Archive for the ‘Jamboree’ Category

I am not afraid to say it. President Obama  has lost a few points of respect with me this week when he decided to join the five hosts of The View television show instead of talking to the 40,000 Boy Scout and leaders at the BSA National Jamboree.

I know, I know. Speaking at the National Jamboree is not in the President’s job description. He only does it if he wants to do it, and if his schedule allows it. But you know, he accepted the position of the honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America. Why wouldn’t he want to address the young men who are the future of our country. And do it live at the event?

I understand the Jamboree participants will watch a prerecorded message from President Obama. That is better than nothing. At least the Boy Scouts were worth his time to record a video.

I attended the 2001 National Jamboree. President Bush was scheduled to appear at a arena show to speak to us. Unfortunately, a storm went through the area and the show was postponed until the next evening. President Bush was not able to make it the following night so he recorded his message for us to watch on the big screens at the arena. (I personally did not mind watching the video. It saved us the time and trouble of going through presidential security.)

The difference between these two events was that President Bush made the effort to attend the Jamboree, where President Obama did not. It gives me the impression that he decided to sort of brush off the Boy Scouts.

Come on Mr. President! This is the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. You had a captive audience of nearly 40,000 young men of every race and background, the future of this great country. This event was not something that just came up suddenly. The planning for this Jamboree was going on for years. You could not find the time in your schedule to address the Scouts?

Yet, you could find time in your schedule to appear on a national daily talk show, and do some fundraising. This gave me the impression that being a celebrity is more important to you then being a leader of this country. And I know I am not the only person to feel this way.

Mr. President, you could have taped your talk show interview at any time. You only have one week to speak to the young men at the 100th anniversary BSA National Jamboree. In my humble opinion, you blew it.

Of course, this is my opinion and not the opinion of the Boy Scouts of America. I realize that not everyone shares my point of view. I also realize that the President will probably never read this blog post. But this is something that has been weighing on my mind this week so I wanted to write about it.

How to you feel about the President skipping a live appearance at the National Jamboree? Please keep your comments civil or I will delete them.

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    If you are involved with Boy Scouting in the United States you know that this is the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America and the year of the 2010 National Jamboree. Council troops are currently putting the final touches on their plans to attend the event, and Boy Scouts and leaders are already planning what they will pack for the trip.

    All this brings back memories of when I attended the 2001 National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia as the scoutmaster of Troop 1417 of the Central Minnesota Council. It also brought to mind that I have written about being a jamboree scoutmaster in previous posts to this blog. Check them out. They can be found at:

    Jamboree Scoutmaster, Part 1 –

    Jamboree Scoutmaster, Part 2 –

    Jamboree Scoutmaster, Part 3 –

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      I remember very well when nine members of my Boy Scout troop participated in the 2001 National Jamboree. How could I not remember it? I was the Jamboree troop’s scoutmaster. One of my assistant scoutmasters was my Jamboree third assistant scoutmaster. One of my Boy Scouts was the Jamboree troop scribe. Another was a patrol leader. It was a great time, made greater by having many members of my home troop along to share it with.

      Before we arrived at the Jamboree, the two troops from Central Minnesota Council spent a couple days in Washington DC to see some of the sites. I remember the Lincoln and Roosevelt memorials, the very quick tour of the Smithsonian Museum, and our walk around the Capital building. But one that will always stay with me is the Boy Scout Memorial. Yeah, that’s right, there is a Boy Scout Memorial in Washington DC.
      It is a very simple memorial. It is a statue of three people, a man, a woman, and a Boy Scout. It also includes a small pool. According to
      The memorial stands on the site of the First Boy Scout Jamboree in 1937. The two nearly naked figures represent Manhood and Womanhood; the realistic Boy Scout is leading them into the future.
      Next to the statue is a pool which bears the inscription: “In grateful tribute to the men and women whose generosity, devotion, and leadership have brought Scouting to the nation’s youth and to honor all members of the Boy Scouts of America who in days of peace and times of peril have done their duty to God and their country this memorial was authorized by the Congress of the United States and erected in recognition of the fiftieth anniverary of the Boy Scouts of America.


