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  • BSA Adventurebase 100

    Went to the International Sportsmans Expo in Sacramento with the troop this weekend. The BSA Adventurebase 100 exhibit was there. They had a rope course set up, a dome tent showing a BSA movie, a photo booth where they superimposed the photo with 'adventuresome' backgrounds and a scout store where I purchased a new coffee mug for the office. The big trailer exhibit was all opened up and you walk thru and it shows a comprehensive history of scouting, from 1910 on... very informative and an extremely nice display, including interactive stations, memorabilia, lots of photos and more.

    The whole exhibit was very nice, but geared mostly to people who would have little knowledge of scouting and towards Cubs who are just learning.

    The area was jam packed, lots of scouts there but also a good mix of young'uns and parents getting info, and old guys walking thru reminiscing about their cub/scout days. They had an on-line registration booth right there so they hooked and landed 'em right away ( good thinking there! ).

    Overall a very nice experience.





  • #2
    The closest this is coming to me is about 3 hours away sometime in July.

    A few of us have talked about car-pooling and going to see it.

    Is it worth the drive?

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    • #3
      yep ditto the 3 hour trip for me too. PLUS it is during the Jambo contingents visits to DC for me. SOOOOOOOO is it worth the 3 horu trip AND long lines from Jambo folks? What about for a pack of approx. 90 CS and their parents, as the pack is trying to plan a DC trip as it is?

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      • #4
        The powers-that-be in our council have indicated they don't think it's worth a drive. Nice to see if it's close by, but I can't imagine going out of my way to get there.

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        • #5
          Worth a three hour drive? I'd say no. It was only and hour for me and it was combined with the Sportsmen's Expo, so we gotta lotta bank for our bucks. My older scouts walked thru once and took off, only the young'uns hung around.

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          • #6

            http://adventurebase100.org/

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            • #7
              My son and I (plus one other dad and his son) attended in San Diego the second week it was open (one week after the debut in the Rose Parade in Pasedena).

              FWIW - if its close by you, it'd be a good day trip. If you are going to have to drive more than 1 hr to get there, don't bother. Maybe as it progesses andmakes mroe stops, they will add to the exhibits, but I thought for the level of hype, it was pretty sparse at best.

              1) The ropes course was a JOKE. Its all contained in 10ft by 6ft trailer that is rigged to jack up in the air (think fun house at the local county fair type stuff) and the scouts are "hooked in" the whole way and get less than 6 ft off the ground the whole time. Most of the trouble was with the scout having to stop and 'pull' their meat hook trolley line up to them because it would get stuck in the track and the safety device would actually stop scouts from being able to move forward. If its a large city venue - BSA needs about 3 more of these contraptions in order to keep the lines moving. We waited for 20 minutes and had made it less than 1/4 way through the line before our boys decided to go do something else.... I've seen faster lines at the airport when a security breach occured.

              2) Same issue with the penny smasher machine... ONE, yes count it ONE machine with a hand crank for how many scouts? My son has a smashed penny collection and this would have been a very cool one to have, but I timed a few in the line as we walked in and it was moving at a rate of about 1 scout per 2.5 minutes... there were a minimum of 50 scouts in line at any one time... you do the math. The fact that folks were willing to stand in a line for nearly 2 hours for a smashed penny was astonishing to me. GOOD NEWS - I spoke w/ one of the Adventure Base workers and they said BSA is supposed to be getting a couple more of these on line soon... so maybe the wait time will be better when they get to your neck of the woods.

              3) The trailer history exhibit was actually pretty cool and had some very good interactions in it. Only issue I saw was one worker who was asking scouts not to touch the rubber "scat" replicas on the wall in one exhibit becuase, "It has to last all year across the country". That may be so, but why the hell was it a "hands on" exhibit if you expect scouts not to touch it? Lines were at least managed well in this area.

