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so many choices, so little cash!

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If your group of eager 13-15 year old scouts had a choice between doing a high adventure trek at one of the National HA bases and going to jambo in 2010, which would you recommend to them and why?


We have just such a group, newly formed. They want to do EVERYTHING. I'm excited that they're excited but money is a little tight and parents are beginning to have sticker shock. Nobody in our troop has done any of these sorts of activities in a long time so there's no internal institutional memory to guide them.

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Yah, Jambo is fun, eh? It's a great experience to be around such a large group of fellow scouts, and a delightful carnival.


But if you're lookin' for real personal growth in skill and character, the boys should run their own high adventure treks. For one thing, it guarantees they'll all be able to go (while Jambo participation is limited, eh?). For another, yeh can run several treks for the cost of one Jambo the way these things are typically priced. But most importantly, the boys get challenged to their level of ability as a team.


Now, if cost is a problem, the national high adventure bases aren't always the best way to go, eh? They do provide a nice, canned program, but they are still a bit pricey. Don't forget that there are a lot of council-based high adventure programs that are very strong, and a bit cheaper than national. But da biggest cost savings comes when yeh run your own high adventure, contracting with a regular outfitter. You could, for example, run a 1-2 week backpackin' trek on Michigan's Isle Royale for substantially less cost than Philmont, or set up a 1-2 week whitewater clinic/adventure for less cost than Seabase. What you're tradin' is the kids' (and scouters') time and effort doing the planning for the extra dollars you would pay for a completely "canned" program. To my mind, that's an excellent trade, because we want the kids to be doin' planning anyway, and bringin' those skills back to da troop.



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Hi Lisabob,


The current scouts in our troop have never done a National Jamboree, so we can't give you a good, objective comparison between Jambo and HA, but we have done all 3 high adventure bases, and I'm here to tell you that memories from any one of those high adventures will last a lifetime, and the adventures were worth every penny we paid.


We also did one high adventure trip designed by our scouts to Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Parks, and it was just as memorable as--and significanly less expensive than--any of the 3 BSA high adventure bases.


Good luck and happy trails to you and your scouts. If you want to discuss more details on any of the high adventure trips, send me a PM :cool: .

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Its a Boy lead unit, so let them lead...


Having said that, get the group together and review the following items:


When are the events? Will any band or sports commitment from school enter in, are some of the boy of an age when going to college will empact scheduling?


Have the boys develop a bduget, going to Philmont will require different gear than the National Jamboree. Do the boys already have the gear or will they have to equip? Get a copy of the reccomended equipment for each event and have guestimates of how much the equipment will cost for each.


Then have the Trip Budget, how do they get from here to there.

How many stops. hotels/meals/fuel?


Then the cost of the event itself


Have them lay out the trip, you may have to coax it along, but have them see how much money it will take and then how do they get the money? Sell Popcorn? Wash Cars? What will it take? Have them plan it out and let them decide what to do, then they will know why they are or are not going

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While this sounds very much like I'm coping out.

I tend to think that the Jamboree is not a Troop event and the choice to go or not go is an individual thing -Yes the SM does have to approve the application.

There are HA activities offered by Councils which are not as expensive and are closer to home than the National HA Bases.


I enjoy the Jambo and every Scout I have taken has come home saying that he had the best-est time.

I do see that the cost is going to be a big factor in 2010.

If gas keeps going up we might well end up having to charge twice what we charged in 2005.

When an event ends up costing over $200.00 a day? It does require a lot of thought.

Some Scouts have parents or grandparents who have attended past Jamborees and are willing to pay up to ensure that junior gets as much as they got when they were a Scout.

I thought I wanted to send OJ to the last World Jamboree, in the UK. But the price tag was just a bit too much for me. - It's not like it was someplace he'd never been or would never go!!

The $5,000.00 I saved (Ten thousand, if I'd went with him!!) has gone a long way in getting him to and from college. (In the shape of a little Nissan)

I think the Troop should provide all the details about the Jamboree, but as it's a Council /National event it should also go ahead and plan the Troop program.


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I agree with OGE: let the boys decide. But as a Scouter, there are some factors they might want to consider:


(1) Availability: subject to availability, high adventure bases are open every year, for many weeks each year. Jamborees come only once every four years (five years for the Centennial Jamboree), are held for approx. two weeks at a time (and in the case of the 2010 Jambo, is a once-in-a-lifetime event) and slots are a very limited commodity.


(2) Cost: Jamboree is a huge investment, because the total Council fee usually adds travel and sightseeing to the National Jambo fee. With high adventure bases, its usually up to the troop to arrange its own transportation, unless traveling as part of a council contingent -- but even then, the total cost of a high adventure trip is usually far less than the total cost of a multi-week trip to Jamboree.