      After viewing the memorial I think I have the same question that many visitors to the statue have these days: Why is a nearly nude statue of a man part of the memorial? Of course, when the memorial was erected in 1964, the views of society were a lot different then they are these days. No matter, it is still a great memorial, and one I am sure will be visited by many of the Boy Scouts who will be attending the 2010 Jamboree.

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        It will soon be time for the 2010 National Jamboree. Boy Scouts have begun making their plans to attend, and save money to make those payments. Adult leaders are in training to become the scoutmasters and assistants for this huge event. Councils across the country are trying to get plans finalized and transportation arranged for nearly 40,000 participants. The National Office is planning to make this a special event to celebrate the 100th year of the Boy Scouts of America.

        In 2001, I attended the National Jamboree as a scoutmaster of one of two troops the Central Minnesota Council sent to the event. Nine youth members and one young assistant scoutmaster from Troop 68 went along to Fort A.P. Hill. We had a great time. (To read more of the experience click HERE, HERE, and HERE.)

        I took a lot of pictures with my 35mm camera. My first assistant scoutmaster, Randy, had a new digital camera, and he took even more pictures then I did. A few weeks after we arrived home I began planning the video of the Jamboree. Using the pictures Randy and I took, and narration done by two of my Boy Scouts who participated in the event, I put together a 21 minute video for everyone to view. This video was also shown on our local access television station. I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

        With thousands of Boy Scouts and leaders planning to attend the 2010 National Jamboree I thought this would be a great time to add this video to the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast. I believe this is the longest video I have ever added to the podcast so give it a little time to download. I am sure you will find it worth the wait.

        Click here to DOWNLOAD this Podcast
        Subscribe to Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast through iTunes.
        or at
        Check out other Scouting podcasts at PTC Media.

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          I have been thinking about applying with the council to be a scoutmaster for one of the troops that our council will be sending to the 2010 National Jamboree. In my last post I wrote about what the costs would be, and that I am now rethinking about being a Jamboree scoutmaster. Well, there is one more item to throw into that equation.

          I have a copy of the “Council Jamboree Guide” that was sent to all councils by the National Office. I was looking over the unit leader qualifications for the Jamboree scoutmaster and noticed that it states, “Completion of Wood Badge for the 21st Century”. I zoned in on the words “21st Century” very quickly.

          I completed the Wood Badge course and received my beads in the early-nineties, before the revision of the course made it “prepare us” for the 21st Century. I am right in feeling that the National Office is now telling me that my training is no longing adequate for today’s Scouting program? I did not think Scouting has changed that much.

          I asked my council’s Jamboree chairman if all leaders going to the 2010 event would need to retake the course if we were part of the “20th century” course. He did not have an answer for me but said he would look into it.

          Well, if the national office wants all adult leaders to have taken the “21st Century” Wood Badge training, then I think I can make my decision about being a Jamboree scoutmaster. And that decision will be “NO”. I do not intend to spend another $200 on a Wood Badge training fee, buy or prepare another uniform just for Wood Badge, and spend two weekends going through the course.

          I am not going to spend a total of $3500 or more to attend the Jamboree. It is not worth it to me. I am sorry, but it is not. That $3500 can be spend on 2-3 Philmont trips, or dozens of big troop weekends. And to tell the truth, I think I would enjoy those more, and would be able to spend more quality time with my Boy Scouts.

          I know the last two blog entries seem to be a downer, but hey, can I help it if things are going to cost so much. I am not Bill Gates after all.

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            Our council recently held it first 2010 National Jamboree committee meeting. (Yeah, I know, some councils have a lot of work done for the Jamboree already and ours is just getting started.) I attended the meeting because I have five Boy Scouts in my troop that would like to attend the event, so I was thinking about being a scoutmaster for one of the three council troops.

            When I arrived home from that meeting, 35 miles later, I was beginning to have second thoughts about going on the trip. The 2010 Jamboree is going to cost a lot more then the 2001 Jamboree did.

