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Jamboree 2013 - Am I The Only One?

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Not so much specialized gear...but a specialty shop. Wal-Mart, k-Mart, Target, and Sears are department stores that sell alot of different stuff.


You have sporting goods shops that sell hunting, camping, fishing, and general outdoors gear for outdoors activities including equestrian and geneal outdoors work.


The dive shop may offer dive trips out on bioats, but do not sell any boating, marine suppies other than actual dive gear.


The dance shop might tell you where to go for dance lassons, excercise or yoga, but only sells dance/exercise wear


Camp stores might sell you the clothes, the tent, the pack, the canoe, the camp furniture, the food, firewood or that cheater stuff( firelog), shoes, boots, waders, maps, and offer trips, excusrins or at least acts like a feeder to a particulat company that does tat.


The scout shop sells stuff that is limited to scouting.


Granted, scouts are not limited to scouting gear or related stuff, but the scout shop is limited to only selling scout stuff.


Nah, the gear isn'ty really specialized, but the shop is.


Besides, everybody knows that the Fleur De Lis makes everything 100 percent better! :)



But like the wetsuit I bought way back when...it was the exact same suit: Same brand, same model number, same size, same color, etc... over $100.00 difference in price between Wal-Mart and the dive shop.


So in that instance, the suit wasn't a specialized item, the difference was the speciaty shop - which was higher.(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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"The BSA insisting that it is a private organization helped remove it from Fort AP Hill - and rightly so."


Uh, first off the BSA *is* a private organization. What else can it be?? You seem to think that is strange or wrong.


Why would it being a private organization prevents it from using Ft. AP Hill? Nothing prevents private organizations from, say, renting out and using local parks and the like. Its the same thing here.


"The USG spent a lot of money on the National Jamboree which I think is wrong - for a private organization."


Why is it wrong?


The BSA actually spent a lot of money on the Ft AP Hill site. Was that wrong? Why would it be wrong for the USG to spend money on the Jamboree?? Most of the money they spent was justified as it served as value training. Many government bodies spend money and provide services to private organizations for the public good. Nothing wrong with that.




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I think that most of the changes described are good ones.


Smaller footprint This is a very good thing. AP Hill was ridiculously spread out. Bus lines with over-full buses. Long, long walks. Scouts late back to camp because they couldn't get a bus. Programs that were very hard to make use of because they were so far away.

No regional subcamps This seems like a good thing. I didn't really know what all went on in the subcamps, but I would have much preferred to be camping with troops from all over the country rather than just with the ones from my own state.

No buses, cars This is a plus, too, although this wasn't a big deal for us.

Better shower houses A good thing. I'll add that they need to have either standard restrooms where everyone can go in, or else they need to be single stall. Having a large facility that only the youth can go in is not a recipe for a contained situation.

No visitors Mixed feelings on this one. Clearly visitors were problems in some places, but it was nice to see folks from home.

J-phone with pre-selected itinerary Mixed on this one too. Some of the fun was in discovering things and going back and doing more of what they enjoyed. But elimination of lines is also a good thing.

Everything you need Much more like summer camp. All tents, cots, dining flies, tables, chairs, cooking equipment. etc. This is a great thing - dealing with the council equipment was a giant waste of effort for all involved. The only thing I'll say is that it was nice that the adults could bring along some backup items - a few extras here and there.

Limited patch trading I don't really care about this - didn't have a problem with it.

Eliminating merit badge midway None of our Scouts used it. I did walk through it to tour it, and it was cool, but it was sooooo far away. Seemed weird that the canoeing merit badge was taught there even though there was no way to canoe there. I do like having things spread out where they can be done better.



Honestly, if I had listed my biggest hopes for improvement, they would have been: less walking, less boring (more HA), less council equipment. So far, so good with the new plan.

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Uh, AFAIK, there WILL be a Merit Badge midway. Not sure where this is coming from. I know from other sources that they are looking for staff for various merit badges. SOSSI (stamp group) is looking for twice as many staff for the Stamp Collecting Merit Badge as last time, and I know other merit badge groups are doing the same.


