Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Eamonn

The Take Home Message From The Jamboree.

Recommended Posts

Yes we are home!!

I have to admit to feeling like I have been run over by a very large Mack truck. It was nice to take a very long, very hot shower and sleep in my own very comfy bed last night.

Troop 412, was a very young Troop, only the 3rd ASM and myself had ever attended a previous Jambo.When I looked at the size of our little Lads compared to the size of the Lads in other troops; even our other Council Troop, our Lads looked tiny.

We were one of the very lucky Troops that were allowed to come in a day early. Still unloading all the gear off the truck and setting up camp was a chore.

We got in about 3:30 PM. Later than I had planned, thanks to one Lad arriving on Sunday morning without his uniform!! We had to wait while he went home to retrieve it. The check in went well, even with the heightened security.The medical screening seemed to move a lot faster than four years ago. But it was hot.

Some of the changes we had made in our equipment did make set-up a lot easier, but the work load and the heat make for slow progress.

Our Sub-camp had a 8:00 PM Scoutmasters meeting, which I think was a bad idea. Taking the SM away from the unit to spent 135 minutes talking about stuff that could have been covered in a photo-copied handout, which the Commissioner Staff could have handed out, just wasn't very bright. Sure people had questions, but for the most part there were no answers, as the information had came down from "Above", with little or no explanation. Most questions were answered with "I don't know" or "This is what we have been told."

Our little guys "Hit the wall" at about 8:00. Everything was done -Sort of. Tents and kitchens were up and the gateway was up.Our Scouts were already sick of hearing the leaders telling them to drink more water and almost force feed them Gatorade. The site was none too tidy when we went to bed. The Lads having discovered the joy of taking a cold shower. I never heard a single complaint.

Our site never did manage to become the model site and never was as tidy as I might have liked and I admit it wasn't until the second to last day that I looked in the tents!! Then some were just perfect and others looked like my sons bedroom, I swear that some tent mates shared each others underwear, but I never asked or really wanted to know!!

Monday morning we had a very quick PLC meeting, 135 minutes of information cut down to 10. And by 8:15 they were free to go out and discover the Jamboree.

I felt like Fagin from the musical Oliver sending them out telling them: In this world one thing counts, drink water in large amounts.

The rest of the days, looking back seem to all run into one and other.

We were sad to hear about the tragedy. I met with the PLC and then each patrol to inform them of what I knew to be true, in later days the PL's took up a patch collection from the Scouts from Alaska.

Our Sub-camp Chaplain, was /is a very close and dear friend of mine, in fact he was the SPL for NE-IV-153, when I was Scoutmaster, he came and talked to the Troop, we offered a prayer for all of those who were hurt by the accident.

Before the Arena show which was later canceled, we had yet again another very long and very boring Sub-camp SM meeting. After which I met with the PLC and gave them the option of what they wanted to do. They choose to attend. We wasted a half a day in the heat. I can't help thinking that someone knew a long time before we even got to the arena that the show was going to be canceled and that our being there was part of a PR / photo-shoot opportunity for Bill Frist. I of course could be wrong.

Over the time we were at the Jamboree I watched the Lads as they took off to do things that they wanted to do, some wanted to work on Merit Badges, some were happy to hang out at the activity centers, some wanted to work their way through everything. One little Lad told me yesterday how good the shrimp dinners were in the Explorer restaurant.

I had challenged the Troop to have each and every Scout earn all the patches that go around the Jambo Patch. As some areas were closed at times because of the heat, this became really hard. But they managed to earn all of them.

By day two, Lads who had never traded a patch in their life became expert traders, but unlike 2001 when trading took over these little fellows seemed happy to trade in the times when they were not doing something else.

I watched Lads who at first looked at some activities with a "You'll never get me doing that" view. Try new activities and enjoy them, they moved from not wanting to even try the "Flying Squirrel" to "Hey I did the zip line twice".

When we mobilized again (Yes after yet another meeting!!) there wasn't a word of complaint from the Scouts, they wanted to go and see the President, they wanted to see the fireworks.

OK, I thought the middle of the Arena show was way too long and about as exciting as watching paint dry. I was shocked at the lack of bathroom facilities.

I had held out for six hours without a cigarette and thought I would take a little hike into to woods behind the arena area for a smoke, the woods were full of Lads watering the trees, the lines for the 24 porta-potties were very long, with as many as sixty or more in each line!! Even one of my ASM's came back and admitted that he had used a tree.

I talked with our Scouts and each one has a different take home message. One Lad who attended Mass with me thought that the Archbishop was really cool. A couple of Lads went to the Buddhist service and said that was different.

Some Lads were up early to fish and thought that was great. (Hard on me, as I was their alarm clock!!)

As the days past the PLC, moved the time that the cooks had to be back in the evening back later and later, because the Scouts were out and about doing stuff.

