Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

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

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

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

    Finally had a call from my son as he waits for the bus to take him home. Here is his quote, "they had some really nice stuff but overall it sucked". First let me say that this was my son's second Jambo. He is no neophyte. Although I don't have all the details yet, it seems that the 2 1/2 days of scheduled time morphed into virtually everyday being scheduled. There was no time to just go out and explore. Additionally, the long walks to the Action Centers (or whatever they called them) created a situation where you basically committed most of your day to one activity, and when the weather shut things down your day became pretty much a loss. Apparently he and his buddies went to shooting sports, waited on line, got to the safety briefing and then had the place shutdown for lightening. Safety first, I'm all for it, but ultimately this left them with pretty much a wasted day. This seemed to be just one example. Each day had something that they HAD to do. Seems like a cub scout event where you have to point and direct their every move.

    In my 6 years a Council Camping Chairman I learned that Program, (followed by staff, then facilities), is the number one item when it comes to a successful outcome. It seems that they put the cart before the horse. Much work still needs to be done in the Program area. From a distance this whole event seemed to be a giant district camporee. I'm not sure that I like that format for the Jamboree.

    On a different note, I was told that some activities were restricted to Venturers. If this turns out to be true, someone will need to answer the question, why were all the activities not available to Boy Scouts at the Boy Scout National Jamboree?
    Last edited by fotoscout; 07-24-2013, 09:44 AM.

  • #2
    I've been trading texts with my oldest as he heads home. Throughout the week he seems to have had a great time. Didn't get to do everything he wanted but said every day was better than the last. Some days the food 'sucked'. Some days there wasn't near enough food for him. Talking to other parents from our Troop their boys have had a mixed bag. One boy in particular was complaining about adults line hoping for events to the point that despite waiting 4 hours on the last day he still couldn't get on the zip lines - major disappointment for him. I'm sure that sort of stuff happens.

    Not to highjack your thread but what's bothered me is our council and their behavior and attitudes throughout the entire process. If I didn't have another boy 3 years younger already saying he wants to go to the next I'd never have anything to do with them again. As it is I've shut down all my involvement on the district and council level. I'll put my time and energy into the local unit from now on.

    Comment


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      My scout musta been in the line with your scout....He made the effort an entire afternoon and was turned away....

      He didn't mention adults cutting line.

  • #3
    The more I think about this, the more I’m inclined to think that the event has either lost or changed its focus. In the past it was billed as a gathering of scouts. That gathering was the prime focus. It was what all the advertising, reporting, and conversation were about. This time, it was all about the activities, and particularly about the grand facilities that have been built. Granted the facilities are grand, but the Jamboree should never be about the facilities, or even the activities! It’s about the scouts and it seems to me that to some extent the opportunity to mingle took a back seat. It seems to me that so much time and focus was spent in getting from here to there that mingling was distant bit of interference.

    Comment


    • #4
      My daughter loved it for the most part. I think the Venturing only items were more social events in the evening. She said someone stole her mess kit, but everything else she packed is coming home(except for traded patches, and food). Unpacking will confirm this. Having the menu ahead of time helped her/us plan with supplemental food items.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by fotoscout View Post
        On a different note, I was told that some activities were restricted to Venturers. If this turns out to be true, someone will need to answer the question, why were all the activities not available to Boy Scouts at the Boy Scout National Jamboree?
        This (and the .pdf it leads to) should kinda explain the general mentality: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/...uidelines.aspx

        Some of this comes off as "dirty pool" to try to get boy scouts and their leaders interested in venturing. (Why a 12-year-old-scout can't take handgun training defeats me. I fondly remember my Webelos DL taking us out to learn to shoot his .38 special.)

        Some of it is the social aspect. Yes, some venturers want to come to Jambo -- their membership card is printed on the same stock as a boy from a troop-- but they are best served by having a percentage of activities to themselves. On camporees, I've had to herd older "distracted-by-venturers" boy scouts back to their troops because I definitely feel for their SM. As an ASM and crew advisor, I want boys in my troop to get to know my venturers in case they want to be part of the program, but I also want them to fulfill their responsibilities with the troop. I suspect we are going to be stuck with this mode of operation for as long as the majority of BSA remains male-only.

