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Jamboree 2013 - Am I The Only One?

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At my district roundtable, I received a glossy, color brochure for the 2013 Jamboree, with the theme "Go Big, Get Wild"


Link to the brochure: http://www.nashuavalleybsa.org/cms/images/stories/JamboRegistration_SBRsite.jpg



Featured images include:

- Skateboarding

- A teenage girl shooting at an archery target

- A rifle target

- A scuba diver


There were NO images of:

- Scouts in uniform or "Class B''s

- No tents

- No traditional scoutcraft


Did I miss the memo from BSA National about the change in emphasis of the Scout Program and the National Jamboree?


I was both "puzzled" and disappointed in this emphasis on non-traditional Scout activities.


I look forward to your thoughts and comments on the themes emphasized in this brochure.



Scoutmaster Troop 125, Wilton, CT(This message has been edited by Wilton125)(This message has been edited by Wilton125)

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Just a guess, but perhaps since Scouts do things like wear uniforms and sleep in tents on a fairly regular basis with their own troops, this brochure was created to highlight some of the more unusual or exotic activities available at Jambo. Or maybe the thought was the Scouts would already expect to be wearing uniforms and sleeping in tents at Jambo, and they wanted to draw attention to some of the non-obvious activities that would be available.


I'd also recommend against using four images from one brochure as a basis for assuming that an entire program's "emphasis" has changed.


Not everything is a conspiracy against traditional Scouting. Scouting's a big place - there's lots of unique programs, activities and options available to our millions of registered youth. The fact that your favorite activity didn't get featured on one specific brochure isn't evidence that the entire program is going to come crashing down.(This message has been edited by KC9DDI)

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I've posted this before, but it probably merits repeating.


Last year at jamboree, by chance I wound up talking to Jack Furst, the head guy heading up plans for The Summit. I don't know titles, but I suppose he's near the top of the food chain for the jamboree. I had previously met him when he lead the BSA contingent to world jamboree in 2005.


Very purposefully, national jamboree is being modeled after world jamboree. The big change will be instead of spending 10 day wandering around with their buddies taking in the sights and activities at jamboree, Scouts will have certain days during which they will go with their troop to participate in specific events. At world, Scouts were taken off site for an aquatics day, one day they did a service project in a local community (which will be included at national), they went to Gilwell one day (which had a huge climbing area in addition to just being Gilwell). There were also specific programs on-site which the Scouts attended with their troops at set times-- there was an ecology program (my son got to meet Jane Goodall, the gorilla lady), there was recycling program built around creating headaches ... uh, I mean junk bands, etc. Because it was international, there was nothing advancement-related and relatively little patch trading. Other parts of the world tend to trade uniform parts -- hats, neckers, even whole uniforms -- rather than just shirts.


Being at The Summit, the new jamboree will take this model from world, but will focus on the high-adventure opportunities at the site, which makes obvious sense. You're adjacent to the best white water and climbing on the east coast, so why wouldn't you?


I'll also say there were some things Furst said he wanted to do with jamboree which were pretty clearly DOA, like totally eliminating both the merit badge midway and banning patch trading. Yeah, good luck with that. The MB Midway is just too much of a resource to give up. Some of the programs offered at jamboree are unlike anything a Scout can do anywhere else. I do believe the patch trading was a bit out of control and needed more supervision, but the Scouts -- even those who weren't at all interested in patch trading before jamboree -- had a lot of fun with it and it was a good way to get them out, about and meeting people.


Jamboree was due for an overhaul. AP Hill was a lousy site and the program had become stagnant. What is being proposed is a great improvement. But like any renovation, there will be things which work and those which don't. Personally, I think excluding scouts from attendance based on physical condition is a real negative. Summer camp standards should apply, not Philmont standards. If there are particular high adventure activities which have higher standards for physical condidtion, fine. One selling point for The Summit was it would be cooler in the mountains with less walking the AP Hill and the site was just as flat. So why exclude the cupcakes?


I don't know what the actual program schedule will look like, but I also hope they don't try to over-program the Scouts. I think the whole state fair/Disney World aspect of jamboree is part of the fun. Take off with your buddy and go explore. For some boys, this may be their first time off the farm or out of the city. Hanging at the bottom of some cheesy, four-foot tank may be lame, but if it's the first time you've ever tried SCUBA, it's pretty cool. I hope we don't loose that.


While I absolutely agree jamboree was over-run with visitors, there needs to be some outlet for the folks who want to attend other as participants. Jamboree is more than just the jamboree itself, it also functions as the "National Scout Show" and the "National Convention." In the future, once the site is built-out and fully operational, maybe there can be a window after the "real" jamboree where the site AND the jamboree activities are open to everyone. I bet the WVa tourism folks would pony up even more money to sponsor something like that, especially if a lot of the day trippers stay in hotels and/or spend more time and money in the area than at just the jamboree.

