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thrifty

WSJ day pass explanation or I'll settle for NSJ '17 day pass stories

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Hello,

We are a reasonable driving distance from Summit.  WSJ is too expensive but my family is considering the possibility of driving to Summit for a day pass during WSJ.  We didn't know about day passes prior to NSJ '17.  I've seen the info online for NSJ day passes but those details are too vague for my comfort.  I've heard stories about NSJ and I would expect WSJ to be even crazier with regards to lines, crowds, etc..  What I would like to know is what exactly a day pass entitles the user to do/see, what kind of access is the user allowed?  I don't think my scout would want to wait in line for 3 hours to do a zip line or other activity so I'm not worried about that but we would like to see the entire camp and be able to explore and people watch and feel like we're a part of the celebration.  We wouldn't want to be cordoned off in some small area or only be allowed access to limited areas.  That would be a wasted trip.  Any feedback on what should happen at WSJ or what did happen at NSJ with regards to day passes is appreciated.

Thank you.

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Way back in 2007 when WSJ was in the UK I took some cubs for a day trip to the site here.

Access for day visitors was restricted. They were not allowed into the actual camping areas themselves unless they knew someone there who acted as their guide. They were though allowed into most of the communal areas like faiths zone, global development zone, all the various things set up by national contingents to showcase their country etc. 

How it will be with you I don't know but it would not surprise me if it was similar.

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A day pass gets you into the Summit Center, which is the central hub of activity at The Summit. You cannot leave the Summit Center area and go to the base camp sites, even if you have a guide.  But the Summit Center itself is big, over 350 acres.

You will have access to:

  • Summit Center Stadium (at the NSJ, the Saturday pass entitled you to stay around for the stadium show; otherwise you have to leave by 5:00 most days)
  • Brownsea Island
  • Sustainability Treehouse
  • Scott Visitors Center
  • Legacy Village
  • Trading Posts
  • Military exhibits
  • Conservation Trail
  • Food vendors (dining hall, snacks, etc.)
  • Action Point
  • Freedom Field
  • Boulder Cove
  • Exhibits and vendor tents

You do not have access to the activity areas outside the Summit Center area. You will only be able to visit those activity areas that are part of the Summit Center. At the NSJ, you could have purchased a participant visitor pass (extra $) which would have enabled you to participate in the activity areas that are in the Summit Center (BMX biking, mountain biking, fishing, skateboarding, Summit Center ziplines, Action Point Canopy Tours), but be aware that there are long lines for those activities, especially the aerial activities. It may not be worth the extra money, considering you only have a finite amount of time available to you.  It has not been announced yet whether there will be a participant visitor pass or not.

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The lower half of this map shows what is in the Summit Center. The Charlie and Delta base camps at the top of the map, and the Alpha and Bravo base camps at the right (on the other side of the Consol Energy Bridge), are off limits to visitors.

http://44qx633l2wnm2ire6p28zc8u.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Justice-Scout-Camp-Map-1.pdf

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Thanks everyone.  I appreciate the help.  I've read some of this info before and it has a good description but without knowing more about Summit, I felt like it wasn't enough to commit my money.  The map was a big help.  It makes sense that strangers can't walk through the actual camps.  If Summit Center is the central hub, then I would assume that most scouts and scouters would be spending their time there....waiting in lines.

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The lines at the NSJ in 2017 weren't that bad, outside of the aerials.  The introduction of the Jamboree app, with wait times posted like you'd have at an amusement park, helped greatly. Participants were limited to one aerial activity for the Jamboree, and a limited number of Scouts per troop got the chance to ride the Big Zip.  This was all based on capacity constraints and how many people could realistically go through the aerial activities. If an area reached capacity and wouldn't be able to process any more than what was already in line, they would close the lines down for the remainder of the day.

By using the app, participants could now budget their time better.  If they saw the wait was 1+ hours at, say, shotgun shooting, they could opt for something else that didn't have a big line, instead of trudging all the way over there to only find out that there was a huge wait, which was a problem at the '13 NSJ.

Some activities had little to no lines.  Some of our Scouts told us they could do the cycling or skate park activities and practically get right back in line to go again, because they could process so many people at a time.

Many areas had large capacities so they could get lots of people through at once. Aquatics could get dozens through at a time, for example.

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I know the World Jambo is not the same as the Nat Jambo but for those that were there last year, would you recommend people with day passes and limited days go to the Jambo at the beginning or the end?

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I don't think it really mattered in that it's probably good to be flexible if you can. Weather and other circumstances can affect when you think you will be going.

For example, President Trump's visit last year meant that everyone planning to visit on that Monday weren't able to visit on that day since they closed the Jamboree to visitors. I think the chances of the President visiting next year are slim to none (the WSJ is put on by WOSM, not the BSA, and they have stated that they won't be extending an invitation to visit), so there shouldn't be any issues like that.

The other issue is weather. If there's severe weather, areas will be closed down. We were fortunate last year that there wasn't any real severe weather that impacted us for long periods. An hour here or there, and that was the extent of it.  Having NWS people on-site meant areas were able to re-open quicker than they did in 2013 once it stopped raining. There is the possibility that things could be cancelled or postponed if severe weather persists. If that happens, that'll impact the visiting, potentially.

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