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During 2010, 1,500 young adults from all around the world gathered on Rowallan Camp in Kenya for the 13th World Scout Moot.

I traveled to Kenya with 32 other Rover Scouts from Australia, (a Rover Scout is aged 18-26), where we camped for a little over a week, participating in world leadership programs, cultural exchanges and one hell of an international party.

Though a large part of the moot (camp) was dedicated to volunteer efforts within the local community. The group I was associated with during this camp was assigned to volunteer in local primary schools, which was a life changing experience for all involved.

The time we were African celebrities. Volunteering in local Kenyan schools.

The time we were African celebrities. Volunteering in local Kenyan schools.

By our western standards, these kids were living in poverty. Yet they were genuinely happy. They had clothes on their back, they were receiving an education, and they were genuinely excited to spend time with us. It really put our first world problems into perspective.

They were so fascinated with us, I’m quite certain were the first westerners they had ever experienced. We were genuinely celebrities, which was a surreal experience!

Upon saying goodbye, never before in my life have I been mobbed by so many who genuinely didn’t want me to leave. And the paparazzi was out in full force.  The experience may have changed my life more than it did theirs. Read more about why travel makes me thankful.

For those looking for a safe way to break into International Volunteering, consider joining the World Scouting Movement. The opportunities are truly endless.

About Meg Jerrard

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

    12 Comments

  1. Those lifechanging experiences are so precious. I’ve always wanted to do volunteer work and the way you describe it, it sounds like a rewarding experience for everyone involved.

    • It truly is such a rewarding experience. I highly recommend international volunteering; have loved every moment I’ve spent in the different programs I’ve taken part in.

      Feel free to shoot me an email if you want any more info on how to get involved – we’ve also got a category in the big black navigation bar above under travel tips with articles on Volunteering Abroad :)

  2. Wow, I can imagine how this could be life changing. I sometimes substitute teach in Chicago and they are only happy to see me because I represent no work for the day.

    • That’s awesome! Lol I had to laugh at the substitute teacher bit, because it’s true! We always used to love our subs because they would never make us do any work!!

  3. Sounds like a great organization that does a good job introducing people to volunteer travel.

    • Scouts is a truly great organization – the opportunities for international volunteerism are amazing!

  4. That video is incredible, those kids are cheerful, but for some reason make me sad. So good that people like you come visit them!

    • It brings on very mixed emotions – sad that they live in poverty, but their smiles and happiness is so overwhelming. It was a very emotional visit.

  5. This must have been an eye-opening and beautiful experience for sure! Volunteering abroad really is special. Thanks for sharing a little of it!

    • It truly was. I can’t get enough of international volunteering – it’s truly the best way to travel and experience the world while giving a little back at the same time.

    • Thanks Margherita – it really was a treasured moment and I’ll always remember it as one of the best experiences I had abroad!

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