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It was stated in another thread:

"Units from a milder climate planning to travel to Virginia, should plan and train for it"


" Those who work/play in the heat every day are usually not affected by it."

This makes a lot of sense.

Having served as Scoutmaster for two Jamborees at Fort AP Hill ( with only one wasp sting.)

I'm just a little unsure how I would go about it.

The big thing that gets in the way is that Jamboree Troops are provisional Troops.

For the 2001 Jambo. The first meeting of anyone interested was held in September of 2000. This meeting was for parents and Scouts. Deposits were paid and information was given.

Regular monthly troop meetings started in October, but were canceled in Jan and Feb because of snow.

The shake down was held in May.

For 2005 we started a year earlier.

This helped the parents with payments, but didn't do much for the training. Most of the Scouts attended Summer camp with their home Troop in the summer of 2004.

With Scouts coming from so many different Troops going and coming from summer camp at different times, trying to organize and hold a camp out during the summer vacation didn't seem to be a viable idea.

In fact trying to hold the interest of the Scouts for something that to them seemed so far in the future was at times difficult.

Of course we do everything that can be done to impress upon the Scouts about the joys of the Virginia summer, staying hydrated. As part of the Jamboree fee we included a fanny pack with two water bottles.

Sadly we were informed when we went to the first non-opening show that we were not allowed to take the water bottles. (We did anyway!!)

On route to the real show we stopped to refill the water bottles and some twit informed me that we were holding everyone up and we needed to keep moving!! I left him with a flea in his ear and we left with refilled water bottles.

When we had shirts made for the Jambo, we choose light colored high wicking material, for the shows the dress code was full scout uniform.

OJ, was staffing a COPE course which was closed down. It was closed down by the military not the Boy Scouts.

Scouts stood in line for some activities for a very long time. The lines were not in the shade!! This wasn't decided by the Scouts.

All the Scouts who attend the Jamboree are supposed to be First Class Scouts or above, in 2005 I had 36 Scouts, not one could tie a tautline hitch.

Scoutmasters who have Scouts attending events like the Jamboree really do have to take on some of the responsibility of ensuring that the Scouts from the unit they serve are prepared and ready for these events.


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The blame for the scandalously large number of heat cases is NOT with the Scouts or their Scoutmasters, all of whom that I saw were doing a tremendous job. The Scouts were prepared, both mentally and physically. Virtually every one that I saw routinely carried a full hydration pack. The troop-level leadership was up to the task.


In fact, were it not for the Scoutmasters, senior Scouts and us lowly staff-peons, who jumped into spontaneous action, without orders "from above," many would have died and the casualty figures would have been MUCH higher.


No. The blame is on the National mucky-mucks (easily identified by the fact that they lived in air-conditioned general's quarters or hotels many miles away and drove everywhere in air-conditioned Escalades). THEY were the ones that agreed that the Scouts could be deprived of their hydration packs and failed to provide shade or adequate water during the many hour march to and from the arena. This, even in light of the fact that EVERY Medical Director of EVERY Sub-camp told them to cancel the show.



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As "cool" as it might be for a boy to go to Jambo and be able to come home and tell everyone that he got to to see the President live.....it just isn't worth it. Schedules had been set, there was a show to put on, the President was coming, etc., etc., etc. that caused them to make the poor decision they did to mush on marching 40,000 boys shoulder to shoulder in extreme heat on blacktop in the middle of the afternoon for a program that didn't start until evening. The President's security needs trumped everything else. I do understand the need for the security. But AP Hill in the summer and the President's secuirty needs are not very compatible. In the future, the President needs to tape a video address and the opening show can be a much more leisurely handled program where boys don't have to eat dinner at 2:30 in the afternoon.


There were three doctor/scouters from our council who served on medical staff at Jambo. All three told me the same thing you said about urging to cancel the show.

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I do think and hope that lessons have been learned from 2005.

Rehashing isn't going to move us to a positive future.

I agree that we need to find a better way of preparing the Scouts we take.

I'm just a little unsure how to go about it.

Reading the threads on profanity made me smile.

In 2001, we loaded the Scouts in air conditioned luxury buses at 3:00 AM.

Arrived at Fort AP Hill at around 1:00 PM.

The temperature was 104 degrees.

After the medical checks and that good stuff, we unloaded a furniture removal van that had been sitting in the heat waiting for us.

I don't know the temp inside of the van, but it was very hot.

Then the fun started.

The Scouts went about erecting the tents. Using wooden tent stakes. The ground was like concrete, the Scouts were really doing their best, they would get a stake about half-way and it would break!

You bet some of the stuff I heard wasn't very Scout like. - I took plenty of No notice, in fact I had a couple of stakes snap on me and I had a muttering of Anglo-Saxon adjectives myself!! (Bad Scouter!!)

This of course hadn't happened when we'd had the shake down in the Pennsylvanian mountains in May.

When 2005 came around I asked for frame tents.

The Council receives a grant for the tents and then adds them to the tents used at Summer camp. So they turned down my request.

We did go to metal tent stakes. This made erecting the tents a lot easier and kept the profanity down!!