Lads came back to the site full of the adventure that they had experienced.

Sure there were things that went wrong, sure we had to deal with the heat, sure cooks were late coming back to the site.

But I seen 36 Lads having fun, trying new things meeting new challenges.

I seen Scouts working on doing their duty to God, proud to be Americans and proud that their President took the time to visit. They enjoyed the OA show, they didn't see the one four years ago and don't care if it was better or worse. They have no idea the frustrations that came out of meetings that went on too long or how hard it was trying to buy extra Igloo coolers, without leaving the Hill.

When we unloaded the truck last night I held back and each and every Scout came and thanked me, I asked if they'd had fun? Each and every one said yes. When I asked if they wanted to go back, they were ready to get back on the bus!!

Today, they will sleep, look at the Patches they traded. Parents will hear war stories, recounting the adventures they had.

I think we really did go a very long way in doing our best to make the vision and mission of Scouting come alive for these Lads.

I'm happy to be home, happy to be back with Rory,Shane,Joe and Her Who Must Be Obeyed. OJ, was on youth staff,I was overjoyed that he chose to spent his only day off from the COPE Course,with his Dad. We met up with Bob White, I was to meet him again, but got tied up with a case of an in-growing toe nail!

I am really happy that I was allowed to be part of something that 36 Scouts and 3 Leaders will remember for the rest of their lives.

We will learn from the things that we didn't do well, we will improve on the things that we did well.

I know the message the Lads from Troop 412 took home from the Jamboree is that we had fun.

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the summary, glad you and the "lads" had a good time without any serious mishaps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of Lads went to the Buddhist service and said that was different.

I'll bet they did find that a different experience! :)

Great story, Eamonn. If the kids had fun and the adults didn't get heat prostration, all obvously ended well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reading your posts off and on for a long time, and value your Scouting advice and experience. Once again, you have nailed what the whole Scouting/Jamboree experience is all about!

My two sons, ages 13 and 15, just got back yesterday from the Jamboree. I think I heard them mumbling in their sleep last night, "drink more water!" They too were lucky enought to check in Sunday. We live in Richmond so went up to see them three times, and even though we probably walked 8-10 miles each day in the heat(buses? we don't need no stinking buses!), we had as much fun as they did. Of course the boys now refer to Wednesday's walk to the arena as the Bataan Death March, but I think they secretly are proud they had it in them to survive! We are equally proud of the way they matured over 12 short days (some of their clothes smelled like they also matured!), and my older son got his last badge needed for Eagle so he's ready to get his Eagle badge. But I think the most incredible things are to come, I just see it in their eyes. They have the confidence that they can do anything, and there is no doubt in my mind that they will. Multiply that by 32,000 young men, and think of the amazing things these kids are going to do for the world. Pretty mind boggling! (Now what the heck is the ACLU complaining about? Oops, that's another thread altogether!)

Got another question.....Our council was suppose to supply all of our Scouts with an official Jamboree neckerchief (the red, white and blue one with the Eagle). It says plain as day on the supplied uniform list, "Official Neckerchiefs and Emblems....2 Jamboree emblems and one neckerchief will be issued to approved youth and their leaders". Our leaders repeatedly said not to order one through the catalog, as we would be receiving one. It wasn't until they got to the Jamboree that the boys found out their council ordered a really cheap white neckerchief with just the jamboree emblem on it. The boys were really disappointed, especially since there were none at the Trading Posts. National won't know for several weeks what they have, and our council can only apologize (said something about ordering too late). Anyone have an extra one they'd be willing to sell, or any ideas? And don't suggest Ebay...I'll be darned if I'm going to pay $75 each for something that cost $18!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the summaries guys. sounds like all involved had a GREAT time, but all are glad to be back. i can't wait for 2010. i really hope i take the chance to get on the bus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey hacimsaalk12

It's far quicker and a lot more fun to walk and leave the bus for the visitors.

I knew a few short cuts and our Lads thought that they were the cats whiskers, when they kept beating the other Troop at getting to where they were going first!!

Needless to say the short cuts were found by just looking at the map.

We could travel from Action Center D to the MB Midway in under 15 minutes. This route went past the female Scouts from Poland and was very popular.One ASM taught our guys how to say Good Morning and Good Evening, in Polish, needless to say they never did get it right but not for want of trying. One 13 year old took a shower and then doused himself in half a bottle of some evil smelling stuff - Axe?? So he would smell good, just for his pass by. Sadly they were no where near their site but I bet they got a good whiff of him no matter where they were.

Eamonn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eamonn,

My son said he really enjoyed meeting you at your camp. (He didn't mention seeing any mess.... ;) )

 

He arrived home around 4:00 pm on Wed. They unloaded the truck, put away tents, washed dishes, etc. We pulled out of camp around 5:45.