Technology Quest will be back.



Other then that, I pretty much agree with Oak Tree's list. I will say a few things.


* 'all included'. I like how the Jamboree fee will include tents and such without raising the fee. Now if we could only get Councils to stop making their overall fee so high. They really should have been brought down when National included a lot of stuff they were including (tents, equipment, etc)


* Visitors. Have mixed feels about this. But having visitors competing with the kids was a major pain.



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I think the merit badge midway confusion comes from the statements that it will not all be in one place. Badges related to particular activities, such as shooting or pioneering, for example, will be in an area where those activities occur. So boating would likely be near the river access area, and so on. The badges without specific active activities will still be in a midway. At least that is the way I understand it.


If I could be sure that I would be working with a merit badge, I would still enjoy attending. But last time I got put in an area that almost did me in, even though I had asked specifically for a number of historical related areas or merit badges. I was a bit disappointed at the poor prep for the new Scouting Heritage badge in 2010. I ended up helping for a bit, as most of the people manning it had little real background. Since I have been focused on that area for years, and have one of the larger book and paper ephemera collections in the West, I could have done far better I felt, and likely not been as exhausted either. Still, they did okay with the material with which they were furnished.


Might still consider if I can get my weight under control.

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I worked Action Center last time around, and in the last few days we've had a flurry of emails from our group to the effect that I don't think any of them will be coming back this time around. Sounds like a fundamental change in how these programs will be run, a lot of folks might feel shoved out, others don't know what's going on, some of the older guys are a bit wary of the more rustic living arrangements and general hearsay of what this one's going to be like...


I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm in the camp right now of really wanting to come back in 2013, but I'm going to have to find a new program area. Had so much fun the last time, I'll do anything to do it again. Yet I worry, even with the well-trodden AP Hill scenario where everyone more or less had an idea of what they were getting into and how things would work, it still seemed like a near-disaster on the ground at times in 2010. I can't imagine how much of a mess this thing is going to be with an entirely non-tested Jamboree site, logistical setup, electronic-heavy arrangement, etc.


Maybe it will shake up the old boys' club of guys with six rows of knots on their shirts who turned Jamboree into an outlet for their scouting bravado, turning their tent area into a country club of unidirectionally-fanned, mini-fridged comfort, all unloaded from a car driven directly to the end of their cot. Looking at how we all arranged ourselves at AP Hill, I wonder if a lot of these folks had even seen the inside of a backpacking tent in the past decade...

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"Maybe it will shake up the old boys' club of guys with six rows of knots on their shirts who turned Jamboree into an outlet for their scouting bravado, turning their tent area into a country club of unidirectionally-fanned, mini-fridged comfort, all unloaded from a car driven directly to the end of their cot. Looking at how we all arranged ourselves at AP Hill, I wonder if a lot of these folks had even seen the inside of a backpacking tent in the past decade..."


Bando, that is a powerful and well said para, kudos.


I think the situation you described is affecting BSA outside of jambo too.

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"Maybe it will shake up the old boys' club of guys with six rows of knots on their shirts who turned Jamboree into an outlet for their scouting bravado, turning their tent area into a country club of unidirectionally-fanned, mini-fridged comfort, all unloaded from a car driven directly to the end of their cot."


Having attended the 2005 Jamboree at A.P. Hill, it is clear that Adult Volunteers do NOT go there to enjoy creature comforts! The excessive heat and humidity and sleeping in a large military tent is hardly a vacation. Remember, these are Adult Volunteers, who pay for the opportunity to attend the Jamboree.


What do you think that the living accommodations will be like for the paid-professional from National BSA? I would be most interested to see the living accommodations for the National Staff. Do you really believe that they will share the same living conditions as the Volunteers who have to pay to attend the Jamboree?


Scouting is totally dependent on non-paid, Adult Volunteers, many of then serving in these roles for 10, 20 30+ years. What will happen to the Scouting program if you push them out of Scouting. Many local council run with minimal paid-staff these days and depend on local volunteers.


