share and food to taste so it’s going to be awesome."
For the first time ever, three associations are co-hosting the Jamboree, Scout Mexico, Scout Canada and Boy Scouts of the America.
The event is taking place at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, a mountain-based community in the West Virginian suburb of Glen Jean.
Before arriving at their base for two weeks, UK Scouts spent a day in New York where they learned to find their way around "The Big Apple".
Maia, an ex-Scout and now a Young Leader for the Cubs at 4th Spalding Scout Group, said: "I'm looking forward to making loads of friends across the world and trying new things I don’t get to do at home, especially the white water rafting.
"I'm also looking forward to another big city experience when we’ll be visiting Washington DC."
To take part in the Jamboree, Scouts across the UK like Maia had to raise a total of £14million towards the trip, giving up a total of 2.3million hours in doing so.
TV adventurer Bear Grylls, UK Chief Scout, said: "World Scout Jamborees only happen every four years and tens of thousands of Scouts attend each one.
"This year, Scouts from Lincolnshire have travelled 3,800 miles to West Virginia, USA, for the 24th World Scout Jamboree.
"These are some of our brightest and best and every one of them will be an ambassador for the Scouts, the UK’s largest mixed youth movement, helping to prepare girls and boys with skills for life.
"World Scout Jamborees are incredible festivals of peace, friendship and adventure where young people will make friends for life, while experiencing different food, language, culture and learning new skills.
"The theme this year is 'Unlock a New World', focusing particularly on how we can create a sustainable world together and for Scouts everywhere, it will be the journey of a lifetime."