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Jambo feedback from the final day -Some nice stuff but it sucked.

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  • #31
    Ah say, that's a joke son. But it would have been fun to show that Scouts know how to deal with catastrophic problems. So if they forgot to order any food, a Scout is Cheerful, so someone picks up the phone and says: "Hello, McDonald's? We'd like 40,000 Happy Meals. We'll be there to pick them up in about an hour. Toys? 35,000 boys and 5,000 girls."

    Comment


    • #32
      All of our population statistics have been 25% inflated. We are actually talking about an event with 30,000 youth and adult leaders. That'd only be about 26,000 happy meals assuming that they probably wouldn't let you order them for your 19+y.o. venturers.
      The official blog of Scouting magazine, a publication of the Boy Scouts of America.

      Comment


      • dcsimmons
        dcsimmons commented
        Editing a comment
        I think if you also controlled for the risk appetite of the parents that let their kid attend Jambo and the risk appetite of the kids willing to strike out across the country to attend a Jambo and that .2%/year might be a little low .

      • Twocubdad
        Twocubdad commented
        Editing a comment
        So Scout attendance by youth participant was 75% of anticipation and still the greatest complaint was with long lines? Makes you wonder what the financials will look like.

      • RememberSchiff
        RememberSchiff commented
        Editing a comment
        From Oct, 23, 2010 http://www.register-herald.com/today...uts-of-America
        "jamboree... will draw an estimated 50,000 Boy Scouts and 300,000 visitors to the first Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, which, BSA officials revealed Friday, will take place July 15-24, 2013."
        Actual: 30,037 youth and adult participants, 15,732 visitor days ( a visitor may have attended more than one day)

    • #33
      In no particular order, here are some of my thoughts on the Jamboree. I was on staff (high-power rifle range) the entire time and showered most days. I bought a solar shower at the trading post for $25 or so and filled it up and left it in the sun (and rain sometimes) during the day and showered at the end of the day. The first time I used the solar shower the water in the bag was 110 degrees (nifty little thermometer built into the bag) and it was a GREAT shower. I had several days where the water in the bag was 140 degrees. I had to hold the bag under the ambient water shower for a few minutes to cool it. I had great warm showers, great hot water with which to shave, and all and all had no complaints about my shower situation. It would have absolutely sucked to not have that solar shower. There was one day where it was super hot throughout the day and I did a shower sans the solar shower. It was brisk, for sure. I can see this being an issue for future Jamborees.

      I was in Base Camp Echo and the food was good. Lunches sucked for the most part. I grabbed an apple or two and a banana at breakfast and brought them along for lunch - wish I had thought to grab a bagel or some bread or something. Breakfast and dinner was very good. Dining hall staff were great - good spirits, great job.

      Staff tents? Not bad at all. So much I'm thinking about buying one or two of those wall tents they have for sale. Would be great for those "drive and camp" campouts we seem to do so much of back home. The cots? Discobeds. Surprisingly comfortable. Shoot, I'm thinking of buying one or two of them as well.

      We had buses laid on for the shooting sports staff as it was a 90-120 minute walk each way to the range. I was disappointed that the participants had so much walking to do - not because of the physical fitness aspect of it but because of the time involved. I gotta believe this is going to have a huge impact on whether folks return. There was a lot of walking for everybody. I was pleased to see that the trading post sold baby powder. Or better put, my boys were pleased I could buy some baby powder. Pack a big container of it if you attend next time.

      Speaking of trading posts? The thing I bought the most? Those Thorlo socks. I brought 5 pair down with me. And a bunch of the green BSA socks. I wore my first five pairs on the first five days. I tried the green socks for one day. Ah, no. Funny, as I use them on troop campouts all the time. But I don't walk that much on troop campouts. An estimate, but I figured I did ten miles of walking each day. As an aside, I lost 10 lbs at Jambo. I was too cheap to send my laundry to Granny's Laundry (really, that was the name of the local concession offering laundry service in Echo base camp). I did the old wash 'em in a bucket. I hung everything out to dry and it was a great sunny day the next day. I was feeling pretty smart until it poured down rain that afternoon while I was still at the rifle range. Damn. I ended up just buying a set of socks for each day. I guess it would have been cheaper to pay the $10 to Granny, but it was essentially a two-day turnaround. Anyhow, I bought new socks. I was a little disappointed that the socks in the trading post were a few dollars cheaper than the same thing they were selling online at ScoutingStuff.org - but only because I had bought five pairs beforehand. Ah, don't look a gift horse in the mouth I guess. I bought a jambo chair (even thought I had brought one of those really cool REI camp chairs portable camp chairs they were selling at the Scout store). The portable chair just wasn't comfortable after a long day on the range. I also bought a lightweight rain jacket and a nifty pair of Jambo shorts.

