It was announced last week that Gdansk has been chosen to host the 2020 European Scout Jamboree which is expected to attract 25,000 scouts from all over Europe to Sobieszewo Island just outside the city.
The 2020 event will be the second large scouting event to be held on the island as 15,000 Polish scouts are expected there in August 2018 to celebrate the centenary of the Polish Scouting movement ZHP.
‘We are proud that Gdańsk will host another big international event’, said Gdansk president Paweł Adamowicz. This confirms the unique position of our city, and is yet another opportunity to promote Gdańsk. We will do everything to make those young Europeans who come to visit us feel at home here and want to willingly come back to us (in the future), and to say to their family members and friends, “Gdańsk. It’s a great city that has its own atmosphere and friendly and polite residents. It’s worth a visit.”
The good news for Gdansk and the scouting movement in Poland follows a disappointing summer where the pair were beaten by South Korea to the right to host the 2023 World Scouting Jamboree. President Adamowicz and Małgorzata Sinica, the head of the ZHP, believed Gdansk was in with a serious chance of winning the vote, but were pipped by South Korea despite offering what many saw as a much more attractive package. The European scouting associations were determined that the planned Polish educational program entitled ‘Be the spark’ would not be wasted and plans were quickly drawn up to award the 2020 Jamboree to Gdansk. The event is due to take place at the end of July and start of August 2020.
In the meantime, there is a lot to do ahead of next year’s centenary celebrations and the head of the ZHP, Małgorzata Sinica, said they have a lot planned for the scouts to do when they visit. Scouts from all over Poland will come to Gdańsk for a unique rally. We are preparing an attractive program of water activities, city and field games, trips to Kashubia, a service program for the local community, as well as educational activities, discussions, concerts and performances in the rally town which will be located on Sobieszewo Island, she said.
The announcements are great news for Sobieszewo Island in particular which, despite the rapid growth in visitor numbers to the Tri-city and particularly to Gdansk, has remained largely undeveloped. The construction of a new bridge is already underway which will making getting on and off the island, formed when the eastern channel was dug in 1895 to allow a new outlet to the sea for the Vistula river, much easier. The team at Gdansk In Your Pocket is already working on a new chapter about the island which will be published in digital and print from spring 2018 onwards.