            First, there is the fee for the Jamboree itself which will be $795.oo. That is a $200 increase over the 2005 fee, and $300 more then the 2001 Jamboree fee of $495.00. That is quite an increase in eight years. And yes, I do realize the cost of things have increased, but I do not think they have increased sixty percent since 2000. Have they? My salary surely has not increased that much.

            Second, there is the cost of touring. What sites will the troop see on the way to the Jamboree? We will probably spend a couple of days in Washington D.C. How about a tour of Mount Vernon, or some of the other nearby sites?

            Third, there is that nasty thing called transportation. This one is the biggest unknown at the moment. Fuel prices are so unstable that bus companies and airlines are not able to predict what the cost will be in 2010. It is too early to make any sort of reservations, not that any company would be taking them anyway. With record fuel prices being made almost daily I am fearful of what the transportation costs will become.

            Fourth are the miscellaneous costs that include uniforms, t-shirts, patches, pictures, and equipment.

            Our council’s Jamboree chairman played around with estimating the cost of all these items and came up with a total of somewhere between $2000 and $2500 per participant. That is nearly double the cost of the 2001 Jamboree for the Boy Scouts and leaders of my council.


            I drove by a few filling stations on my way home from that meeting and starting thinking about the price of gasoline. Then I began thinking about the 2, 3, or 4 meetings each month that I would have to attend if I was chosen to be one of the scoutmasters. I did a little quick math and realized it could easily cost me over $750 in gas (at today’s prices) to attend all those meetings!

            I enjoyed attending the 2001 National Jamboree, but I am beginning to think I did not enjoy it enough to pay over $3250 to attend another one. I am going to have to give this some serious thought during the next two months.

            By the way, if any of you who read this blog has one, two, or three thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket, and you do not know what to do with it, drop me an email. I might be able to help you find a great way to spend it.

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              I just discovered tonight, as I was checking out some Scout forums, that the BSA national office appears to be looking for a new site to hold the National Jamborees. Don’t worry about the 2010 Jambo, that one will still be at Fort A.P. Hill. But future ones may not be. It is not about the military pulling their support of the Jamboree. They are not. In fact, it sounds like they will probably continue their support at the new Jambo site.

              It appears that a letter has been sent to councils asking for their assistance in finding a new new site. This letter explains the reasons for moving the Jamboree away from Fort A.P. Hill, and what requirements must be met by a new site. You can read the letter for yourself by clicking HERE.

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                The next National Jamboree is only two and one half years away! It is time to start thinking about whether or not I intend to attend as an adult leader.

                My decision will be based on the Boy Scouts of my troop. If several of them decide to attend then I will apply to be one of the troop leaders. If they don’t, then I won’t. But I think it would be great to attend another Jamboree.

                I was the scoutmaster of Troop 1417 during the 2001 National Jamboree. I participated in a lot of meetings to prepare for that trip. But it was worth it. I was lucky to have a great team of assistant scoutmasters and junior leaders. I was also blessed to have a great group of Boy Scouts in my Jambo troop. Things went so well that during the reunion meeting held a few weeks after returning from the trip, I told the parents that I never want to attend another Jamboree again. The Scouts and leaders of Troop 1417 set the bar so high that I was sure I would never have another troop as good as this one.

                Well, several years have now gone by and the itch to attend another Jamboree needs scratching. Of course, this being the Jamboree celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America is just one more reason to attend.

                As far as I know, the Central Minnesota Council has not formed a Jamboree committee yet. I hope they do soon. I know it takes nearly two years to prepare for a trip of this magnitude. I would expect the transportation to be one of the biggest issues.

                In 2001, the council sent two troops to the Jamboree. In 2005, the council was able to send three troops to Virginia, which was nearly ten percent of the Boy Scouts in our council. (We are not a large council.) It would be great to see our council send three troops in 2010. Or even four troops. Of course, the problem could be finding enough adults to accompany the troops. Just one more reason for the council to get started early.

                The 2010 National Jamboree promises to be the biggest event in the BSA’s history. I think it would be great to be one small part of it. Now, I just have to convince my Boy Scouts.

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