Think about all the long-time Scout knowledge and experience that will be lost to Scouts attending the Jamboree and the Scouting program if you push these "old boys" away.


BSA National should be careful what they wish for, they just may get it.

(This message has been edited by Wilton125)

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I see both sides of it Wilton. I've helped with the MB Midway and served as an ASM. My experience with the midway was that the folks there were incredibly talented and dedicated to the program. Most of the groups on the midway provide an experience far beyond what most boys can receive back home. If one element of merit badges generally is to allow boys to learn from experts in the field, the midway allows Scouts to work with people who are the best in the field on a national scope. While I'm sure there are booths which aren't as strong as other, I was very impressed with the ones I encountered.


Sure, not all the boys appreciated the opportunities they were presented (like we don't see that every week) and there will always be Scouts who work the system to see how many badges they can earn with the least amount of effort, the merit badge midway at jamboree is one of the best parts of the program there.


The "rumor" that the midway would be eliminated was an early direction of The Summit planning teams. As I've posted before, Jack Furst, the chairman of the group, told me personally the midway and patch trading would be eliminated. I don't know what's happened with patch trading, but I know the midway was "saved" by a ground-swell of support from the thousands of volunteers who have build the midway over the years.


On the other hand, as an ASM last year, the staffing levels and resources put into the subcamp staffs was ridiculous. I can't give you hard numbers, but judging from a distance, I'd say a third of our subcamp staff were overhead -- creating elaborate lounge areas, decorated mess tent, and full-service coffee shops. I know these folks put in a tremendous amount of time, effort and probably a good bit of their own money into this. But to what end? Just to out-do the other subcamps staff? To get the CSE to come have steaks with you? How does this benefit the Scouts?


Yeah, these guys are volunteers, paid their own way, yadda, yadda, yadda. But so are the guys working the program areas and living in the staff camps as well as the contingent leaders camping and eating scorched hotdogs with the Scouts. Breaking up a lot of this navel-gazing silliness and re-centering the program on the Scouts will be a really good thing.

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the merit badge midway is prominently marked


I will be on staff, or at least I have been accepted to be on staff in the Buckskin Games area and am planning on it. The first time in the new location, it could be an unmitagated diaster or it could be wonderful... that's the intrigue but with a staff of volunteers willing to work, nothing really awful will happen. Just notes on how to do it better next time

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"So, the anticipated direction the Jamboree is going is a good thing, right?"


Well, it all depends on who you ask. As they say "your mileage may vary".


I LIKE how the design for the grounds and such will eliminate the need for vehicles and such and be easier to walk around. that will be nice. I was a bit shocked in 2010 by the 'county fair' atmosphere I saw as compared to previous years, with vendors all over the place and such. No longer having that will be a good thing, I think.


I'm not so much in favor of the visitors being restricted from most of the jamboree. But I agree that having them mobbing the place was a pain.


Now, due to the terrain and such, National is REALLY being hard on people being physically fit to handle the Jamboree. So a LOT of people who went in the past will not be able to staff it. This is pissing off a lot of people who seem to take an attitude that they have a RIGHT to be on Jamboree staff. I have my health issues. I personally think I can handle it (think my doctor would agree), tho I don't know if I would past muster. But that's ok, because I had already decided that 2010 was my last jamboree.


I like the fact that they did a 'package deal' for a little bit more that included the tents and such. I believe National is actually losing money on that. I AM disappointed by how few councils seemed to have lowered their costs, which they should have since they are no longer dealing with getting tents, cooking gear, etc.



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I am really torn, at the 2001 Jamboree, one of the enduring memories I have is the octet (read it 8) staffers on motorized wheelchairs doing "precision drafting" that would make the fast and furious crowd envious. And to think they can't be at the Summit, well yes, its a loss. To the 50-100 pound overweight guys, well I shed a lighter tear, mostly because I just lost 60 pounds because I want to go the Jamboree and if I can do it, so can you. Check the Scouter Forum Facebook page for pics


We want the youth to take being fit to heart, how can we when we are not?

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