      I traded my Shooting Sports hat for a freaken' awesome hat from an adult Scouter from North Carolina. Thanks man! You know who you are. I'm groovin' to your hat.

      The phone charging stations were all solar - in case you wondered why you got a 10th of a charge after 2 or 3 hours on the charging station. Everybody plugged their devices into the outlets in the shower house... ummm... 15 or 20 amps for 20 devices all daisy chained together? Do the math - that didn't work out well either. In Base Camp Echo they had a few real charging stations across from the trading post that had portable batteries with 650 or 850 amp batteries and those did the trick. I don't think that many people even realized they were there.

      Broken bones? No idea how factual this is, but I heard there were 800 broken bones at the Jamboree - many at the BMX site, with a significant percentage at the same place on the course. I get you'll have broken bones at something like this but do wonder if course design had something to do with it. It would have been nice to have somebody step forward and say "um, yeah, lots of broken bones at this part in the course - we're going to change it or close down this part of the course." Now I got no idea whether that would be a realistic thing to do or not, but as both a parent and a Scouter, I'd like to think there was somebody thinking about this. There were also two fatalities at the Jamboree - both older Scouters. One a few days before the Scouts arrived and one during the second week. My understanding is that they were adults with a history of heart problems. Again, no real specific information on these, all rumor, but fairly certain there were two guys that didn't come home. Sympathies and prayers go out to those two guys and their families. I mention this because I've seen some threads that talked about the BMI and weight and health history and all that. Again, no idea whether these were factors in the two deaths, but I think it safe to assume it likely.

      We closed the rifle range once or twice when there was nearby lightning. We had one group that had waited in line for an hour or two and had just completed the safety briefing and were put on the line. I was the RSO and had just given the command to "aim and align rifles" (just prior to "load and fire") when we had to call a cease fire. The operations folks told us the kids had to clear the hill and boogie down the hill. No idea where they were supposed to go to seek shelter, perhaps the big tents at the bottom of the hill. The hill, by the way? We all called it cardiac hill because it was a hump to get from the bottom of the hill to the rifle ranges. I could easily see a kid humping to the top of the hill, waiting in line, getting on the range, having the range closed & sent to the bottom of the hill saying "i'm not walking back up there". Unfortunate. Having said that, we sent probably 7500 kids through the high-power range - .223 and .308 rifles. The boys that made the hump early and got there first thing in the morning got to shoot lots. I told the boys that the early bird got the ammo and if there was no line, they were welcome to stay on the line. One kid in particular stands out - he was on the range at least three different days. I did wonder what he was giving up to be there, but he was passionate about shooting. I bet that kid easily shot 500-600 rounds of .308. That's saying a lot since it was in increments of 10 rounds. I did give some thought to saying "come on kid, hit the road, go see the rest of the Jamboree", but at the end of the day, it was his Jamboree and that's what he wanted to do. We had Scouters from around the world - I had boys (and girls) from Australia, UK, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Taiwan, Bangladesh, and a bunch of other countries I can't recall.

      Comment


      • Kahuna
        Kahuna commented
        Editing a comment
        Great information. Thanks Dan!

      • danbrew
        danbrew commented
        Editing a comment
        I sat on the bus one morning late in the Jamboree next to a nurse from the skateboard park and she told me they had their share of broken bones - mostly sprains, though. And a lot of collar bones. She told me that she had heard there were many more broken bones at BMX. It's on the internet... it must be true! I'm sure there is an after action report put together by the risk management people. Sure would like to see that as I'm a curious busybody. But I'll bet that'll never see the light of day.

        I'll admit that I was a little concerned about my son participating in the BMX events. I saw my son the first day and then that was it. I ran into some kids from his Jambo troop at the beginning of the last week and asked them "Hey, does Jack have a cast?" and they all said "Nope." Phwew. I felt a lot better because I knew his schedule for the remainder of the Jamboree and was pretty sure he didn't have time to fit in a day at the BMX track. When he got home I asked him (he's 13 and a 1st Class Scout) whether he thought about going over to the BMX track and he said, "Dad, I saw a couple of kids with casts on and they got banged up at BMX. I just didn't think it was worth it." I can't tell you how proud I was of my son. We had a good talk about risk/reward and peer pressure and, again, I was so pleased he was thinking it through.

