The forests of Sooke are full of keen, clever and excited scouts this week.
The Pacific Jamboree, which is held every four years, brings Scouts from all over the world together for a week of outdoor adventure.
This year over 2,200 scouts aged 11- 14 descended on Camp Barnard, just outside of Sooke.
“We’ve got a weeklong set of activities such as geo-caching, kayaking, canoeing, obstacle courses, archery, rock climbing and even things like badge trading,” said Sarah Savic-Kallesoe, the national youth spokesperson for Scouts Canada.
Every camp table was surrounded by kids Monday, all with their big bags full of the badges they had collected and were ready to trade.
“Badge trading is this very central part of scouting," said Savic-Kallesoe.
"Every group often has their own badge that symbolizes their people and their community. When people gather together in these big events that often happen every four years, we trade them as a memory, as a token of friendship and to have memories of one another to bring home."
But the week isn’t just about getting kids outside.
This year, Scouts Canada added STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities to the itinerary. So while keeping kids away from screens is part of the point, the scouts also get to learn about things like robotics and virtual reality so they can explore the stars and cosmos by day, and sleep under them at night.
This year marks the 13th Pacific Jamboree, with its history dating back 54 years.