(3) Selection & location: could be considered part of the cost and availability equations, but with multiple high adventure bases around the country, you can probably find one to your liking that is closer (and thus cheaper in terms of travel) than the three National High Adventure bases. Jamboree, of course, is offered in just one location (but one that is admittedly near historical sites around the DC-area). Of course, this works both ways so that units near DC may find it much cheaper to go to Jamboree than to a national high adventure base halfway across the country.


My recommendation would be to go to Jamboree in 2010 and to a high adventure base either in '09 or '11, assuming the families can stand such a financial hit (whatever happened to the concept of a Scout earning his own way?).


But ultimately, the boys should decide.

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I thought Beavah's response was good. Jambo's maybe a once in a lifetime experience, but they are expensive, unless your really able get organized and do some good fundraising. The council HA activities are a good way to go.


The one caveat I mentioned to our older scouts as they thought about HA activities was that, they will always be able to get a bunch of buddies together and do their own HA activity. However, once they turn 18, their accessibility to the National HA bases and even the council HA activities, will be limited, at least as youth participants. You may be able to go to Philmont as an adult, but it will never be the same as seen through a eyes of a 14-17 year old youth experience.


One nice thing about Jambo. We did a HA trip at a council camp during the last Jamboree. We practically had the facilities and staff to ourselves.



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When our troop was very young and we were trying to teach the scouts about annual planning, we asked them to vision the impossible. Eventually someone mentioned a trip to Alaska and laughter followed. We told them that nothing is impossible and if they wanted a trip to Alaska, it could be done. A temporary patrol of scouts went to Alaska two years later.


If they really want to do both, nothing is impossible. FUNDRAISERS!


I think the adults will see a lot of character growth as well.


Oh, you gotta love this scouting stuff.




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Jamboree as a Scout is a once in a lifetime chance. (for most anyway because of the timing of the event), but like the others said, it is not a troop thing. They will be part of a council contingent troop with many boys of different ages going.


Cost may very well be a factor, but because of our location and the equipment, Jambo has been less expensive than Philmont. Most of our southern boys already had what they needed for jamboree. Just a few more pairs of shorts and a couple extra shirts. Since we don't have any mountains within 2-3 hours or desert closer than 2 day drive, our boys don't all have heavy duty hiking boots and pratically no cold weather gear. We also would need a couple of days to acclimate to elevation.


Take a good look at the tourism books that state tourism puts out for surrounding areas. They are great at giving you ideas for places to explore. Less than 100 miles from us, there is a canoe trail that has campsites all along the way, that is part of state park system. Outfitters advertise in the state book and offer packages that are much more affordable than going to the Natl HA base at Northern Waters (much much further away)


So there are pros and cons to each option.. Maybe plan a HA for 2009 and 2011 and don't plan anything big for 2010. Fund raise and let them set goals..

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Personally, I'd push HA over Jambo. Why? 'Cause you can't go as your hometown unit to the BSA Jambo. You would have to go as part of your council's contingent and there's no guarantee that they'll keep your scouts together. They like to mix-up the Jambo units.


With HA, your scouts, who will have been doing scouting together in your unit for a while before they get to HA, will remain together on an HA or split into group if your troop is really large, but you won't get mixed with scouts from other units like at Jambo.


Of course, should you choose to attend a Jambo in another nation (as my boys did for the Canadian Jambo in 2001), then there is a good chance they could still go as a unit.

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Thanks for the feedback. I guess I am worried that the fundraising won't pan out. Intentions are one thing, reality another, especially for teenagers. As for jambo attendance, I know this isn't a unit endeavor. But strangely enough, our unit has the jump on things this time around so that I expect that most of the boys who want to go (and meet the criteria), will get to go. That would be the same group who are invigorated by the notion of a HA venture patrol...


To add another option to the list, they are now thinking of a HA venture option for 2009, a HA summer camp/troop option for summer 09, AND Jambo in 2010. Oh, my aching wallet! On the other hand, I'm delighted that they're looking 2 years ahead and still expecting to be active in scouting. Eamonn commented earlier about this being the best use of his money and I can understand that.

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Like Beavah said, have the young men "look local" for a 2009 HA. I'll bet they'll find something they can do within a full driving day of home.


This would be a good time to teach them about inflation. Sigh.


This would also be a good time to teach them about contracts. Help them understand if they sign on to Jamboree, they have to earn the money.

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If there was interest in both, look for a local areas to do 3-4 day canoe or backing trip and save bulk of funds to go to the Jamboree. This one is a once in a lifetime - 100 years of Scouting in the US.


If there are financial hardships, there are camperships available - even for attending Philmont.


Another option to get permission to visit the Jamboree for the day and spend the rest of the trip visiting Yorktown\Williamsburg area or Washing DC area, or head 2-3 hours west from Fort AP Hill and backpack in Shenandoah National Park.

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