The 19th World Jamboree, organised by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and the Asociación de Guías y Scouts de Chile took place over Christmas 1998 in Chile. A contingent of Irish Scouts travelled to Chile just as they’ve travelled to World Jamborees in Holland, Korea, Australia, Canada and Norway. Mark Casey of the De La Salle Venturer Group was selected by the Waterford and South Kilkenny Region of Scouting Ireland CSI to become a part of that contingent, which joined 34,000 Scouts from over 150 countries. The site of the jamboree was 61km south of Santiago on a specially acquired hacienda called Picarquin.

The theme of the Jamboree was ‘Building Peace together’ and on the 1st January 1999 a Rally for Peace took place at the Jamboree. During the rest of the event the programme covered the whole Scout programme, from outdoor adventure to global awareness and some activities also had a social character. As well as the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies there were sub camp festivals and Global Development Villages (200 workshops about the environment, international co-operation, national folklore etc.) There were opportunities to give help where possible to surrounding local communities. There was also be a mix of overnight treks, camp fires, games, walk-in activities and different exhibitions in the World Scout Centre and a spectacular New Years Eve party.

There were roughly 45 Irish Scouts and Venturers and another 20 or so leaders on the service team. A number created quite a stir with their orange kilts (borrowed from the DLS Pipe band) and the contingent also put on a sketch based on Cuchulain. There was also the odd bodhran and bagpipe spotted among the group. Despite a few organisational hitches at the Jamboree itself (the supermarket and souvenir shops couldn’t quite cope with demand and the lake for the water activities dried up), everything went off very well. The home hospitality in Uruguay and the contact with the Scouts there was also very successful.