        Comment


        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          I think for amount of venturers present they were overly represented in all public aspects of the event.....


          I wonder if this the beginning of coed scouting.

        • dlearyous
          dlearyous commented
          Editing a comment
          I thought the same thing Basementdweller! I looked through most of the photos and the postings on social media and I agree, the Venturers seemed to be overly represented compared to Boys Scouts.

        • dcsimmons
          dcsimmons commented
          Editing a comment
          No need to wonder BD, it's been coming for a while I fear.

      • #6
        Mentality noted, and thank you. But it doesn't explain why Boy Scouts should be excluded from anything at the Jamboree.

        And on still another note, some of you may have seen a facebook post about the Day of Service Project that took a different direction. Here is the part that interests me, "Scouts were building picnic tables, an outdoor learning space and a gravel walkway at the school". I've had a problem with this Day of Service thing from the start, but I tempered my opinion thinking that the tens of thousands of service hours were going to be done inside The Summit. Now we find out that that was not the case. This is, in my opinion, an outrageously opportunistic act of selfishness by the National Council. If they want to be seen as do-gooders, then arrange with the OA to have local projects done by Service Corp. But to do it on the $1800 that I paid for my sons trip, is manipulative, abusive. and deceptive. I believe that this Day of Service thing was just another way to take the participants out of circulation for a day. National knew that it could not handle the volume or throughput on most of the big advertised activities, so they just came up with a mechanism to remove a significant number of participant from the mix.

        To me the whole concept of this Day of Service at the Jambo is questionable. Scouts, all Scouts know what service is about. The Den, the Pact, the Troop, or even the Crew sends out a message that our activity for the day will be 'some service project'. You choose to go along or you choose to stay home. That's your choice. But either way, you haven't been asked to shell out thousands of dollars for the privilege of participating in the that service project without ever having the chance to decline. And the justification for declining would simply be, "my parents sent me here to participate in the Jamboree, not to build picnic tables".

        Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that the kids were able to help save the schools equipment and material. To me this is an issue of principle.
        Last edited by fotoscout; 07-24-2013, 12:58 PM.

        Comment


        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          Guess you didn't get the memo? http://www.summitblog.org/40000-scou...unity-service/

          None of my crew went to Jambo. Maybe it was because if they were going to pay $$ to serve, they would want to call the shots. Maybe pick a third-world country. I don't know. But it seems that it was made clear from the start that this day was part of the package.

          Should it be? I don't know. When you move into town, it's always a good idea to lend a hand to the neighbors. That's good hunting land we just walled off! We want them to feel it was worth the exchange!

      • #7
        Originally posted by fotoscout View Post
        But to do it on the $1800 that I paid for my sons trip, is manipulative, abusive. and deceptive. I believe that this Day of Service thing was just another way to take the participants out of circulation for a day. National knew that it could not handle the volume or throughput on most of the big advertised activities, so they just came up with a mechanism to remove a significant number of participant from the mix.

        To me the whole concept of this Day of Service at the Jambo is questionable. Scouts, all Scouts know what service is about. The Den, the Pact, the Troop, or even the Crew sends out a message that our activity for the day will be 'some service project'. You choose to go along or you choose to stay home. That's your choice. But either way, you haven't been asked to shell out thousands of dollars for the privilege of participating in the that service project without ever having the chance to decline. And the justification for declining would simply be, "my parents sent me here to participate in the Jamboree, not to build picnic tables".

        Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that the kids were able to help save the schools equipment and material. To me this is an issue of principle.
        My wife said the same thing about doing it on the money we paid to send him there. I explained that our other scout did a service project at summer camp and that our Troop performs service projects every year at camp. The more I thought about it - the more I'm inclined to agree with both of you...

        My guy is home now - I just have to wait 2 hours to leave work and go home to see him and hear the stories. I went in 1985 as a scout and I'm glad he got this opportunity warts and all.

