A TROON teenager had an unforgettable experience in the United States as he joined 40,000 other excited young people in an event dubbed bigger than the Olympics.

Wellington School Sixth Year pupil Scott Grassom was one of just 36 people chosen from 180 applicants across South-West Scotland to jet off to the United States last month to take part in the 24th World Scout Jamboree.

Set in the sprawling 14,000 acre Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, the event featured Scouts from around the globe.

The 17-year-old, who is a member of the 28th Ayrshire Scout Group, took part in a huge range of activities and admitted the event had been every bit as good as he had expected.

He said: “We had a training camp where the number was narrowed down to 100 and then finally 36. The challenges included having to read a book and teach someone a different skill.

“I had to raise £4,000 for the trip and I got a signed Scottish Rugby shirt was well as donations from Troon Round Table, Troon Rotary Club and the Herbary.

“It was absolutely amazing when I heard I had been selected.”

The Scouts flew into JFK Airport at the start of the camp and enjoyed some time in New York City.

Scott said: “We saw the likes of the World Trade Centre and also the Empire State building as well as Ground Zero and on the way home we had a trip to Niagara Falls and were also in Ontario.”

On site the Scouts enjoyed an opening ceremony which included a speech by Chief Scout Bear Grylls.

“We were in the camp for 12 days, it was insane as there were so many people there and it was in a huge area.

“Activities included whitewater rafting, archery, crossbow shooting, rifle shooting, rifle shooting, mountain biking, team paddleboarding and scuba diving.”

“It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced and was unforgettable, something I’ll always remember. I made friendships which I think will last a long time,”

Scott also enjoyed some time in Washington DC and surrounding area in a break from the camp.

He said: “We got an opportunity to take in the baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays.

“We saw the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and Capitol Hill. It’s great to see all these landmarks you see on TV in person.”

Scott helped pipe the Scottish scouts into Glasgow Airport on return home.

He said: “It was a great honour to welcome everyone back.”