              4) The DOME movie was pretty cool, had it set up like a campsite inside, down to the astro-turf grass, faux fire and logs / campstools to sit on. The movie was well made, but it was geared towards recruitment. I would have liked to see a little more emphasis on what you can actually DO at some of the High Adventure bases. It could've marketed to both existing scouts and those that didn't know much about scouting. But it was really only for those who were not already scouts.

              5) The scout shop tent was well appointed and had a few "you can only get them at Adventure Base 100" items. Don't know if that will be true, or if you can only get them at the travelling show until its over next FEB, and then any leftovers will be in the online shop? I picked up a couple books, one is a hardbound on the extensive paintings of Norman Rockwell for BSA. Not bad at $28, but my one splurge on BSA 100 years memoribilia that I wanted to have.

              Overall, it was fun enough. I think its a great recruiting tool, but seasoned scouters might find it only tells them things about BSA that they already know or have done. The traveling museum was pretty darn cool and kinda makes me want to plan my family vacation on a route that would include a stop in Irving, so we could hit the real thing.

              If they work the bugs out of the long lines (I mean it made Disneyland look like it has short waits) - it would be worth a daytrip to see. Hopefully, the crowd control / line movement was a 1st stop hiccup that will improve with time. I'll be back in the midwest over the summer, so we might catch up to it and go see it in a less populated area to find out if the expirience is the same. Would like to get Jr that smashed penny...

              Worth the time if its close - I wouldn't make a special pilgramage just to say you're seen it.

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              • #8
                Adventurebase 100 is going to be here in Atlanta during the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park...too bad it's the same weekend as our Section Conclave.

                Our Council is asking for volunteers, saying that "there will be extensive volunteer opportunities for Adventurebase."

                We'll see....

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                • #9
                  for me, it will be in my area in March, at a large county fair. My council is also looking for volunteers.

                  it seems clear to me that the main audience for it are the NON scouting people, as a way to promote Scouting. So I think its important that we do have local volunteers to help out (youth & adults) to help sell our program.

                  If some of the activities aren't as challenging as you'd like (the ropes course, etc), keep in mind that they probably couldn't be thanks to liability issues and such.

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                  • #10
                    "If some of the activities aren't as challenging as you'd like (the ropes course, etc), keep in mind that they probably couldn't be thanks to liability issues and such."

                    No disrespect to your post... but there are a few around here (myself included) that tend to think this is 90% of the problem with recruitment and retention in BSA.

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                    • #11
                      Guh, 2 1/2 hours to either of the closest stops. I live just outside the 6th biggest city in the country, why is there not a closer stop?

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                      • #12
                        Son and I attended AB100 this past weekend at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Weather was lovely, Piedmont Park was great, AB100 was ... ho-hum. We had nothing like the lines Dean Rx mentioned so that wasn't a problem. But it was clearly geared to Cub-age non-Scouts. The biggest draw was the ropes course but it was just a portable rig, not very exciting for a 13 y-o near-Life Scout who already has his Climbing MB (son did not get on it). The "passport" thingy was totally confusing, the people manning the booth didn't explain it at all. The dome was kind of a neat set-up, but the video was only 5 minutes long. You just get settled on the artificial turf and it's time to leave :-) The big 18-wheeler became a stage - there was a jazz group playing while we were there.

                        (My son suggested they should have saved all this for Cub Scouts 100th anniversary - it would appeal to them more.)

                        I did purchase an event patch (happy about that) - and attending AB100 does satisfy one of the requirements for the new Scouting Heritage MB. I wouldn't say it was worth the 2 hour drive, but spending a beautiful day outside with my son ... totally worth it!

                        clyde

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                        • #13
                          I drove 3 hours to get there, too.

                          You council powers that be may indicate it's not worth the drive, but staffing AB100 was rewarding. I didn't just go to go -- my son and I staffed it and got to share Scouting with kids who had never seen things like a ropes course before, or held a canoe paddle, or seen what Scouting is really like.

                          Like many events during the anniversary, it's not just about the current Scouts. Mazucca has said this is our year to reintroduce America to what Scouting is and where we've come from, and AB 100 does just that.

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