        Comment


        • #8
          From a principled standpoint, I see nothing wrong with Scouts taking time to include some aspect of community service during their time at jamboree. I have more of an issue with parents who have the mindset that they've paid a lot of money to send their kid to jamboree and it dang-well better be amazing. (And this is coming from a guy who has paid a total of six jamboree fees over the years.) This is what's driving the Jambo Disney trend -- Bigger! Higher! More Expensive! My experience is the kids are pretty content to trade patches, explore with their buddies, hang out with new Scout friends or pick up a couple odd merit badges not available at home. Which is why I thought the initial plan for the Summit program (which was eventually scrapped) to ban patch trading and the MB Midway was so stupid).

          Keep in mind this jambo was built on the model of the 2007 World Jamboree, which is where the day of service idea originated. And it pretty much worked the same way there. The number of Scouts overwhelmed the needs of the local community and the ability of the jamboree to handle the logistics. My Scouts ended up picking up trash for an hour or so, then spent the day hanging out with a bunch of UK Scouts exploring the town they were supposed to be working and climbing on old castle ruins. Being world jamboree, that was pretty cool.

          Generally, BSA is pretty bad about hyping a few really cool activities on which they can't deliver. Last time it was the skate board demonstration from the kid who looked like Carrot Top -- Sean something?. Half the jamboree showed up and our guys couldn't get within a half-mile of the show. Then there was the big OA "experience" which they hyped for months. But at jamboree someone finally took their shoes and socks of to do the math and discovered the venue could only accommodate a fraction the number of participants. The solution? Short change the troops on the number of tickets they received and let the troops decide who got stiffed.

          A bigger problem, which Bronco mentioned, was and apparently is the number of adults taking slots at activities from youth participants. I don't give a damn how much you paid to be here or how many hours you worked, that's what you volunteered for. And presumably you volunteered to serve the Scouts, not to take their turn in line. My troop was essentially shut out of the main arena show last time because of the number of staff members who bypassed us in line and took our space. We had our boys buddy-up and go find a spot in the arena as best they could. Some grey-beard regional twit bellowed at us "YOU CAN"T DO THAT!" To which I replied, "we just did!" My ASM made a suggestion which I don't think would have been anatomically possible.

          Comment


          • #9
            The day of service has been known from the outset. I sat on our Jambo committee and attended the previous two as an ASM. I too questioned whether it is a good thing or not. Considering that there was some push back from locals concerned about a chunk of land in their rural area being turned into an encampment with 40,000 people, providing service to that community goes a long way them wanting this in their backyard. Plus, given the scout oath and law, doing service anywhere you are at just fits. I know it costs a pretty penny. I spent close to $10K for my son and I both to go to Jambo in 2005 and 2010. You certainly want to get as much bang for your buck as possible. That is why when I was ASM, we would run them out of sitting around camp all day or setting up right outside of camp and patch trading. Their parents had spent $3k for them to go. They could sit on their butts for free when they got back home. I also have to take into consideration that those who chose to staff Jamboree, have to pay the Jambo fee, provide their own transportation and use their vacation time. They are paying to go do a job with long, hot hours without many creature comforts. I'm torn. On one hand, people paid to play and doing service isn't playing. On the other, service is what Boy Scouts do. As to using the OA to do it, the OA's service function is primarily to their camps where a scouts service is to the community.

            Comment


            • dlearyous
              dlearyous commented
              Editing a comment
              I think it was wonderful that Scouts were able to give back to the community. My problem however is the automatic issuance of the Messenger of Peace award. I am not that familiar with it, but after a quick review creating a flower bed for a Community College does not seem to fit the bill. Am I alone?

          • #10
            I certainly hope I didn't sound like my expectation was that the Jambo should be "Amazing" in a Disney like way. I think it should be anything but ,disappointing. Council OA does service in the council camp. But my understanding is that Service Core and Trail Crew do service anywhere.

            I didn't miss the memo.........I knew that the Day of Servie was scheduled from the outset. But what really gets me is this report of off site service being done. I think it compounds the insult. BSA doesn't need to curry favor with the locals. Locating there was more than enough. The community should be more than grateful. Job, Jobs and more Jobs. A local year round staff, summers full of campers, and still more staff. That's without knowing what National, the State of WV and the Bechtel family has done for the community. Any rural community would be thrilled to have this facility.

