Tarrell Matlock is excited to be traveling overseas this summer, sans parents, with a contingent of the Boy Scouts of America. He'll be going out of the country, something he's never done, and visiting places he's never seen with people he's never met.
His mom, Jennifer Matlock, won't be going with her son, a Central Middle School student, when he travels to Chelmsford, Essex, in England, next month. "I get to see it in their pictures," she said.
Those pictures will probably show some of the 40,000 Boy Scouts from around the world coming together to camp, tour England and participate in scouting activities as part of the 21st World Scout Jamboree --- an event that comes around once every four years in which few Scouts get to participate.
Just seven Scouts from the Winnebago Council, which includes 17 counties in northeast Iowa, were accepted into the Central Region contingent of around 32 boys. Those Scouts and their leaders will depart for the Jamboree July 26 and return Aug. 11.
Kyle Shock, who along with Tarrell is in Boy Scout Troop 116, has been to the National Jamboree before but said this will be his first World Jamboree. Tarrell and Kyle will join Cedar Falls scouts Sean Ford, Sean Hemesath, Ethan Koist and Eric Neill as they and another Clear Lake scout collectively form Troop 304. The troop was created solely for the World Jamboree, and all of the scouts will rejoin their original troops upon their return.
Todd Wordel, the Scout executive at the Winnebago Council, said this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the world Scouting movement. Begun in 1907 in London by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the Boy Scouts have amassed a huge following and held World Jamborees every four years since 1920.
"They're pretty supercharged by what's going on around them," Wordel said.
Scouts paid for the nearly $4,000 trip through popcorn sales and other fundraising, and the Council made up the rest through scholarships. They will stay on a military base for the majority of the trip, and security, especially for the Americans, will be "at an all-time high," said Wordel.
"The international organization, and our own national organization, has gone to great lengths to provide a lifetime experience for these kids. That includes safety as well, and they do a remarkable job of it," he said.