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My son went to Jambo in 2010 and HATED it! Not only was it $$$$ but it was Africa hot night and day. He also went to Philmont that same summer and was disappointed in it. I know I'll catch alot of flack for what I'm about to say but IMO, Jambo, and Philmont are big money raisers for national.
The big questions are his reasons for hating them.
Probably was not a good idea to do two major activities the same summer either, as burnout will occur, especially after the fact, which may affect the experience when reviewed later. If you are averse to heat and humidity, you will not like either location a good amount of the time. If you do not really like to hike, you might not enjoy Jambo, and certainly are not ready for Philmont. If you are the much discussed "gimme Scout", you will not enjoy having to possibly fend for yourself on occasion; you have to work with the team in both activities. If you did not put any effort into earning your spot in these activities you will likely have little appreciation of the opportunities.
I know the Jambo I attended as a youth wasn't what I expected, I attended the first one at AP Hill. It was super hot, the snokeling ended up in some sort of a tank and the line was an hour long, I remember being astonished at the theft and Scouters taking advantage of scouts trading patches. Our council is sending two boys where caught shoplifting at last summers shakedown, and both are in my sons troop. I spoke to the SM about it and he said there was nothing he could do.
Philmont is resident camp where you move your campsite everyday. Oh it is beautiful for sure, I wonder if it is kinda like woodbadge. Ya take folks that have never pushed themselves in any manner, next to zero outdoor experience and make them walk 50 miles over 10 days with backpacks. For them it is probably life changing.
My son is planning on going to Philmont in 2014. I hope he won't be bored, because he has backpacked most of his life .
High Adventure is supposed to push the envelop. If I wanted an expensive Holiday Inn experience and got an expensive High Adventure instead, I would be disappointed. I expect to get a little inconvenienced, that's what High Adventure is all about.
When I do a lake paddle with a kayak, I enjoy the experience for what it is. However, when I do a white-water paddle in a kayak I expect to get wet. It's inconvenient, uncomfortable, but pushing my limits is why I do it.
If I drive 50 miles I expect a certain amount of safety and convenience. If I hike that 50 miles, I have different expectations.
I've done Jambo, Philmont, summer camp to a camp 1,000 miles away, and BWCA just to mention a few of the more "expensive" trips, but I have also done a few bus tours to different parts of the country and my expectations have not been anywhere similar.
Taking 50,000 people on a camp-out carries a certain amount of expectations, 20,000 reenactors at a national event carries a certain amount of expectations, and going with 10 boys to camporee carries a certain amount of expectations. Taking the wife for a weekend get away carries a certain amount of expectations. None are the same, no expectation can be switched out for another, and when I do, I will be sorely disappointed.
High Adventure is not for everyone, and I don't expect everyone to feel the same way about it when they go.
All of life is an adventure. Some of it costs more than than others. Wasting $7 for a crummy movie is not the same as wasting $700 on a High Adventure trip. These are important life lessons that everyone has to figure out for themselves.
When people complain to me about a lousy experience at Jambo or Philmont, that's just fine. Now you know, don't make plans to ever go again. That's what experience is all about. That's what Scouting High Adventure is all about.
Hey BD, I remember that Navy Dive Tank! On one level, it was truly ridiculous. On another, it was the first time I ever snorkeled!
Also it was the simple things: Meeting other scouts. Attending three different religious services with a buddy. All of the gateways and displays. Launching a catapult for the king of Sweden. Getting the tar beat out of me on an orienteering course. Coming home with an aerial photograph of tent city.
The only down side: someone nicked my shirt that had an O/A patch from my tap-out. (Kiasutha Lodge #57 pocket flap, just in case anyone out there wants to fess up.) Never replaced that patch.
I originally planned to apply to staff as an RSO, that was until I saw the $850 price tag attached. Instead I am sending my daughter with her Venturing Crew. Perhaps by the next Jambo I will accompany her crew, or I will attend the one after when my son in a Boy Scout. After all, it is their time in Scouting, if they get the experiences I didn't as a youth I will be content.
My older son was at the 2010 Jamboree, and loved it. Except that's not what he said at first. When I asked him what he did, he said he went to the ranges a lot. But over the course of time, he's opened up more and more about what he did while he was there. And to me, it sounds like he had a lot more fun than when I went, in 1973 (at the same age). He came home with a really interesting collection of patches...stumbled upon a sniper in a ghillie suit...traded shoulder loops with some South American Scouts...talked with some Swedish co-ed Scouts...all sorts of things. He loved it so much, he applied to be on staff this year. For the record, he's not so excited about Train and Carly Rae. :-)
What I've taken away from him attending, and from me attending 40 years ago -- you get out of it what you want to get out of it. If you want to be miserable, you'll be miserable. If you want to have a good time, well the opportunity is there for the taking.