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SR540Beaver wrote their council dropped the price to $1500 and touring. That sounds great and approaching a reasonable cost. My son has seen DC and will probably see that area again in the near term future. With the national Jambo cost of $850, I'd hope they could knock the council cost down again a bit. Heck, ship the scouts by bus to the event. Stop and do some "free" tours such as Notre Dame or an air force base or such.

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Looking at The Summit site, it appears that visitors are being contained in a small area. Also, it states that there will an appropriate fee. It also looks like visitors will have to pre-register.


Lots of changes for everyone for this Jamboree. Says they are going to be more like the World Jamborees.


Does that mean we can expect other changes in the near future concerning other aspects of the BSA to match up with World Scouting?

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Highly unlikely that he could make $2700 over then next two years as a 14-16 year old. No one hires kids to mow lawns ... heck, half of us don't have lawns!


The cash isn't an issue now anyway. It just seems to me like an excessive expense with little return...just an expensive vacation.


My son meets people from different parts of the country and world every new school year...not like BSA has the corner on the market. Actually, BSA in this area is much less culturally diverse than his school classrooms.

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Summit has listed staff positions for volunteers to fill for this Jambo...however, being required to hand over 850 bucks is just a little too excessive. I've a feeling that those who will ante up for this bit of extortion, are those who are desperate for the bragging rights of being "the first". I wish them luck, and all the best in filling these position. However for myself, were I interested in this Jambo, I would hire on at one of the local outfitters, and work as a raft guide since Summit will be using local outfitters to run rafting trips...

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"Talk about an oxymoron... you have to PAY to VOLUNTEER?


That kind of puts a shot across the bow of community service."


This seems to be part of a disturbing trend in recent years on the part of BSA National to view their membership base as a "profit center".


The high-cost to serve as a volunteer at the National Jamboree is one example.


Case in point: The "new" Centennial Uniform" costs significantly more than the prior uniform, it is lower quality and is no longer made in the USA.


Case in point: Canada's Scout uniforms are made in Canada and cost significantly less than the US Scout uniforms. Why are the US Scout uniforms so expensive in comparison?


It appears that BSA National views their membership as a "profit center" that they are very willing to take full advantage of.


I think that BSA should take a look at the meaning of the 9th point of the Scout Law; a Scout is "Thrifty".


I find that this examples of behavior by BSA National to not be "Thrifty" but that of an economic predator that exploits a captive market.(This message has been edited by Wilton125)(This message has been edited by Wilton125)(This message has been edited by Wilton125)

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Wilton - To some extent, I can feel your pain.


But the BSA is a business, that sells and licenses products and resources to its customers. So yes, it's membership in some cases is a "profit center." And I don't see that as a problem. If they're providing products and services to a customer, they are entitled to charge what they want for those products and services. If the customer doesn't want to pay, they don't have to. Capitalism, right?


Let's take a step back and look at the only required fee that a member of our organization must pay to be a member of the BSA: an annual $15 fee. That's it. Everything on top of that - Boys Life, uniforms, patches, council and national camps and activities - is OPTIONAL. And, as a member of several organizations other than the BSA - I feel that the organization delivers an exceptional value for it's annual fee.


In many ways, I feel that the BSA is being quite thrifty by offering a variety of OPTIONAL programs and activities, like the Jamboree, and using them to finance it's other programs. I just don't understand the mentality that thinks that the BSA needs to provide all of it's products and services either at cost or below. There are plenty of optional events and activities provided by the BSA that I can't or don't want to pay for. So I stay home. If I wanted to go badly enough, I'd find a way to come up with the money. But I don't hold anything against the BSA if their offering a program that thousands of other people feel to be worth the money.


I recently paid for a membership to REI (at a greater cost than my annual dues to the BSA.) I can't afford, nor do I need, every product that REI sells. But I don't accuse them of being an "economic predator" for daring to offer products above my price range. What's so different about the BSA that encourages this attitude?


Also, the term "BSA National" is a bit of a misnomer. There's the Boy Scouts of America, an organization that offers a Scouting program to youth in this country. Then there's the National Council, which is the division of the BSA that operates at the national level.

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"But the BSA is a business, that sells and licenses products and resources to its customers. So yes, it's membership in some cases is a "profit center.""


BSA is a business? Really?


I thought that they were a non-profit organization. Based on this web-page


"In many ways, Scouting is unique among the charities and other youth organizations of the world."


I thought that BSA was a non-profit organization. I guess that I missed that memo as well.


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