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Pack212Scouter

Jamboree worth it?

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Our Cubmaster and I are getting apps so that our current Webelos can prepare if they want to go. They will all qualify, as well as four of our Bears. We have also both contacted Council about being leaders (We will both be WB and have much other training). Anyway, at our meeting last night one of our ACM's made the statement that from his experience, Jamboree wasn't really worth it. What can really be expected, and how should it be presented to the boys? The great thing about it being this far ahead is the boys have lots of time to fundraise for it.

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Just about every Scout I know that has attended the Jambo has had a great time and really enjoyed it.

A couple of things you might want to think about.

Scouts have to have reached First Class Scout in order to go.

The Jamboree in itself is not very expensive. However the cost of traveling and the "Add on's" that some Troops /Councils add on can make it very expensive.

Fund raising can be a problem!!

The Jamboree Troop is a provisional Troop of the Council and can with the permission of the SE raise money for the event (Following the BSA Guidelines.)

I have served as SM twice, the first time the Scouts who of course come from lots of different Troops were really into fund raising. The second time they weren't.

To be really honest I don't like fund raising and as well as being the Jambo SM, I was still doing my other Scouting duties. The Troop Committee for the Jambo is mostly made up of other active volunteers and they tend not to want to get involved with any fund raising.

The Council has to be careful that donations (Even if it's a sale) don't take away from the cash the Council needs.

Some parents are all for fund raising but the parents don't know each other and I found trying to get them to work together was next to impossible.

Some of the Scouts had jobs and were paying their own way. (As a rule older Scouts don't seem to do well selling stuff. -They have so many school sales) Some Scouts had their way paid for in full by Grandparents or parents who (Like me!!) Would sooner write the check and be done with it.

Some Scouts were allowed to use money that they had in their "Scout Account" in their home Troops. But no Troop held a fund raiser just to help send Scouts from that Troop to the Jambo.

Most Councils have a very long list of people who are willing to act as leaders for the Jamboree. Each Troop has one SM, two ASM's and a Junior ASM.

You might want to think about serving as a Jamboree Staff Member, as the competition to be a Council contingent leader could be great.

I do have some concerns about very young Scouts attending the Jamboree.

Our Council is small and the Council camp is close to just about every Scout (I think no matter where you live in the Council you can drive to the camp in less than 45 mins.)

First year campers arrive at camp on Sunday afternoon. Parents drop them off and give them a big wet kiss!!

Thursday night is Parents Night. (It used to be Wednesday but too many first year campers were going home with their parents. Delaying it a day, so the camper only had two days left seemed to help.) Parents arrive loaded down with enough food to feed the British Army for a week. Saturday as soon as breakfast is over Scouts are picked up and go home.

Depending on where you live? The trip to the Jamboree can take a while.

Once the Scouts arrive, it's very hot and they have a ton of work to do setting up the site. - Tents, kitchens, gateways.

The heat is almost unbearable and there is no escaping it.

The Scouts get very tired and with the heat and being so tired they can get very homesick.

They are a long way from home.

They are cooking their own food (No dining hall).

Chances are that parents might not come for a visit.

I don't want to make it sound bad.

But maybe having these little guys wait might till the next one might be a better idea?

Eamonn.

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Your analysis sounds pretty sounds. I would expect that it would greatly depend on the Scout. We have some Webelos that I could see doing it and loving it...and others that would probably hate it.

 

Out of curiosity...what do Staff do at these?(This message has been edited by Pack212Scouter)

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The staff does EVERYTHING!! The majority of the staff at Jambo are volunteers. There are so many different jobs you should have no problem finding one that fits you.

 

In 2005, I worked at Action Center D on the rappelling tower as a youth staff member. I hope to return in 2010 to once again work at that tower. I loved it!

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I'm looking forward to helping get as many kids to go as possible. I was wondering how a Scout that is currently a Bear going to be able to attend. you must be 1st class, 12 years old by July 1st, 2010 or finished the 6th grade. If Im not mistaken, Aren't Current Bears in the 3rd grade making them 8 or 9. by July 1st 2010, they will be 10 -11 and have finished the 5th grade. ??????????//

 

 

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The few Bears will qualify by birthday...however they also will have just crossed over to Scouts in March 2010, so First Class in time is "highly unlikely", to be generous with the term.(This message has been edited by Pack212Scouter)

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Based only on my older son's experience, I would say that the boys you are talking about may be too young to enjoy National Jamboree. He was 14 when he went in 2001 and on return told me stories about some younger guys in his contingent that were miserable. Homesickness was a major issue especially for those that hadn't been away from home much.

