YOUNGSTERS from across the region are celebrating after being lucky enough to be selected to take part in the the 24th World Scout Jamboree.

Tom Hearmon, 17 and Adam White, 17 both from Stockton-on-Tees were among the lucky scouts who got the opportunity to take part in the event, held in West Virginia, in the USA.

The scouts have been taking part in two weeks of activities from hiking to community work and cultural learning.

Speaking at the start of the festival, Adam said: “The opening ceremony was incredible, just everyone singing along from all around the world.

"I have met so many people from places like America, Japan and Monaco – and I’ve only been here a day.”

Tom said: “I want to learn about different cultures and how Scouting works in different places.

"I am hoping this experience will help me become more confident in myself.”

Ben Dodds, 18, from Coxhoe, County Durham will celebrate his 18 birthday during the event.

He said: “Over the last two years of preparing for the Jamboree, I’ve made so many new friends and learnt loads of new skills – making me more confident and able to work well within a team."

A total 45,000 scouts from 167 countries in all parts of the globe have travelled to West Virginia for the two week event.

It is specifically designed for young people ages 14 to 17 years old from National Scout Organizations (NSOs).

The skills exchange started with a huge opening ceremony and an inspirational speech from the UK’s chief scout Bear Grylls.

Grylls said: "World Scout Jamborees only happen every four years and tens of thousands of Scouts attend each one. They are incredible festivals of peace, friendship and adventure.”