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Jamboree 2013 - Am I The Only One?

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To answer your question about national staff and their accommodations, I cannot say where the CSE and national key three, or other sr management folks, will stay.


But I do know a number of national executive staff do stay in the same accommodations as everyone else: military GP tent, cot and foot locker. My old boss staffed her first jambo in 2001, and got a dose of what I dealt with at summer camp for 2 months.

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Yes, the BSA paid for capital improvements to A.P. Hill as part of the terms for use. The Army has supported ALL BSA jamborees since 1937 at a cost of approximately $8,000,0000 per Jambo. Those are my tax dollars at work as well as yours and some atheists and avowed homosexuals too. :)


The BSA gets facilities. The Army gets publicity (mostly good) and training. However, many question why the USG should support a private organization that excludes individuals on the basis of religious views and sexuality. I see their point.


Yes, the judicial branch has deemed the BSA a private organization (Dale vs. BSA). In spite of the fact that at the time about 400 Scouting units were sponsored by U.S. military bases and over 10,000 units by other governmental entities, primarily public schools. Also, the USG has sponsored bills in support of the BSA and even holds the charter for the BSA and the US President serves as President of the BSA during his term in office. So, thinking of the BSA as a public institution is not totally off base. The Congress has deemed it a "Unique American institution." There is some gray areas in the private vs. public debate.


Will the Army provide support for the next Jambo? I'll take on anyone who wants to wager that they will not. The Army will definitely be involved (too many future soldiers will be attending!).(This message has been edited by acco40)

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It looks like I'm a little bit late to this thread. (I've been away for a while, but the site seems to be working better now.)


I'll be on the staff of the Jamboree, for one week. (Partly because getting away for two weeks would be difficult, and partly because I only have to pay half the fee, and I can handle $400.) I'll be on the staff of the amateur radio station, K2BSA, which will probably include serving as a counselor for Radio MB.


My only prior Jamboree experience was in 1973 as a Scout, and it sounds like it will be much different. There were two Jamborees that year. I was at the one in Idaho, with my regular troop. This was the one occasion when regular troops could attend, as opposed to council contingent troops.


Obviously, the upcoming one is much more focused on "high adventure". I'm looking forward to it, but I'm not convinced that's a good thing. Others have mentioned a "county fair" atmosphere. I'm not sure exactly what they mean, but for me, that was actually one of the high points of the one I attended. I don't recall any particular exciting activities (other than the science fair, in which I earned a second-place ribbon). Basically, it was just a few thousand scouts, with tents set up in a big field. There was very little infrastructure. There must have been water pipes set up (although I don't recall where we got our water). The toilets and showers were hastily constructed structures on concrete pads. I don't recall whether there was electricity outside of the central area, although there might have been some streetlights erected. No particular activities stand out in my mind. But it was one of the highlights of my scouting career, simply because I was in the midst of thousands of other scouts.


Our troop normally did a lot of camping and high adventure (or at least medium adventure) activities. But we basically took one year off from "normal" scout summer camp so that we could go to the Jamboree. That seemed like a fine trade off. In fact, I remember thinking that this wasn't even really "camping" because instead of cooking over a wood fire, we had to cook over charcoal. And we were even encouraged to bring along an AM radio to listen to the official Jamboree station. I don't think there were any busses, and we did a lot of walking, but it didn't really differ from walking down the sidewalk at home, other than being a bit dustier. I also don't remember it as being particularly expensive, and it probably wasn't, since it consisted mostly of temporary latrines set up in a big field.


Undoubtedly, scouts at the 2013 Jamboree will be able to do some activities that they won't be able to do at home. But I suspect that most of them will have to be squeezed into a day or a few hours, so it will mostly consist of just getting a taste of different activities. So it's not really "high adventure". They can get a better high adventure experience at one of the HA bases, or as my troop did, on Forest Service facilities.


There's nothing really wrong with this kind of experience, and I'm looking forward to being part of it. And I suspect my son will love it in 2017 or 2021 when he is eligible to attend. I just hope that it's not over-promoted as being an ultimate high adventure experience, since I don't think it can live up to that. But that's OK, since I think many scouts would be content with a county fair set up in a big field.


As others have apparently been doing, I'm trying to figure out what can go wrong. My prediction is that any unmitigated disaster is going to result from the fact that all equipment is provided. If an individual troop forgets to bring the spatula, they can probably scrounge one up. But if the equipment is assigned, it will be interesting the morning they have pancakes, when they realize that National forgot to order spatulas for everyone. Most scouts will be able to cope, but I suspect I'll come home with a few interesting stories like that.


BTW, I'm told that I'll be sleeping in a four-person tent. I forgot to ask whether staff will be cooking their own food. I'm OK either way. I'll figure something out if the spatula is missing.

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