 

The Scouts making up the Jamboree Troop will be put into patrols of eight and will have to set up their patrol campsite, do their own cooking and cleaning, and really take care of themselves and each other. For young Scouts, especially those that may have just turned 1st class and haven't had much experience being led by other Scouts or taking care of themselves without adults telling them what to do, this can be hard. Add to that the miserably hot weather and the long walking distances between events and activities, the young guys just may not be prepared for that.

 

In our Council, the local contingents are made up of 32 Scouts (4 patrols), one SM, and two ASMs. The Scouts came from all the Troops in two Districts so the patrols are made up of Scouts that don't necessarily know each other. From older son's descriptions of his 2001 Jamboree experience, the young Scouts and those from Troops that were more adult-led had a harder time than those used to following leadership from Scouts like themselves.

 

Almost all of the Scouts in his Jambo troop and all of those that were given leadership responsibilities (SPL, PL, etc.) were from our District's (then) mega-troop as well as the SM and one of the ASMs. That troop had a culture of bullying new guys and younger Scouts. Even though older son was 14, he got his share of bullying.

 

Our younger son was eligible to go to the last Jambo - he was 12 and 1st class. Since he will be 17 in 2010 and we could only afford to send him to one Jamboree, we/he decided to wait. After talking with older his brother he decided he'd probably have much more fun as an older Scout attending Jamboree.

 

As far as leaders for the Troops/contingents, in our Council the SM and ASMs are current SMs and ASMs with several years' experience running a Troop. I think it would be unusual for a newly crossed-over Cub Leaders to head up a Jamboree Troop, but your Council may differ.

 

I don't know if any fundraising was done for past Jamborees by our Council, but I know that the Troop comprised of Scouts from our district did not do any fundraising. I wouldn't count on the Troop your Scouts join to do any fundraising for Jamboree either, since most likely some or most of the Scouts won't be going and would rather focus on fundraising for something that benefits everyone.

 

Something else to keep in mind, during the year leading up to the Jamboree your contingent probably will have several shake down campouts. These often times will conflict with your Troop's schedule and the boys will not have a choice - they must go to the Jamboree shake downs. Even if they do not conflict with your Troop campouts, the Scouts/families may decide that they don't want to go camping with the Troop AND with the Jambo Troop in the same month and attendance at Troop functions will drop. At least, this is what I've seen with younger Scouts, not as much with older Scouts.

 

In the end, it will be up to the Scout and his parents to decide if he is ready to go to Jamboree 2010.

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Tim, in the next few months the applications for Jambo staff will come out. I believe they are currently nearing the end of the filling of Director positions. Last time an adult staff member paid $595 plus transportation to/from AP Hill. Youth staff was $295 plus travel costs.

 

 

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I am amused by the constant comments on the "miserably hot weather"...why don't we schedule every other Jambo for Minnesota in January so we can all be equally miserable? August in Virginia means temps in the 90's and dew points above 70. Nothing new or unexpected about that. The guys from Alabama and Texas think it's great. THose from Alaska think it's miserable. Go figure. Be prepared!

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Scoutldr, I agree. The heat in Virginia is no worse than the heat in St. Louis. I'll stay away from the Minnesota January Jambo :)

 

This last one was HOT, but with proper preparation there would have been no issues. I had dehydration hit me for a couple hours the very first day I was there. Completely my fault because all I had to drink the entire day was like an orange juice or something from McDonalds that morning. Dehydration got me in the evening for awhile.

 

That was nothing compared to football two-a-days in southern Illinois! :)

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Trying to prepare a Jamboree Troop for the Jamboree is not easy.

Sometime about now, Scouts will start to sign up. Some may have already done so.

Councils will have set a fee, be asking for a deposit and setting up a payment plan.

The Jamboree Committee will be selecting leaders.

The Council has dates when National needs Jamboree cash in, this is as a rule a fair amount of time in advance of when the participants cash comes in.

The Council wants to ensure that all the spots are filled.

In our Council, it's a matter of first come first served.

Very much a "Give us the deposit and we will worry about the paper work later.

The Jamboree Scoutmaster and his team have little or no say in who can attend and who can't.

After the 2001 Jamboree the Scoutmaster of the other Troop (Our Council sends two Troops) made a list of things we thought might improve the Jamboree Experience for the Scouts who attend from our Council. Some of what we came up with was just ideas about equipment. We went from dining flys to the framed car-port type things, from wooden to metal tent stakes and asked that a lot of the un-needed stuff in the Patrol boxes not be sent.

We also asked that the Scoutmaster be allowed to meet with and interview Scouts and their parents before they paid the deposit.

We came up with this in part because I had two Scouts who had been a problem.

One Lad had never been to a Scout Summer camp. His Scoutmaster hadn't told the truth on the form, he wasn't First Class. The Lad called his parents on the morning of the second day, saying he wanted to go home and they picked him up.

