Archive for the ‘Jamboree’ Category


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.

    Ouch!

    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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            Whenever Boy Scouts and adult leaders gather at a camporee, jamboree, or training session there is probably going to be some patch trading going on at a table or on a blanket on the ground, especially if the event includes Scouts from around the country or from around the world.

            My introduction to patch trading was when I attended a Scoutmaster Fundamentals training course at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1984. I had heard stories about how seriously some people take this hobby, but it was only when I saw grown men sitting around a table with open three ring binders full of clear plastic pages of patches that I truly realized how big this hobby was. So many designs. So many colors. So many patches! I decided then that I needed to start a collection of my own.

            I put Scouting patches into three main groupings: the council shoulder patch (csp), the Order of the Arrow Lodge flaps and patches, and the activity patches that you receive for attending a camporee or maybe selling popcorn. I like collecting the csp’s and the Order of the Arrow flaps. The only activity patches I am interesting in collecting are the ones given for an activity in which I participated.

            When I attended the 2001 National Jamboree as scoutmaster of Troop 1417, I got the chance to see how popular this hobby has become for both the youth and the adults, and how much fun it can be to collect. The Scouts of my troop were excited after an evening of trading, and would often show me the patches they added to their collection that day. It did not take them long to discover which patches were very popular and which patches were not very popular. It was fun to see all the trading blankets laid out along the roadways of the jamboree and the hundreds of people making deals for the patches they wanted. The trade would always end with a handshake which signified that both participants accepted the trade.

            Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, the Boy Scouts of America has a policy that restricts trading. Boys must trade with boys, and adults must trade with adults. The boys and the adults are not to trade with each other. There must have been some problems with adults trading unfairly with boys, or visa versa. By the way, there is a blog about patch trading called Boy Scout Memorabilia Collecting. Check it out.

            I am not a die-hard patch trader. I am more of a collector. I do have a couple hundred csp’s and lodge flaps in my collection which fit into three large three ring notebooks. My favorite patches are the ones I collected from the 2001 National Jamboree.

            During the last two years I have done most of my collecting from the internet. I have bought a few patches on eBay, but most of the new additions have been received from trading a dvd-r for patches. The dvd-r is a compilation of Scouting commercials and promotional films that I have collected over the last two decades. I trade the dvd-r for two patches, a council shoulder patch and an OA lodge flap. The trades have worked well. I have received some very nice patches, and the other person has received a dvd-r that they have put to use a variety of ways, including entertainment at district and council dinners.

            I would expect that soon I will be starting my fourth notebook. After all, there are a lots of patches out there that I do not have yet!
            .

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              It seems the ACLU is still filing lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America. This latest case was actually the ACLU filing a case against the Department of Defense, trying to stop the BSA from having the National Jamboree at Fort AP Hill.

              Here is an excerpt from the statement from the BSA:

                  "The United States Congress has found that the military's logisticalsupport for the National Scout Jamboree is an incomparable trainingopportunity for our armed forces. The Jamboree requires the construction,maintenance, and disassembly of a "tent city" capable of supporting tens ofthousands of people for a week or longer.  Nevertheless, the ACLU sued the Department of Defense in 1999 over itssupport for the Jamboree. In 2005, a federal district court in Chicagoconcluded the Jamboree statute (10 U.S.C. section 2554) wasunconstitutional under the Establishment Clause because Scouting has anonsectarian "duty to God" requirement. DoD appealed the district court'sinjunction against military support under that statute for the 2010Jamboree.  In today's ruling, the federal Court of Appeals in Chicago reversed thedistrict court's decision, concluding that the taxpayers named as theplaintiffs in the lawsuit did not have standing to sue DoD in the firstplace."

              I would like to thank Fred Goodwin for posting this link in a Scout forum that I belong to. I think it is time to stop the ACLU from filing such frivolous lawsuits and wasting taxpayer’s money. I do not understand why the ACLU has such a problem with the BSA, an organization that has been great for this country for ninety years.

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                The 2001 National Jamboree at Fort AP Hill was over. We had made the trip home. The camping gear was all put away. It was time to return to “normal” Scouting. Well, not quite. I still had one more Jamboree related meeting to attend.

                A reunion meeting was held a couple weeks after our return. The Boy Scouts and leaders of both Central Minnesota Council troops, along with the boy’s parents, were expected to be there. This would be the last meeting of the 2001 troops. The agenda included a slideshow to be presented by our Jamboree chairwoman, and would also be a chance to share photographs, stories, and experiences. Of course, a few words by the two scoutmasters was also expected.

                The meeting began well. Most of the Scouts and their parents were in attendance. Photo books had been spread out on several tables. The 8 x 10 group photos had been handed out. Unfortunately, our chairwoman with the slideshow was nowhere in site. We had a laptop computer and projector available so I improvised by showing photos that I had on cd discs. It worked out alright, but it was not as good as a prepared slideshow would have been. Our chairwoman did arrive later but it was too late to watch the slideshow.

                It came time for the scoutmasters to speak. I stood up, looked over the room of Scouts and parents, and told everyone that I had a good time. However, I continued, “I never want to attend another National Jamboree again!”

                There were a few shocked expressions among the Scouts and parents before I explained why I made that statement. I told them that I had been a part of a nearly perfect Boy Scout troop. The adult leaders, the youth leadership, and the troop members had been great to work with, and to be with. We did have have any real problems. The boys got along well with each other.

                “I do not think I will ever have another Jamboree experience as good as this one was,” I said. “It was almost too good. I doubted I could ever have another group of adults and boys as great as this one. Thus, I did not ever want to attend another Jamboree again.”

                Time moves on. I did not attend the 2005 National Jamboree even though the council sent three troops and needed additional leaders. However, with the 100th anniversary of the BSA being celebrated during the 2010 Jamboree I am beginning to think about attending another one. I wonder if it would be possible to get my former Jamboree troop back together.

                Photos of my trip to the 2001 National Jamboree can be found at
                http://www.melrosetroop68.org/highadventure.html

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