            Again, this idea of service at the Jambo is my opinion. I think its wrong in this situation.

            Comment


            • fotoscout
              fotoscout commented
              Editing a comment
              Sorry, I still believe that there is enough support for the neighborhood by virtue of just being there with everything that comes with it.

              As for BSA's assumption, it was a very poor assumption! It seems that the scenario that you've laid out basically allows the non-profit to compete with the local for profit operations. That's a long term kiss of death for whichever side of the argument you take. If they really want to be good neighbors, maybe they should start by not taking the bread and butter away from the locals.

            • dcsimmons
              dcsimmons commented
              Editing a comment
              Then you must have missed the memo. It was scheduled for community service from the get go. The entire MOPDOS was coordinated with the Citizens Conservation Corp of West Virginia. I have to say it was a good experience for my Troop. They are all from the western suburbs of Chicago. It was good for them to see just how things work in rural and poor areas. I think it worked towards character development just fine.

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              Now honestly, do you want something like the Beer and Weed fest that is the Jamboree in the Hills at the summit....

              Or how about the Easy Rider rodeo....or how about OZ fest or how about the rainbow people gathering.

              I have no issue with GSUSA renting it, or how about the Royal Rangers or Awana

          • #11
            I find the adult line hopping curious. I'd be interested to know where it happed as the only place adults were allowed to participate was in the Summit Center. The outlying activity areas were youth only. Early in the first week all the canopy tour lines were limited to curriculum ticket holders both in the action area and in the Summit Center. The zip lines in the center were jammed as much due to lightning and weather as anything.

            Comment


            • skeptic
              skeptic commented
              Editing a comment
              We simply continue to have a great many individuals with half empty glasses. If anything, BSA should be looking to do even more service, as that is something that can overcome considerable negative publicity on other things. I feel they miss the boat on all levels by not assuring that the amount and often quality of service by troops, districts, and Eagles is almost mind boggling. Yet we are lucky to see much more than "Joe Scout" was awarded Eagle or something along that line most of the time. And it is usually buried so you have to search for it. But, anything negative will likely be front page, or front of sections.

              As far as the OA is concerned, it is not its intent to do all levels of service, but rather service to encouraging camping and supporting camping development in Scouts and the community as well.

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              So what volunteer for the national Jamboree at the expense of the local Program?????? Hell no.

              I can volunteer at day camp....It cost me fuel back and forth and they feed me lunch......

              Jambo takes 5 days or so and cost $800.......


              YO national...Want more volunteers.....Charge me for my food, my shirts and call it even.....So 5 days of food and 5 shirts shouldn't cost more than $200.

            • Frank17
              Frank17 commented
              Editing a comment
              I second basementdweller. I volunteer all the time for local camps & council events. Not for national where I get charged for the "privilege".

          • #12
            Where is bando??????

            Comment


            • Bando
              Bando commented
              Editing a comment
              What? You want me, again, to point out your incessant negativity about the Jamboree? Because I'm glad to do so.

              Thousands of kids (and paying volunteers) had a great, life-changing time at the Summit. Your negative opinion about how that fun was facilitated by the BSA won't change a thing.

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              Thousands of folks were sold a bill of goods that the BSA had no possible way to deliver.

              If they were truly that short of staff....They should have spent some money on local folks and brought in some staff to get the blasted think to run right.

              So explain to be again how you plan to send 3,000 guys thru the shooting sports venue when you have absolutely no idea how many folks are going to staff it????
              Sure you can say I need 200 volunteers to do it, then what hope they sign up???? That is a complete crock of Shhhhhhhhhh.

              They should have confirmed staffing levels before they say we can host 30,000 scouts. If you have staff for 20,000 then that is the limit......

              So about the zip lines......Absolutely every promotional video shown had the zip lines featured........NONE of my sons patrol got to experience it.....Not a one. Don't you think that should have been one of the things they had completely staffed so it would run at full capacity.

