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

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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.
I find it curious too. Visitors were only allowed in a limited area such as the Summit Center and Action Point and the areas around the Arena. Areas where there were long lines were limiting participants to ticket holders as dcsimmons mentions. I was on staff and had a day off and went up to the low gear Mt. Bike area and went through the riding assessment and had a fun time. I asked if there was room and wouldn't have done it if it would have stopped any scouts from participating. Actually the staff were trying to recruit me to help out as they really could have used more staff.

 

Most of the long lines were caused by lack of staff. For example, 80 skeet stations were built but they only had staff to run 30 of them. Same with the zip lines. They were unable to run them to capacity because there just wasn't enough staff to move the equipment around from bottom to top, etc.

 

Weather did come into play too. There were a few times where things had to be shut down due to lightning alerts. Unfortunately that happens and there isn't much we can do about that. We need to manage the risk to the scouts as best as we can.

 

Before you complain too much about the long lines, then please sign up and help staff the 2017 National Jamboree and even the 2019 World Jamboree.

 

From what I saw, the scouts were really enjoying themselves and I consider this jamboree very successful. Yes there were some issues and some glaring problems. I have no doubt that they will be addressed and the 2017 National Jamboree will be even more successful.

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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.

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.

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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.
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.

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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.
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.

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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On a different note' date=' 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?[/quote']

 

This (and the .pdf it leads to) should kinda explain the general mentality: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/Age-AppropriateGuidelines.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.

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.

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Where is bando??????
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.

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Where is bando??????
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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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They should have asked my opinion.

 

Three years ago, at AP Hill, I was chatting with one of the other scoutmasters in our troop. He was rather down on the whole experience and said '10 would be his first and last jambo. No, I said, I was rather interested in the Summit, and -- except that my preferred job was being eliminated -- I would probably be interested.

 

But later that week I had a conversation with Jack Furst (one of the guys with the a statue at the Summit) and continuing for a year-and-a-half or two, all my direct contact regarding the jamboree was that I was too fat, that the area which I would have staffed (merit badge midway) would be eliminated, when it was re-instated the staff was greatly restricted, that the total number of staff was being cut in half and besides, the facilities -- especially for adults -- would make AP Hill look like the Ritz. My help was neither needed nor particularly welcome. I decide pretty firmly I would not go.

 

Then, over the past year, as reality began to sink in, I've had FOUR specific job offers, not counting the number of "gee, we could really use you" conversations. But by then I made other commitments for the summer and, probably more to the point, had made up my mind I didn't want to go.

 

Here's a hint: when you're trying to recruit volunteers, don't spend quite so much time and energy making them feel unneeded.

 

As to the zip line staffing-- I'd be curious to know how many certified zip line instructors there are in the country. I'm willing to bet 800 represents a considerable portion of the total. Fourteen days is approximately triple the training required of any other top-tier BSA certification. Add the physical and financial requirement and it becomes a pretty steeply declining -- and obvious -- curve.

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They should have asked my opinion.

 

Three years ago, at AP Hill, I was chatting with one of the other scoutmasters in our troop. He was rather down on the whole experience and said '10 would be his first and last jambo. No, I said, I was rather interested in the Summit, and -- except that my preferred job was being eliminated -- I would probably be interested.

 

But later that week I had a conversation with Jack Furst (one of the guys with the a statue at the Summit) and continuing for a year-and-a-half or two, all my direct contact regarding the jamboree was that I was too fat, that the area which I would have staffed (merit badge midway) would be eliminated, when it was re-instated the staff was greatly restricted, that the total number of staff was being cut in half and besides, the facilities -- especially for adults -- would make AP Hill look like the Ritz. My help was neither needed nor particularly welcome. I decide pretty firmly I would not go.

 

Then, over the past year, as reality began to sink in, I've had FOUR specific job offers, not counting the number of "gee, we could really use you" conversations. But by then I made other commitments for the summer and, probably more to the point, had made up my mind I didn't want to go.

 

Here's a hint: when you're trying to recruit volunteers, don't spend quite so much time and energy making them feel unneeded.

 

As to the zip line staffing-- I'd be curious to know how many certified zip line instructors there are in the country. I'm willing to bet 800 represents a considerable portion of the total. Fourteen days is approximately triple the training required of any other top-tier BSA certification. Add the physical and financial requirement and it becomes a pretty steeply declining -- and obvious -- curve.

I worked the Action Center in 2010. I was on a crew that had been together for most of the Jamborees since '97, who had pretty much engrained themselves in their program area and were responsible for planning the areas at the other AP Hill Action Centers as well. To my knowledge, the number of people from that staff who returned in '13 was probably far less than half. There were a few of them that were getting up there in age and didn't feel up to the new site and a few others who didn't feel they could meet the fitness requirements. But there were others who were turned off by a sense that the new Jamboree approach left them on the outside looking in, even if what they were doing was a huge part of the Action Center's success at AP Hill.

 

Personally, I thought the new site was a great idea, and eagerly awaited a way to sign on as soon as I saw the plans. Though a mixture of low finances and uncertain plans for this summer ultimately made it so there was no way I could return in '13, I was still surprised that I was never once contacted by National to volunteer again. Never heard a word. You'd think the previous volunteers would be the first people they'd approach.

 

I get the impression that the new-look Jamboree scared off a lot of people, who bought in to a lot of the naysaying hype about an underdeveloped site and faulty program strategies, which weren't countered in the least by the Jamboree organizers. In scouting, word of mouth and hearsay tends to get a lot more sway than it should, and National has never found a way to really work around it. Some people still aren't convinced, even after the Jamboree turned out to be a relative success.

 

Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves one question: Did the Jamboree achieve its goal, which is to bring scouts from all over the world to a single place and give them a venue to have new experiences and, more importantly, make new friends? All the griping and naysaying aside, the answer is "yes." It's about the scouts. Not about the temperatures of our showers and whether or not our tents have a power strip. We can all acknowledge that the first Jamboree in a new site always comes with growing pains. It only gets better from here. From talking to a lot of the old timers who were at the first few Jamborees at AP Hill, the same thing happened there, too. The next time around, things will be better. So what are we going to do to make that happen?

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