The 24th World Scout Jamboree opening ceremony started off with a rich tenor voice filling the air with the distinctive opening melody from the Lion King. As the song was recognized, the crowd roared with approval and excitement. He appeared at the top of the stadium and wound his way down through all the scouts, accompanied by the South African contingents. The flags of all the scouting nations processed into the stadium to flank the stage. The singer was Lebo M, a South African producer and composer. He arranged and performed the music for both the stage and film The Lion King; as well as performing the opening song of the original Disney film.

Jessica Williams, a scout from the UK and also the composer of the official WSJ19 song, joins the Masters of Ceremonies from Canada, Mexico, and the United States on stage. Scouts sang along, following the words on the large screens flanking the stage. You can listen to the song or download the lyrics on the official WSJ website (

The Featured Speaker literally dropped in on the WSJ! From the side of the stage, Bear Grylls free rappelled from the top of the stage to address the scouts of the Jamboree, “the greatest gathering of youth on the planet.” He encouraged the audience to be the spirit and force behind global change. Scouts, Bear states, are already practicing the skills needed in the present world – inclusion, conservation, and leadership. He exhorted the listeners to keep on as we have been going – to bring our light and energy to the world and help change things for all. “Shine that scouting spirit to everyone you meet!” Bear also addressed the adult leaders and scouters in the crowd, thanking them for “shaping the next generation of global leaders.” What a fantastic and inspirational speaker for our scouts!

Finally, the energetic and innovative concert by Recycled Percussion concluded the opening festivities. They came in with a BOOM, hammering on their recycled buckets, their drums provided a backdrop of resounding rhythm. The scouts jumped and danced to the songs of the band. As a selection of various music played, the 4 person band used recycled items to create melodies, some with a fantastic visual display to match! At one point, they brought out a table full of blenders with varying levels of liquid in different colors to create some really distinctive music. For the finale, they played an array of popular music from the 1980s, to the approval of all the scouts. Standing up, they all clapped and sung along. What a great night for scouting, such a treat to have seen!

Members of Recycled Percussion:

Justin Spencer – Lead Percussionist, Group Founder. “Mr. Red”
Ryan Vezina – Lead Percussionist, Body Percussion Specialist. “Mr. Blue”
Matt Bowman – Guitar player, Percussionist, 80s Primal Screamer, Slinky Master. “Mr. Black”
Jason Davies – DJ, Percussionist, Dancer. “Mr. Green”

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