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HomeFinlandFinnish Scouts to Stay at Huge South Korean Camp Despite Sweltering Heat

Finnish Scouts to Stay at Huge South Korean Camp Despite Sweltering Heat

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About 900 Finnish scouts are to remain at a large international campsite in South Korea despite severe heat. Thousands of British and American scouts have been leaving the coastal campsite over the weekend, moving into hotels and a US military base.

This week the country raised its hot-weather warning to the highest level for the first time in four years, with temperatures hovering between 35 and 38 degrees Celsius.

“It has been really hot at the jamboree, but the Finns have done well considering the conditions and the jamboree will continue as planned,” the Guides and Scouts of Finland said in a statement on Saturday.

Four boys erecting a Finnish flag next to a white tent in a grassy area with mountains in the distance.
Scouts set up a Finnish flag at the site on Saturday. Image: Eero Kivinen

Hundreds of participants have been treated for heat-related ailments since the jamboree began Wednesday at the coastal site in Buan as South Korea grapples with one of its hottest summers in years, reports AP.

Some 40,000 scouts from 158 countries, mostly teenagers, are at the vast, treeless campsite.

Filthy facilities reported earlier

The Finnish team’s goal is to leave the camp according to the original plan next Saturday, 12 August. Its leaders said the decision was made with consultations with experts as well as officials from the Finnish Embassy in Seoul.

Scouts carrying equipment with a small pickup truck and pink and green tents in the background.
Setting up camp on 1 August. Image: EPA

“The health of the team has been good considering the conditions, which supports the decision to remain in the camp. The situation is being actively monitored and evaluated daily. If the situation changes, the team has plans for an early departure,” the scouting organisation said.

Besides the heat, participants have complained of other issues at the site, including filthy bathroom facilities, according to the AP.

“At the start of the camp, the conditions were inadequate, and the Finnish team was dissatisfied with them. However, the camp area is constantly being improved. There are promises to further improve area’s infrastructure and there has already been significant improvement of the area on a daily basis,” the Finnish Scouts said. The organisation represents some 65,000 active scouts in the country.

Despite the heatwave, the Finnish contingent has set up a traditional sauna tent.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo has promised more medical staff, air-conditioned vehicles and shade structures. There also will be more cultural activities involving travel to other regions so scouts aren’t entirely stuck at a venue with heat problems, officials said.

The highest temperature ever officially recorded in Finland was 37.2°C in the eastern town of Joensuu in late July 2010.

Source: Yle

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