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