Arriving a day earlier helped.

We also got on the bus at midnight, which made a big difference.

I'm not sure what can be done to prepare the Scouts we take for the heat?

I know that I sent out a newsletter telling them that they needed to be in good shape and warning them of what conditions might be like.

Still as a Jamboree Scoutmaster, I just don't have enough contact with the Scouts to really know how far along they are or if they are doing anything?

The other thing we seem not to taking into account is that the age requirement was down from 14 to 12. The Scouts at the 2005 were younger than in past Jamborees.



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"The blame is on the National mucky-mucks (easily identified by the fact that they lived in air-conditioned general's quarters or hotels many miles away and drove everywhere in air-conditioned Escalades)."


Please tell me that the Escalades were donated by a local car dealer. Once a co-worker was on Govt travel and had to take a Lincoln Town Car as a rental...it was all they had left and they gave it to him for the same price as a compact...$25 a day. He was soundly chastised because of the "appearance" of impropriety.

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SR540Beaver says, "The President's security needs trumped everything else."


I was there and I agree. The POTUS appearance was a political tactic and the BSA officials in charge accomodated the President's security needs at the expense of the health and safety needs of the Jamboree participants.


I understand and do not begrudge the desire for a President to visit the National Jamboree. Lots of future voters there. However, within the BSA, power and politics should be considered AFTER health and safety.

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This thread surely isn't going where I'd hoped it might, but that's not new.

GM donated the use of the vehicles for the Jambo. They also paid for the participants Jambo Passports.

A good friend of mine was in charge of one of the Action Areas. While they tried to keep from using the vehicles during the Jambo during the time they were setting up the big trucks were used a lot. GM decided what cars and trucks they wanted to allow to be sent. They also offered the vehicles used at the Jambo for sale after the event.

Sadly while the Jambo is a wonderful event. One that I'd love to see each and every Scout have the opportunity to attend. It is also a giant PR event. We can all question if the PR was good or bad? Those of us who were there didn't get to watch and hear what the early morning T.V shows were saying.

I know I was irked. As a Troop who did attend the first "Show" (The Scouts voted to attend) We sat in the sun waiting. Sure enough Bill Frist, was allowed to give a speech in support of the Support our Scouts Bill recently passed in the Senate. It seemed he'd no sooner got the last word out when we were informed about the dangerous thunder storms that were coming -Boy them storms must have came out of no where and been fast moving.

The Jamboree is also a good time to get a lot of meetings and leg work out of the way. I attended several meetings about the 2007 World Jamboree while I was at the Jamboree. These were held in the staff eating areas of one of the sub camps and not miles away in an A/C Motel conference room.

I get a little annoyed about the events that are only open to James E. West and above contributers. Yes I did attend a couple and I was about the youngest person there!! So maybe they do help provide something for old time Scouter's who still want to support Scouting. Of course I don't see me as an old timer-Just yet!!

Having the President attend the Jamboree is the icing on the cake for the BSA as far as PR goes.

It's a nice photo call for the President as well.

But trying to get 75,000 people into one place at one time and not ending up with major head-aches can't be easy.

I was happy in 2001 with the video tape. I used copies of the tape for raising money. I'd be OK with sending a handful of Scouts to meet the president and having the tape shown.I'm unsure how well that would go over with the President or the BSA?

Regional shows in place of the big Arena shows have been talked about.

The 2005 closing show was about the most boring thing I have ever had to suffer, very much like waiting in the dentist's office. We only stuck it out for the fireworks.

Maybe for 2010 we can talk Apple into donating I-pods to all the Scouts and the President and all the boring bits can be pod-cast to everyone?



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Eamonn - discussion threads are organic - they wend and weave like vines, and can't be nailed down like lumber! ;)


I agree with what you say about the 2005 Jambo logistics. IMHO, some of the BSA organizers just had their priorities wrong - the boys were NOT first.


JimmyD has a good question. The security can't be changed of course. It is what the Secret Service says it is. However, I believe it can be fit into the Jamboree with less disruption. Eamonn suggests regional shows/assemblies instead of one massive show. I think that's a good idea. Everyone would have a chance to see the POTUS, but he only appears at ONE of the regional shows - surprise! That tactic might actually enhance security. Or, a live video appearance.

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Like I said earlier, have the President do a video. Then there is no need for the security and the disruption it brings. Getting to see a President is a big deal, but it really does have a HUGE effect on the daily conings and goings of a Jambo. You get two meals instead of three that day with nothing else to eat until breakfast the next day. Everything else shuts down. 40,000 people have to march in extremely crowded conditions. There were some activities that had to be scheduled and those activities earned rocker patches that went around your Jambo patch. The day our boys were scheduled, the President came and the activity was shut down due to everyone having to eat early and begin marching early for an evening show.


Bottom line, do a video address and you don't have to worry about security, weather or disrupting the activities.

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Hey Beav,

We fed our guys hot dogs when everyone got back to the site.

Hot dogs.


The President of the United States of America.

For a minute I nearly lost my accent!!



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