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Cost for Jamboree - is this reasonable?

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I've been wondering that as well. Actually I have no doubt it's a promotional event to some extent. I just wonder if it's more promotional than I previously believed. Four uniforms says to me that they're nitpicking every detail of this thing. It has to be more about presentation than anything else. Kids don't really need more than 2. I never had more than one uniform shirt as a kid and kept it presentable through a week of summer camp every year. Didn't get a 2nd uniform until I was an adult.  

 

Exactly. Funny how the uniform option becomes compulsory and no one at council or national bats an eye. At the price @@Back Pack mentions, I wouldn't go to Jambo either...Scout or adult.

 

For adults, add in the loss of 5-7 days of vacation time.

 

Maybe this is why going to Jambo is so expensive.

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What the average person spends on Jamboree, a boy could spend a month in the Boundary Waters.  A Scout is Thrifty.

 

Ok, that made me laugh.  We often go to BWCA.  But we have the canoes and gear from years of doing it.  The cost is gas to drive, food and entry fees ($16 for adult, $8 for youth).  BWCA is a cheap trip.  

Edited by fred johnson

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That 4 uniform requirement isn't coming from National.  I'm on my council's contingent and we're only saying two uniforms, and even at that, we're not telling them they HAVE to have 2 uniforms.  If they can get by with just one that's okay.

 

The only times you are required to wear your uniform at Jamboree are: arrival day, stadium show, religious observances, and departure day.  All other times are at the discretion of the Scoutmaster.  And we're not requiring it any other time.

 

We are telling our Scouts that if they're not wearing their uniform, they should be wearing some other Scouting shirt, either the ones we're providing as a council, or a Troop t-shirt, or something else that says Scouting on it.

 

Our council is charging $1350, that's only $375 above what the national fee is. We reduced the price from $1650 and saw a bump in registrations. Our neighboring council is charging $1650 but they're also doing side trips to Williamsburg and Kings Dominion on the way there and Shanksville, PA on the way back (and none of those destinations are "on the way" for them!).  We're just touring the WV state capitol on the way down, and that's not costing us anything extra, since it's free to tour the facility.

 

Our fee is covering the bus trip down and back, one night's hotel, patches, t-shirts, the Jambo duffel (since it's not included with your registration this time) and I think two meals.  Pretty bare bones, if you ask me.

 

I guess there was some talk initially about doing a side trip to say, DC, as part of it, but one of the reasons for not doing it, aside from the cost, is that most kids in our area visit DC as 8th graders on class trips, anyway, so most of the kids in our group have either just done the DC trip or will be doing it soon.  For most of them, it'd be a "been there, done that" sort of thing.

Edited by vclose

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It seems to me all these councils are telling BSA the Jamboree is not enough of a draw for Scouts and these side trips is the only way scouts would want to go.  I believe the truth is these side trips is the only way a council can justify the extra cost and generate some money for the council.  I was shocked at the cost out council is charging.  they could not justify it or provide an accounting.  Oh and FYI, all the museums and tours in DC are either free (Smithsonian, National Archive, National Gallery etc.)  or have a significant Scout discount

 

We had the same issue, We have/had several scouts ready to go but when the parents found out about the extra $1000 and the extra 6 days they all backed out,  I can only imagine this is the case with many scouts. 

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When we ask "Is this reasonable" we need to specify "for whom."

  • For every scout in your council? No.
  • For all, or even half, the scouts in your troop? No.
  • For 1 in 40 boys scouts? Well, that's where we find ourselves on a bubble. This kind of big-ticket scouting is the sport of 1-percenters or scouts surrounded by 1-percenters who could provide jobs or fundraising opportunities. (Jambo always only attracted less than 3% of registered scouts.) That number plays out in our troop/crew. Of about 40 eligible, one signed up.

So, the working assumption of far-off councils might be that it's worth it ... only if they can guarantee opportunity-of-a-lifetime side-trips. And for boys in distant councils, the working assumption is that they will never be anywhere near these places again unless their parents shell out for the entire family's air fair.

 

But, son #2 at age 16, for example, having met a regional venturing officer who we dropped off at the Megabus stop after an area summit, came to Mrs. Q and I with a plan to go visit a buddy who had re-located to Charlotte, changing buses at the DC rail station. The boy had a solid plan, and was going to cost us less in gas and food than if we had taken him along vacationing with us at his grandparents! He could have stayed over in DC, except he and I had already done that once when Mrs. Q had a speaking engagement with the hotel expense paid.

 

Paying $ to be on someone else's tour schedule has always been a non-starter for my kids. And I guess for most of our council, which offers no side trips. But, most of the scouts around here don't mind the kick-in-the-butt to buy a spare uni (scout shop coupon comes with our council's Jambo fee). There's the mystique of maybe being able to swap a whole shirt with one of another scout's your size. One of our scouts came back with a larger-than-life story about him and a buddy swapping their uni's for two soldiers' BDU's. The boy then parlayed that into getting fast-tracked at the doughnut line, then going to the back of the line and selling his box of doughnuts to impatient scouts.

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When we ask "Is this reasonable" we need to specify "for whom."

 

Respectfully disagree. The cost is $975 for the week. That's what the councils are billed. As @@Snow Owl pointed out most of the costs for sightseeing in DC is free, though Lord knows the food is expensive.

 

When you compare what life-changing experiences you can have elsewhere, the cost of Jamboree is exorbitant.

 

I sent 10 Scouts to AK to go glacier climbing for $1600/person for a week. That included gear, food, etc. I'd pay much more to send them to fight the crowds at Bechtel for a week. Been there, done that. IHMO by comparison it's not worthy it...or reasonable. Now if you have $$$ to throw away then by all means, go.

 

I suspect those folks thinking it is affordable are closer to the event. Those of us west of the Mississippi have to pay twice what you might. No bargain.

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