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Lisabob

selling Jambo to parents

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Help me with this. A few of our boy scouts recently had a chance to chat with a fellow who served as an ASM for one of our council Jambo troops last time around, and who hopes to do so again. He really got some of the guys fired up about maybe going in 2010.

 

Our troop did not send anybody to the last Jambo. The troop doesn't often participate in council activities. Many of our leaders aren't very well connected or keyed in to district and council events and we don't send boys to Philmont or Sea Base with the council contingent either (don't ask me why). None of the adults in the troop (except me!) has heard anything about Jambo sign-ups yet.

 

I'd like to make this opportunity available to our scouts. But I understand it is quite expensive and will be "new territory" for our scouting families. What are the "selling points" that you use to explain to families who do not know anything about Jambo, why they should allow their sons to go? Telling them it is awesome or a once-in-a-lifetime experience is not likely to be enough.

 

Also, how do you help parents overcome concerns that their children will be traveling halfway across the country with adult leaders who are not from the troop and probably are not known at all in our community (most come from a different part of the council)?

 

And assuming scouts meet the requirements to attend (age/rank), are there other screening criteria? How hard is it for boys who want to go, to get a spot in the council contingent?

 

Thanks for the help with my Jambo-newbie questions!

 

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Lisabob

In our Council spots are filled on a first come first served basis.

I'm not sure how you sell it to the parents!

Many of the Scouts who do go have parents who are "In the know." Having Scouting families.

A lot come from Troops that have sent Scouts to events like this in the past.

Last Jambo our Council sent two Troops. For the Jambo the Council is split into a North and a South, with two Districts in each.

The North end of the Council is shall we say the more affluent!! But it seemed to take a long time for them to fill all the spots.

I live in the South end. Sadly we only managed to get one Scout from the other District.

A lot of the Scouts did come from Troops where the adult Jambo leaders served.

Maybe the fact that for the past five Jamborees the SM is from our District has something to do with it?

We did hold a Jamboree kick off meeting, where we invited anyone and everyone who was interested to attend. We had Scouts who had attended past Jamborees to come and talk about their experiences, some brought "Their Jambo Stuff". We explained the payment plan, uniform expectations, outlined what fund raising events we would be offering.

In 2001 we had about six or seven Scouts who were returning for their second Jamboree.

 

So while I'm not sure how you sell it! I think providing as much information as is available, having Scouts who have attended come and talk to the Scouts and their parents is a good idea.

Maybe trying to find someone from the unit your in to attend as an adult leader or as a staff member might help put the Scout's parents minds at ease?

When I was SM I send each parent a little resume to help them know a little more about me.

Eamonn.

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Believe it or not, I still see parents that have a hard time letting go of their 13, 14 and even 15 year old Scouts! You don't need to sell the parents if the youth are sold.

 

The term expensive is relative. Transportation, all meals and lodging paid for and the price is still under $1500 for one full week - that's a bargain in my book. Now, if you are from Utah or California, the travel costs can be comparatively high compared to some place like Georgia but ...

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A Jamboree trip is about 2 weeks or so. Depending on how your council does it, it will usually include 3-5 days of touring in the Virginia/DC area.

 

Most councils will start promoting Jamboree sometime this year. Don't believe National has made available applications and the like just yet.

 

Some ways to sell it. Get a copy of one of the recent Jambo souvenir DVDs and show it at a troop meeting. Gives a decent overview of the event. Having a scout that has attended it come and (as noted) show their Jamboree Stuff (patches, pins, photos, scrapbook, etc) may make scouts and parents have a better understanding of what an incredible experience Jamboree is. (may also be a good time to start working on getting kids from your troop to start taking advantage of council high adventure trips. If they aren't, they are missing out on going to places like Philmont, Northern Tier, etc.)

 

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Acco, I have to respectfully disagree - you can sell kids on all kinds of stuff but if parents say "I'm not paying for that!" or worse, "No you are not going halfway across the country with leaders we don't already know!" then it just won't happen.

 

Another jambo question - since deposits are paid so far in advance of the event and apparently jambo troops often have mandatory pre-trip events and meetings, what do you do in a case where a boy has paid his deposit (maybe plus some) and then his family moves out of council, perhaps across country (far enough that it would be really hard or impossible for the boy to attend all the pre-trip events with the jambo troop)? Are they just out of luck? Do jambo contingencies in other councils take special-case "transfers?" This must be something that happens from time to time.

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As to the question of deposits...

 

That's going to be up to the council, but I think in most cases if a replacement is found to take the boy's place, he'll get the deposit back. Beyond that there will probably be no special treatment of going on with the contingent with the new council. He'll probably have to be put on the list of alternates. After all, the new council will probably have all their slots full. Do they bumb a kid who is already going in favor of the transfer? Do they put the transfer at the top of the list of their council alternates?

