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  • Going it alone?

    While I'm sure that there are a good many people happy to see the DOD cut the strings with the BSA and the National Boy Scout Jamborees. I'm wondering if the BSA will do as well or better without the support of the U.S. Army and armed forces?
    I visited the 1977 Moraine State Park. It was a muddy mess!
    Back in 2001 when the storms came the army did an outstanding job of helping the Scouts and drying a huge number of wet sleeping bags.
    The Army also provided a great deal of medical support.
    Summer in West Virginia is plagued with strong storms and lots of very heavy showers.
    In 2005, I've been told it was the guys from the Army who stepped in and put their foot down when it came to Scouts doing activities which because of the heat and humidity were unsafe and maybe dangerous.
    Is the BSA able and ready to go it alone?
    Ea.

  • #2
    I'm in the same boat with my concerns. I went to the 2005 and 2010 jamborees and, both times, I was impressed with how the US Army handled the logistics of the event. This leaves me wondering how badly we will miss them in 2013.

    I'm guessing we will be seeing a ton of requests for volunteers with EMS training and other "specialized" qualifications in order to fill the gap that the army has left. The other option would be paying for on-site EMS services from the county.

    My other thought about filling the gap is this: we have plenty of Fire/EMS, Police, and Search and Rescue Exploring posts and the Jamboree could be an excellent way for them to get hands-on experience in their fields. Perhaps we could see a scenario where entire posts could attend for a discount in exchange for their services. Any thoughts on this one? It could bring the whole BSA "corporate family" together at one event without compromising either division (or at least that's how I see it).

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    • #3
      Maybe if a lot of the production "flash and dash" were eliminated, the BSA could afford to fill the gap without making the cost of registration more outrageous than it is. And I always thought the added costs that the Councils add was a bit over the top (custom T shirts, caps, totebags, water bottles, etc). Of course, would today's scout really like to attend a glorified summer camp meritbadge mill? The support the military provided was probably worth millions of dollars a year (in Pentagon $$). I think we need to start lowering expectations. Or maybe the Bechtel family will be filling the gap?

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      • #4
        Be Prepared, I always say. HEY!!!!! That would make a great motto! Some kind of outdoor youth organization could even adopt it as their motto! What a great idea!

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        • #5
          I was at the 81 as a ASPL and the 05 as an ASM. I was impressed of course with all the military support. As a vet, its always neat to see these things. What I didnt care for was a little of the crowd control mentality that I saw from a few soldiers, and very few at that. It was a little too abrasive at times where it didnt seem needed to me; but I know I wasnt in their shoes so I give them the benefit of the doubt. Most military present were very friendly and open. It was cool to see many were wearing the rank they earned themselves in Scouts, some would track down their home councils units for a visit.

          But this concerns me as well, whenever you have this mass of people, both Scouts and non-Scouts meandering around a relatively small area there needs to be order. Who is going to do that? I know theres a huge push at SummitCorps for OA members to help out at 2013, I really hope they dont expect Arrowmen to take on that role. Will security rental cops be brought in? Will local police forces be invited? Or military?

          One afternoon in 05 some fellow leaders and I stopped to eat our box lunches in a large open area. As we finished eating, we all noticed about the same time loads of wrappers from the packaged food littering the ground. Without saying a word, we all started picking up handfuls of the garbage as we walked past dozens of Scouts watching as they ate their own meals. Before we knew it we had a growing group behind us doing the same. In no time the large grassy area was almost completely clean, a stark difference from when we arrived. Little things like that stick with me more than the huge orchestrated events.

          During the death march in 05 all of the medical services I saw were Scouters or civilians, I dont recall seeing many or even any military involvement in my area during that fiasco (maybe they were behind the scenes more). I thought the staffers dealt with the ridiculous situation very effectively considering the hand we were all dealt with on that boiler afternoon.

          I also hope they get back to some basics. We spent a huge percentage of time planning daggone hats, t-shirts, and patches than we did much else it seemed a real waste of efforts (and Im a patch guy). Even the gateways became a distraction and sucked up much of the time on the first and last day. No backpacks anymore just totes. Everything hauled in by delivery trucks and travel busses. Meals we were to cook were bags of food to be boiled. Overall, it was a great event and I dont like to complain, but I really had to wonder what my Uncle wouldve thought that attended the 53 jambo, heck it didnt remind me too much of the 81 event.

          But this seems fascinating to me what an opportunity BSA has here a true clean sheet of paper to set things up (dare I say it) the way they want. So far, I really like what Im hearing. I still dont get it how BSA can continue to get away with charging people to work on staff. It will be interesting to see if they can entice those of us from the not-retired generation to take leaves or vacations in addition to PAY for the privilege of working on staff. Id have a hard time selling that one to my better half.

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          • #6
            This jamboree site is pretty isolated from what I read. Also, the new setup will be pretty primitive compared to the Hill. Troops will not be allowed to bring all the stuff they used to bring. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on future jamboree attendance. I'm declining a staff opportunity for this one because I'm just too danggoned old to try out something experimental.

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            • #7
              I recall reading that the West Virgina National Guard will be heavily involved in operations.

              The military had a lot of folks at past jamborees working recruiting and PR stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if the military now becomes the equivalent of a corporate sponsor, trading sponsorships for operational, logistical and security support.

              Just because the army isn't our landlord doesn't mean they won't be around.

              Just my assumption.

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              • #8
                An organization that never seems all that organized goes ahead and runs a huge get together once every four years. What could possibly go wrong?

                I don't know what all the military did at Jamboree - their presence was everywhere and I suspect it's difficult to even categorize everything they did. I would definitely anticipate a bunch of unforeseen issues popping up, without having people in place to handle.

                It's easy enough to think that teams of Scouts or volunteers could handle various things, but there are a lot of situations that need some top-down decision making.

                Like Kahuna, I expect the first one to be something of an experiment. If I were to go, I'd try to be as flexible as possible, but I'm not eager to be a guinea pig either.

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                • #9
                  Well, as I understand a LOT of things will be different.

                  * they will be a LOT tougher on participants (and staff) meeting the physical requirements. So, I think that means a lot of people who had been on staff, won't be allowed this time. I actually wasn't planning on attending, and probably good, because I might get turned down.

                  * tempatures will NOT be as bad as the AP Hill site, so those issues will be less.

                  * Visitors need to be aware that they CAN'T visit the Jamboree. Really. They will be limited to visiting the 'visitor village' (or whatever its called). This is a HUGE change.

                  * Design of the jamboree means the distance to activities will be less AND there will be no buses or the like (I am going to guess all the outside vendors will be gone too).

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                  • #10
                    This is some interesting stuff. I wonder how they will handle that?

                    Based on the location and population of the area (that county has about 46,000 residents and the largest city is only about 7,500) I don't see how you can expect a lot of local EMT support, only 1,400 in the Health Services Industry in the whole County.

                    Hopefully, someone's considered that. Or did they just expect the military to cover it?

                    (This message has been edited by Engineer61)

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