The Mother of the other Scout, informed me as we were getting on the bus to depart from the Jamboree, that her son didn't want to go!! But she had told him that he was going.

The Lad was a started out trying to be a real little toad. I met with him and he informed me that he didn't want to be in Scouts and that his Dad was making him stay until he made Eagle. He said that he had called home and left a message that he wanted to be taken home, but no one would pick up the phone! I was stuck with this kid. Him and I had a heart to heart. I said that he could choose to be miserable or he could do his best to try and have a good time. I also promised to have a chat with his Dad when we got home. He begrudgingly agreed. At times he was still a little toad, going as far as removing all the patches from his uniform!! But by about day four he teamed up with some Scouts who were having a good time and couldn't help but have a good time.

I did talk with his Dad, he did quit Scouts and I met him on the street a year or so back and he apologized for acting like a little rat.

Once the deposits are paid, I normally have a meeting with the Scouts and their parents. This tends to be an overview of the Jamboree, I go over what is expected from the Scouts and what they can expect from the Jamboree. Uniform seems to be the big concern from the parents.

The Scouts are busy with the program provided by their home Troop. So trying to do anything as a Jamboree Troop is just not going to happen. After Summer Camp (2009?) The "Real Jamboree Troop" is formed. Starting in about September or October, we start having monthly Troop meetings. I held a weekend Campout in early spring. It's not as a rule very hot here in SW-PA in the early spring in fact we had a hard frost when we did it last time.

In late May, we have the Shakedown Weekend, where we use all the equipment that they will be using at the Jamboree, we mark out the site to be the same size as the site they will have at the Jamboree, practice putting up the gateway. Load all the gear in a tractor trailer truck and other than the Troop meetings, that's about it for training.

I of course tell the Scouts about the heat, I send newsletters home, parents are given the information.

But to be honest we can't train the Scouts to be prepared for the heat.

At the Jamboree I wear myself out telling them to drink lots of water and Gatorade, I have parents who are coming to visit bring in extra Gatorade and ice. As part of the fee we include a fanny pack which has two water bottles. At morning inspection before the Scouts take off, I insist that both bottles are full. When I meet any of our guys when I'm out and about I'll see about making sure they are drinking and do refill the water bottles.

I'm not sure what else I can do in the way of Training.

Of course if anyone has lots of extra cash they could offer to pay to send the Jamboree Troop to someplace where it's nice and warm in February! The Bahamas might be nice!!

I think we are aware the Virginia is going to be hot, we kinda know that we will have a few storms and flooding is going to happen.

But other than doing what we are doing the Scouts have to be there to understand what it's like.

Eamonn.

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Oh, there will be boys that will complain about going to Kings Dominion or Umpteen Flags over Texas.

Is AP Hill hot? sure, but you drink and you spray each other with water and you walk alot.

The worst thing that happened to me there was dealing with an MP sergeant who insisted that I should not ride my Staff issued bicycle on "his" pavement. It was okay to ride on the grass, but not on "his" pavement. But that was just poor me, staff Chaplain. Oh well.

Jamboree is fun, distracting, educational (shudder), much like a Scout summer camp, but so much bigger and more amazing.

Ultimate idea::: Get your Troop or Crew to plan and propose an activity to present. Many of the activity areas were there just by that method. If accepted, your group can get help (extra staff) to make it work, and a real reason to attend. And , again, you'll probably pay to be a volunteer(!)

 

Any boy not ready to immerse themselves in a new, foreign environment will NOT have a immediately fun time. Should this be the first long time away from home? No. The living of the Scout Law and Promise is everywhere. The Scout must be willing and able to take on responsibility for his share of the work of the Troop camp, be willing to try new things and not sit waiting for the fun to come to him, be able to take on responsibility for his own well being.

Most Troops insisted on the 'Buddy System', in getting around. The boy must ,in many respects, be willing to submit himself to the will of the group rather than the wim of the individual.

Take LOTS of drinks of ordinary water, not just sweet stuff. I met a Scout at the hospital who at first REFUSED to drink anything except sweet stuff. He succumbed and I met him in the hospital. I think he went back to the Jamboree drinking more H2O. Pride hath no bounds.

But Scout will help Scout.

 

Pack212, do your calculations again, and make sure your boys will not be dissappointed if they are not of age or rank or experience.

 

Good luck YiS(This message has been edited by SSScout)

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Honestly, I attended the 1977 Jamboree at Moraine St. Park, PA. It rained for almost the entire time, and i'm not talking sprinkles, I'm talking "Noah, build yourself a boat" rain. But I would say it one of my fondest memories of my youth, and I will always remember that trip. When the opportunity came up to send my son to the 2005 Jambo, I jumped at the chance. The cost for our council contingent in 05 was $2300. It was well worth the money for me.

 

 

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