 

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OK guys, I've decided I want to light a fire under our troop's scouts to get them thinking about jambo. Some of our boys will be too old (can they go as Crew members?) but most of our current members will be in 9th-11th grade at that point, which seems perfect from what you are all saying. Wish me luck, here we go!

 

 

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"Lisa, no Venturing Crews at Jambo. Venturing members can go as Jamboree staff only."

 

Correct. In fact, the Venturing Division has manned a great booth at the last 2 Jamborees, as have the Sea Scouts.

 

If they are Arrowman, the OA Service Corps is another option for those between 18-21.

 

If they go to college and join APO, there should be an APO Service Corps at the jamboree as well.

 

ANOTHER option is that if the boys will be younger the 18, they can go as Boy Scouts.

 

 

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Lisabob, I attended as a youth (1977, Morraine St. Park, PA), the cost was $767 and really took a lot of soul searching from my dad to fit it into the family budget. I will never forget that experience and still talk about it. Years later he told me it was a stretch, and to pay for only one of his 6 kids to go was a bit lopsided, but being a Scoutmaster for my two oldest brothers and knowing the value of the program, he said it was the best $767 he ever spent. I thought he was just glad to have me out of the house.

 

In 2005 our West Coast Jambo participation cost between $1900 and $2300 depending on the extras. Plus all the other stuff (uniforms, patches, equipment), this could turn out to be a $3000 10 day festival for the boys.

 

In order for parents to see the value, sometimes you have to go outside and get an experienced scout or scouter with some perspective. Try reaching out to Scouts or Scouters outside your unit and have them speak to the parents about what Jamboree is and how it will make thier boys better. You may want to mention to them that the 2010 Jamboree will be the capstone event of the 100th anniversary celbrations. There will be a lot of history written in that week.

 

The adult leaders are all trained and there are specific guidelines for selecting Scoutmasters and Assistants. The Jamboree Troops will spend some time together prior to the trip and have regular monthly meetings, outings and possibly mini practice jamborees to work out all of the kinks. They will be a real unit by the time they head out to Jambo. Parents will have time to get to know the leaders as well before the event, which will help put thier minds at ease.

 

Criteria for boys? They have to fit the age and rank requirements (13 yo and 1st class). Above that I would think it would be required that they live the oath and law, and have scout spirit, be recommended by thier Scoutmaster. Then it's all about first come first served. If you have anyone interested, they should get thier name in the hat now, waiting until the forms come out is way too late in my opinion. This event is going to sell quickly, and usually that means that those in the know (district and council scouters with kids in the program) will get first dibbs.

 

 

Also there is a great video online that kinda builds the excitement.

 

http://www.scouting.org/jamboree/2010/

 

Hopefully they won't question why, at the end of the video, it says "safest Jambo ever". I shudder to think what that may portend in 2010.

 

In my council, they are now taking $200 deposits for youth and adults to start the process. The deposits are fully refundable, and are meant to weed out the free application putter inners that never follow through with anything. We're taking 6 troops and they'll be full by June 1. And yes, I've got my deposit in, as well as one for my son, he'll be 19. I would love for him to attend as a leader.

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I didn't read your second question on deposits.

 

If the boy that moved still wants to go and attend with his original unit, he could meet them at thier first stop along the way. Transportation could be an issue and he will need a chaparone more than likely, but it has happened and happens a lot. Moving his "spot" to another council is not an option IMO, and if he did not want to attend with the old council contingent, he'd need to have his spot filled before he'd get his depost back in our council.

 

 

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So the official word from the BSA is 13 now for 2010 and not twelve? Or is it 13 or have completed the 7th grade + 1st class and 6 months in the troop.

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Oops, I'm a liar, it is 12 by July 1, 2010. Sorry for the confusion.

 

copied from our council website.

 

 

ELIGIBILITY: Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts must be at least First Class Scouts. They must have completed the sixth grade or be at least 12 years of age by July 1, 2010, but not have reached their 18th birthday by August 4, 2010. All Boy Scouts and Varsity Scouts selected to to attend must participate in all pre-Jamboree training experiences; file a complete Personal Health and Medical Record, prior to the pre-Jamboree training; have been active in a troop or team for at least six months prior to July 1, 2010; and be approved by the California Inland Empire Jamboree Committee.

 

Personally, I don't know if most 12 year olds are mature enough to make this trip without parents along, but who knows, I remember my first summer camp at 11 and what fun I had.

 

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For the 2005 Jamboree we had a scout move from Ohio to Texas. We excused him from some of the prejamboree events and he met us when we departed from Ohio. I would expect we would do that again should we have a scout pay for the jamboree with us and then move out of council before the jamboree.

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