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Scouting the World

explanatory Essay
759 words
759 words
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Scouting the World

It was July 2000, when it started. Colorful flags of 14 nations gently flapped under a blue Canadian sky. In a field, 1500 young people from around the world assembled in uniform for the opening ceremonies of the sixth worldwide jamboree of the Polish Scouting Organization. I was among the scouts proudly representing the USA. It was only my first "international" experience, but one that was the start of an unforgettable multicultural adventure. And standing there in that field, I felt it starting.

I had not traveled far from home, but it seemed I was visiting lands from afar - France, Argentina, Australia, Poland. Talking to the scouts, being in the presence of youth from all around the globe put me in their world.

Even though we were hosted by Canadians, Polish was the indispensable language of communication at this jamboree. Yes, among our friends we used our own language, but when we spoke to the other scouts, the Polish Austalians, Polish Danes, Polish Germans, there was only one language to use, one we all shared - Polish. For two weeks we bonded through both the scouting experience and our Polish heritage. We discovered that in many ways, we were the same and yet there was a distinct flavor to each nation's group, revealing its cultural individuality - be it in song, verbal expressions, or in just the way they interacted with each other. I was amazed at how comfortable I felt in this setting and it sparked my desire - I wanted to experience it more.

In two weeks, I formed lifetime friendships that crossed many countries' borders and since then, we have been exchanging letters. Later that summer, I was lucky to travel to Rome for the World Youth Day 2000 whe...

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...chool students from across the world came together to share ideas and interact socially. I was thrilled when my project won awards in this distinguished fair, but especially touched because it was for a subject close to my heart.

It is hard to believe that my yearlong multicultural odyssey, which started on that sunny Canadian field, ended at an international science fair. Meeting so many young people from around the globe made me gain a fresh perspective of my own cultural experience, as well as that of others. It opened my eyes, and I learned that we each have our own unique cultural identity, which is constantly being shaped and hopefully, enriched. Such cross-cultural encounters inspire an appreciation of diversity, strengthening a real human connection we all share, and how significant a lesson that is for me, at only 17 years of age, to have learned.

In this essay, the author

  • Recounts how they were among the scouts proudly representing the usa at the sixth worldwide jamboree of the polish scouting organization.
  • Explains that they had not traveled far from home, but it seemed they were visiting lands from afar - france, argentina, australia, poland. talking to the scouts, being in the presence of youth from all around the globe put them in their world.
  • Describes how they bonded through the scouting experience and their polish heritage. they discovered that in many ways, they were the same and yet there was a distinct flavor to each nation's group, revealing its cultural individuality.
  • Describes how they formed friendships that crossed many countries' borders and exchanging letters. later that summer, they traveled to rome for the world youth day 2000 for a one-of-a-kind spiritual encounter.
  • Explains that they felt reenergized to look at the world around them in a new light. their experience afforded them the opportunity to be both observer and participant in two cultures simultaneously.
  • Recalls that their father had saved an interesting psychology article about the "bilingual brain", which sparked their interest.
  • Explains their project to study language skills of both early bilinguals and monolinguals, and how they felt a bond with friends from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
  • Describes their yearlong multicultural odyssey, which started on sunny canadian field, ended at an international science fair. meeting so many young people from around the globe made them gain a fresh perspective of their own cultural experience.
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