      • RememberSchiff
        RememberSchiff commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the info. I look forward to reading Jambo's "incident reports". I was aware of one fatality but not a second.

    • #34
      I was at the Jamboree as a leader with a troop and my son was there as an over eighteen Venturer.

      Adults cutting in line. The consensus was that with all the restrictions due to weather and shortage of staff, adults kept away from the HA program areas. We did the nature trails, Summit Center etc. One thing to note was that the Scouts were identified by red bands on their credentials, adults by yellow bands and Venturers with green bands. One quirk was that Venturers over eighteen were issued yellow bands and used adult facilities. Perhaps these were the people that the Scouts thought were adults cutting in?

      Anybody with a “curriculum ticket” went to the front of the line and some areas issued VIP passes to frequent visitors that let them cut the line. We had two Scouts receive VIP passes for the skateboard area. So, any over 18 Venturer with a curriculum ticket or VIP pass might have been mistaken for an adult cutting in.

      Our contingent troop was made up of Scouts from about six Council troops. Our only scheduled days were the ones advertised in advance; day of service, Summit trek, curriculum time and any offsite activity the Scout had bought. I suppose the opening and closing shows might be considered scheduled but we let Scouts bail when they had enough of them (who booked a country and western band for a youth event???) Our SM insisted that every Scout attend a worship service or visit the religious exhibits on the Sunday morning. The rest of the time we let the Scouts do whatever they wanted until roll call at 9:30pm (a Summit-set time, we would have preferred 10 or 10:15).

      I’m not Catholic but took the Catholic Scouts in the group to Mass. It was heartwarming to see about 10,000 Scouts and adults standing in one heck of a rain storm to attend. The celebrant for the service was Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States (basically, the Vatican’s ambassador to the US). There were a number of other high ranking Catholic clergy in attendance. Archbishop Vigano mentioned that he had told the Pope was going to West Virginia for the Jamboree instead of World Youth Day in Brazil. :-) So, hey, the Pope knew about this Jambo. :-)

      The weather was a pain, no doubt about that. It seemed that lightning came in every afternoon and shut down the aerial and water programs. Due to the staff shortages, program ran from (I think) 9am until 5pm, not the 8am to 8pm I was talking up a couple of years ago during recruiting drives. A lot of frustration from yoots getting told “sorry” after standing in line for quite some time.

      Our view of the Day of Service was that it dovetailed with how troops work in our Council. Most of the boys enjoyed it, a few loved it and, of course, we hand two or three that hated being there. Our project was in Fayetteville and was useful. One thing the adults had talked about was the day being useful to the community and not a make-work event and our project passed that test. I heard through the grapevine that one Crew’s project was changed at the last minute and involved helping to save a school from flooding!

      I took a 4 gallon solar shower and had hot or warm water all but one day. Ambient temperature meant cold, no two ways about that. Most boys took cold showers at the peak heat of the afternoon and were ok with that. We had a couple of stinkers that had to get big hints to clean up their act.

      Feedback from our Scouts was that overall it was great. Only gripe was the weather shutting things down. My Venturer said it was a lot of fun but didn’t match the advertising. I agree with that statement as I was going out and pushing the National line and then having to talk about the scaled back version that was delivered.

      The one big change I would like to see National make is getting more staff so they can deliver 8am to 8pm program. I have no idea if lowering the price to attend would do it or not. I heard different views from different staff so perhaps each area would have to do its own assessment as to what would be needed to increase staffing levels.

      I spoke with somebody in D’s medical tent on the last day. Single biggest source of problems was the heat and boys not drinking enough water. She said that accounted for over 50% of the problems. BMX was cited as top source of physical injuries with some Scouts getting broken bones. The helicopter flew around quite a bit but I don’t think it was ever used in anger. The ambulances did have to take a few Scouts off site for treatment but most were fixed up on site.

      I don’t know how true this is, but was told a few boys were sent home for vulgar remarks to the female Venturers.

      Comment


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        What is a VIP frequent visitor ? That kind of sounds bad.