 

His thoughts on this year's Jambo (his 2nd): had fun - but not quite as much as in '01; heat was horrid - but he survived and never got sick; liked the Action Centers (earned a special patch for his air rifle shooting); wishes there was a better system at the Outback Centers - long, long waits for the water activities; he remarked, much like you, that parts of the Arena Show lagged - of course in '01 there was the unforgettable performance of Allan DeLay performing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" on his saw when the Closing Show got delayed and the President couldn't make it. That was a truly spectacular show! :)

 

He enjoyed patch trading in the evening - he met a lot of scouts in the different subcamps and came home not only with some great patches, but some friendship swaps and stories as well.

 

The deaths of the Alaskan Scouters was unsettling and very sad.

 

He got along very well with his Scoutmasters and had many stories to tell us once he got home! It appears that there was a lot of laughter in the camp and on the bus rides.

 

He also earned all of his rockers (did so as well in '01). In 2001 he broke his arm on the 2nd day of activities. This time around the only mishap was getting stunk by a wasp during the 5K Run. He said he was about a mile into the Run when he got stung, he finished the Race out - although he slowed to a walk towards the end when his arm started to swell from the sting.

 

Laundry is all done and put away in the drawers, I have been oogling and admiring his patches, he passed out the souvenirs he bought all of us, the 250 photos he took have been downloaded from the digital camera and printed, gear is pretty much put away - until next week's OA Big Three Weekend.

 

Agian, thanks for being so cordial and nice to my son when he visited you. He's lookin forward to seeing OJ at the various Conclaves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Morainemom,

I really enjoyed meeting your son and his buddy.

That was some gateway that you had!!

I hope the Lodge members from your Council got to attend the Section gathering that was held in the Staff Mess Tent. Ken Hager, our Section Chief was my 3rd ASM. He truly is a wonderful young fellow. He, apart from myself was the only member of our Troop that had attended a Jamboree before, he was with me in 01 and went to the World Jamboree.

It really was a great meeting, each Lodge tried to sing their Lodge song a little louder and it seemed a little worse that all the others. Needless to say I thought Wagion was the loudest, but I might have a bias?

The guys did a great job of promoting NOAC and the Conclave, I only hope Potomac Council is going to be ready for the numbers that might attend. We hope to beat the 75 we sent too Moraine Trails and are aiming for 100.

I don't think you can ever relive the excitement of doing things the second time? I thought the middle of the closing show went on far too long and just wasn't that interesting. It might have worked as the opening, but we will never know. I really enjoyed the gentleman playing his saw in 2001.

Still I bet having two working arms must have made life a little easier, even if it did mean that he had to help with the washing up.

He is a super nice Lad and it really was my great pleasure to meet him. They are trying to talk me into going to NOAC, I'm not as yet sold, but if my back holds up I will be at the Conclave.

Eamonn.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eamonn,

I think you are correct in the statement about the 2nd time around. The first time he was an eager, starry-eyed 13 year old First Class Scout. I had all of the Scoutmasters come up to me after the '01 Jambo and tell me that he was the Scout who set the example of the Troop - he trudged out to all the events and shows every day, dragging that cast around. (That was one thick cast, the Army did a bang-up job of making it to last through all the physical activities at Jambo!)

 

He and the other OA Scouts did make it down to the Section Meet. He loves the OA! He's gearing up for the Conclave and also NOAC next year. He went to last year's NOAC at Iowa State. You should go, you'd have a great time.

 

That gateway was pretty nifty, huh?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eamonn,

 

I'm so glad to hear that you & your boys had a great time at the Jamboree despite the heat & humidity! I'm sure that you'll need a week to recuperate! I hope that when my son Mark is older, he'll be 11 next month & received his Tenderfoot rank on June 14th that he'll be able to go to the next Jamoree.

 

You said that your lads were young, how old does a scout have to be to go to the jamboree? Take care & have a great day!

 

Judy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi GopherJudy,

The age for a National Jamboree is 12, along with being a First Class Scout.

The age for the World Jamboree is 14.

One of the Lads from the Jamboree had his Eagle Scout COH yesterday. It was great to see the guys who were at the Jamboree wearing the rockers they had earned. These Lads were so proud and dare I say slightly cleaner then when I last seen them.

They all to a man wanted to go back!! I have recovered but have to admit to being close to being "Scouted Out" by the time we got on the bus to go home.

Sad to say on the Sunday night /Monday morning, my ASM got a call that his son who is serving in Iraq had been in a vehicle that had been blown up. Thank God no one died, but his son's knee was messed up. He of course was more than ready to get home and comfort his wife and family.

Eamonn

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eamonn,

 

Thanks! Maybe my son Mark will be able to go the the next Jambo!

 

Congratulations to the Scout who had his Eagle COH! What a proud moment that is!

 

Sorry to hear about your ASM's son gettin injured in Iraq, I hope that all is well with him & his family.

 

Judy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×