          • #13
            Basementdweller,

            I was on staff as well and what you say is simply not true. The largest problems in staffing was getting trained people. The Jamboree even offered to pay for zip line certification training that was about a 14 day course and physically very demanding and expensive. There were still too few to operate the zip lines to capacity. The shooting sports required NRA instructors, not just anyone. The planners did not anticipate the poor response for staff. The reasons are not fully known but in my personal opinion is a function of the new weight requirements and the terrible economy that made the cost prohibitive to some that would have gone in other years. When the staffing levels were determined to be too few, it was too late to decrease the number attending. How would you propose to do that? Which boys and girls would you cut? They made the only reasonable decision and that was to proceed with fewer getting through the various venues.

            As said elsewhere, adults were not allowed to participate in most activities. ALL of the youth with whom that I spoke were having a great time. The site and facilities are really first rate and should only improve with time. I do have some concern about the camp being able to pay for itself in the non-Jamboree years.

            Jamboree was a great success and the Venturing youth only added to the experience.

            Comment


            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              I never said my son complained about adults cutting line.

              So what your saying is that the boys weren't turned away from zip lining???? NONE of my son's patrol got to use the zip lines. Call my son a liar I am good with it. according to him he stood in line for hours to be turned away when the venue closed in the evening....

            • JoeBob
              JoeBob commented
              Editing a comment
              NRA Training for RSO and/or Instructor takes 2 days for competent people. (RSO and Instructor Combo training is 3 days.) National Jamboree could easily have gotten NRA instructors to train on site to fill any open slots.

              What Jambo couldn't do was convince over 21 year old practical folks that they should pay $850 for the privilege of working for free.

              Wouldbadge Grads? Anyone?

          • #14
            The problem with inadequate staffing, especially in areas that required specialized skills, was a very real problem, and one that must have been obvious a long time before the Jamboree, probably a year out.

            The BSA did really continue to hype things like zip line when it was eminently clear that that very few scouts were going to experience it. Frankly the idea that they were going to find 800 plus volunteers (the number necessary to open all the zips) who would be able to spend two weeks training and then two more weeks at the Jamboree was beyond wishful thinking. The better choice would have been to hire that many college students for a month to provide the necessary staffing levels. The BSA does have a habit of getting one idea in its head and not being able to adjust to reality.

            Comment


            • dlearyous
              dlearyous commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't know about that. From the beginning when we signed up the information said "BIG ZIP ELECTIVE (THE ZIP): Experience a ride on one of five parallel lines each 3200 feet long over Adventure Valley and the Kayak Lake. NOTE: Due to the limited capacity of this venue a finite number of elective tickets will be distributed to each jamboree unit to be divided amongst the members of that unit as they so choose".

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              That is not what was initially sold. Only last fall did it come out that not everyone was going to be able to do the big zip.....And this spring it we heard that only a few golden tickets would be given to each unit.

              When the troop returned I asked the SM who used the troops allotment.......I already knew it was his son and his best friend.

          • #15
            T2Eagle,

            The shortage was not evident as soon as you believe. They tried to do just what you suggested but not all college students could do it. One must be fit and possess much upper body strength. So when the problem became evident, they tried recruiting as you suggested but it turned out to be far more difficult than they would have believed. When I learned of the problem, I thought that it would be easier to recruit than it turned out to be. The BSA was flexible, thought outside of the box but things did not work out as they had thought. The folks doing the programs worked extremely hard, are very intelligent, very oriented toward the youth having a great time, and excellent planners in their professional careers. They are far more than competent - they are leaders in their fields. So it was a learning experience and it will be better in four years.

            Comment


            • st0ut717
              st0ut717 commented
              Editing a comment
              Umm Be prepared?

              Be prepared for the max amount of interest in an event that was heavily advertised.

              My troop did not attend and as a new scout parent I held my tongue in questioning the SM in his decision. I see he had the right insight.

            • Basementdweller
              Basementdweller commented
              Editing a comment
              General an entire troop from a single CO doesn't attend.... Each council gets a number of ad hoc troops that it can take. The boys apply and generally it is first come first serve.

              The boys need to be 13 by the end of 13 if I remember right.
          Working...
          X