      • SWScouter
        SWScouter commented
        Editing a comment
        I know for the Low Gear Mt. Biking, once you went through the safety presentation and passed the rider assessment, you would not have to go through it again, but could just get geared up (helmet, gloves, bike) and go ride (had to go in groups of 4 and at least one rider had to have a cell phone).

    • #35
      Rumors.... Things I ""heard"""...... Scouts sent home for vulgar language.... Entire Troop quarantined for a flu outbreak... AT&T VIPs given priority on the Big Zip....Certain glow in the dark patches are radioactive and will give you cancer (and are thus more desirable)....bunch of Scouts sent home for showing porn on their schmart phones in the shower house.... a certain political candidate predicted that the Jambo was going to be used for Emergency Mass Evacuation training....there is no poison ivy in West Virginia....there is a 60% chance of rain this afternoon (bright sunshine ).... Look at that radar, the lightning is going to the north of us..... they are going to combine the Pet Care and Cooking merit badges...

      Comment


      • Bando
        Bando commented
        Editing a comment
        In 2001, the troop about two campsites down the row from mine got quarantined for a flu outbreak. They put two port-o-potties in the middle of the campsite, plastic-wrapped the perimeter, and kept everyone in the site for a few days. We had a dad from our troop working in the medical tent and hearing the doctors describe it, it was a total nightmare for all involved. It's a bummer it happened again.

      • gsdad
        gsdad commented
        Editing a comment
        My daughter was in F subcamp, and said there were no orgies, but a few kids did get sent home for sex in the woods. She did come home saying she has a boyfriend now, we'll see how the long distance thing works with 15yo kids. The crew advisor said F did receive a lot of foot traffic from "non-residents". However all were courteous and respectful. The females, both foriegn and domestic drew them in to F. Apparently the Korean contingent had a party every night, and steel drums were played by the T&T contingent. I sent my daughter with a handful of patches, she came with all of them and a handful more. The

      • fotoscout
        fotoscout commented
        Editing a comment
        It was widely know that at AP Hill there was a parallel training and logistics agenda for the army to setup and support a civilian city of 60,000.

    • #36
      I can confirm part of the quarantine thing. We were one of several troops quarantined by the WV Health Department for a GI viral outbreak. They came in and bleached all our cooking gear and the nearby shower houses. Our troop was on its trek day (those well enough) and they isolated them at the top of the climb and bleached all their water bottles. None of which did any good, by a few days after the Jambo we were above 90% infection rate and gleefully spreading it to family and friends.

      There was also a candidate for Nevada Governor who had some bats@#$ crazy stuff to say about a mass something or other threat/training. http://nevadagovernor2014.com/nation...ry-vanderbeek/

      Comment


      • Twocubdad
        Twocubdad commented
        Editing a comment
        You guys do know this dumbass isn't Governor of Nevada, right? Just some wingnut with a web site.

      • NJCubScouter
        NJCubScouter commented
        Editing a comment
        David Lory Vanderbeek... according to Wikipedia he is an independent candidate for Governor. Every once in awhile there is an independent candidate who has a realistic chance of winning (remember Jesse Ventura), but this guy does not seem to be one of them. Wikipedia also says that in 2012 he ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate as one of six candidates. It lists the results for the other five candidates but not for him, which I presume means he came in last -- apparently with LESS THAN 0.5 percent of the vote, because that is what the fifth place guy got. And the one-line description of the fifth-place guy is "sanitation worker and perennial candidate" -- and Vanderbeek got less votes than he did. All of which adds up to, as TwoCubDad says, a wingnut with a web site (and enough petition signatures to get on a ballot, but that's about it.)

      • gsdad
        gsdad commented
        Editing a comment
        I came home to a freaked out wife after she saw his video.

    • #37
      Received an e-mail today with this link for providing feedback if you were a leader at the Jamboree.
      Last edited by T2Eagle; 08-12-2013, 11:31 AM.

      Comment


      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Looks like that's an individualized link, which probably is a simple security against non-participants taking the survey.

    • #38
      my scout said he received a link for a survey.....He said he responded honestly......The guy in charge of he food won't be happy......

      Interesting that the it attracted half the scouts and 5% of the visitors as predicted.

      Comment


      • #39
        In the last week I've had the chance to spend time with a few of the leaders and scouts (BS and Venturing) that attended the Jambo. More and more my overall impression of the event is being validated by everyone I speak with!