Well, I guess if its a disaster, that will fall mainly on those of us that are staff. There will likely be lots of complaining from returning Scouts that have started with lots of complaining from the adults in their lives.
Example - a group of Venturers going I talked with recently was looking forward to being at the Jambo with no hot showers and having to trek. Their leaders have been talking it up. Two staff members and three Scouts from the contingent I spoke with this week-end were complaining about having to wear their uniforms, the lack of hot water, and that "National had better have cell phone coverage".
I suspect each of these groups will have a completely different experience at the Jambo. Having worked at AP Hill and having a son who attended, I don't think it was as perfect as some (who probably didn't go) seem to think it was. OTH, I saw more Scouts than I could count enjoying themselves, rushing from event to event, and coming back to redo events that really liked. Even when it was hot, or far away, or they had to wait in line...
As far as the "hundreds and hundreds of Scout participants who were essentially blocked out of the main stage show with Mike Rowe because visitors and staff flooded in a took their spaces"... I was on staff. We went in last. Sat in the very back. OA led the Troops in and sat them in their designated spaces - in front of our designated spaces. I stayed near the back - by the porta-pots - for ease of getting out of there after the show. I didn't see anyone blocked/turned away/kept out of the show. At one point my and son I were invited by a Troop we had past personal connections with to come down and sit with them because they had plenty of room.
Visitors at the Actions Centers, etc DID have an impact. We had so many that we had to make sure the Scouts who payed for the Jambo got in to participate ahead of visitors. That's why there is a visitor area and visiting hours at the 2013 Jambo.
I'm trusting those responsible for planning to do the best they can. I'm trusting my fellow volunteers to put on the best experience possible for the Scouts. I will probably be disappointed in some things but the adventure, excitement, and being part of it for the Scouts - well, that's worth saving my money and paying in installments for me. I'll probably also be amazed at some things they do manage to pull off!
I started this thread because the groundswell of concern about the Jamboree is getting louder and louder as each week goes by. Many Scouters, virtually everyone I come in contact with is concerned. The professionals are putting on a good face, and the volunteers are desperately trying to reassure the parents that everything will come together. But the fact is that National needs to wake up and begin to produce the kind of solid information that will reassure both the parents and the professionals.
I intentionally put this thread in two very visible places here on Scouter.com. Very specifically I put it in the Open Discussion forum because it gets the most traffic. I go away for a few days and what do I find. The moderators moved the thread to a lower profile forum. Now someones going to say that they moved it because the Jambo is a camping and high adventure activity. That of course is a lot of hooey. It may have elements of both, but it is neither one nor the other. The Jambo is a different scouting event. It is a one of a kind event that happens every 4 (or so) years and connects decades of scouting. It is a part of Scoutings history, and a part of Scoutings future. The Jambo owns a big piece of Scoutings legacy.
This discussion has to happen. BSA will be decades rebuilding the Jamboree legacy if this one turns out to be the disaster that many see coming. There is still time to get it together. But obviously they need a push. Let us be the push.
To the Moderators, let this discussion happen. Move the thread back into a more active Forum.
foto, nobody in their right mind reads these topics by forum. (Frankly, I have no idea what forum this is at the moment because my screen only shows the middle of the page, and I'm too lazy to scroll up or down.)
Folks click on "today's active topics" and pick what they want to read or write about.
That said, folks if you are being the solution to some of foto's concerns, it sure would be nice to hear about it here.
Oh, yeah, you pay to volunteer. You get (maybe) a couple of patches, mebbe a couple of Tshirts, you get a cot and a tent and 3 meals aday and trails to walk and lotssa new friends and stuff to put in a box to keep in the top shelf of your closet for your grandkids to find when they clean out the house. You get memories of kids and adults to help and laugh with and help cry with and some special entertainment (wish I'd seen Mike Rowe) and new countryside to drive thru and games to try and problems to solve and socks to rinse out. You might receive a coin passed to you by the Head Scouter in passing and lotssa flags and hassles and unintended slights to forgive and smiles to pass on and handshakes to enjoy and new raincoats to test and .....
Sequester Could Affect Boy Scouts
"The National Guard is set to provide the security when West Virginia hosts its first National Boy Scout Jamboree this summer, but mandated federal spending cuts could affect safety there, according to the office of (West Virginia) Rep. David B. McKinley... due to the sequester of federal spending, the Department of Defense will be cutting back on the use of the National Guard in all states."
"McKinley, an Eagle Scout, is a strong supporter of scouting. During the last session of Congress, he was one of 19 Eagle Scouts in the 435-member House of Representatives."