        Most interesting, in a conversation I had with one of the leaders I was told that there was an exodus of adult staff before the Jambo even started and it went on into the first week. Apparently some of the adult staff simply decided that considering the distances and terrain, BSA was asking too much of them. They quit. As the story goes, it was just too strenuous and the setup was too inconvenient for them to stick it out.

        Comment


        • #40
          Oh, I got a little bit of info on the zip line training issue this past weekend. Apparently the reason the training class was so long had to do with rescue training out on the lines.

          Comment


          • #41
            It is interesting the stories some post here, and the ones so far gotten from leaders and scouts just returned. Most of those with whom I have spoken have mostly positive comments, though they do note there were short comings in some areas. Still, it "seems" that the overall feedback I have gotten is no where nearly as awful as a few here seem to state. But, there are various levels and types of response to disappointment and discomfort by individuals. Maybe those I have met just have more flexible and positive attitudes and can look at difficulties and less than perfect experiences as opportunities for improvement going forward, rather than an excuse to complain and throw rocks. Just a thought and observation.

            Comment


            • #42
              People have different set points for reference. My reference/set point for bad food came in the mid-80s on an aircraft carrier in the Pursian Gulf. There was no bad food at the Jamboree .

              Separately, the maps and distances between locales was published months in advance. There was a required video to watch when you registered that talked about the terrain and IIRC specifically talked about the ridge at the staff camps. IMHO, nobody has reason to say they were surprised by the terrain. Worst case, people who cared could get free topo maps from google maps to check out the terrain themselves.

              Comment


              • Woapalanne
                Woapalanne commented
                Editing a comment
                Uh, no, there was pretty much no information on Google maps, which was about a year behind what was really happening.

              • fotoscout
                fotoscout commented
                Editing a comment
                My reference point for this thing continues to be one of honesty. BSA did not follow the scout law in advertising and hyping the event. IF.......IF, they had come out at some point in time and informed the participants that not all the activities would be available to them, then I'd have nothing to talk about. They would have had to do this in some meaningful way, not in the fine print. But they did not do that. Instead, they hyped this thing to the bitter end, leading everyone on with the belief that they'd be able to participate in ALL the activities that were advertised.

                I believe that they were intentionally deceptive and dishonest.

            • #43
              I was there for the full term. As for "busses for staff", that was only the last couple of days, they didn't give notice, and when word finally leaked out, the busses were high above Echo, so you had to climb up to meet them. Hardly worth the effort. It would be nice to have such service, but hardly a deal-breaker. I lost 2 inches in the waist and gained 2 pounds during the event. Went in overweight - 25.0 BMI, came out even more so. Long walks and great chow - except for lunch, which I can't call "lunch", it was more like a bit of munchies. My venue was well staffed and quite successful. We did have problems with the rain and mud, but we coped. Cold showers were nice on the couple of hot days, but tough the rest. But we handled it. (Solar bags were useless, as the water was cold again by the time we were ready for nighttime showers.) I went through 2-3 shirts a day, as the up and down two-mile hikes to work in the humidity did lead to sweaty attire. Thank goodness for the laundry service! The cot was really comfortable, and the 4-man tent was adequate - better than I expected, but that has a lot to do with great tentmates.

              Will I do it again? The jury is still out. I'm already in my 70s, so it will depend on my physical fitness in 4 years.

              Comment


              • #44
                One scout from my troop went and he enjoyed it. Only negative was the miles to get to some events. He couldn't do some of the events because of the time required to get there. Maybe 20,000 cheap bikes spread all over the place next time?

                What was great was he had no problem with the heat. At summer camp he ended up at the medic with pretty severe dehydration. It wasn't that he wasn't drinking enough water but wasn't getting enough salt. I had electrolyte tablets but he didn't like the taste as his stomach was already upset. He did ok with gatorade. When he was getting ready for jambo his mom offered him gatorade packets but he said he only wanted the electrolyte tablets "because Mr R said they were better." It warms my heart to know that once in awhile a kid listens to me.

                Comment


                • #45
                  Only negative that I've heard from a youth so far was that he hated all the cell phone encouragement from National. He ended up delayed or alone because everyone in his troop was planning their activities around how much battery they had left: "Oh, I can only go X far, I've only got 5% battery" and/or "I can't leave yet I have to wait for my phone to be charged."

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