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Cubs Visiting Jambo

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I have been talking with our pack adults and leadership about a trip to visit the Jamboree. We would be going as a pack. No we do no intend on spending the entire 12 days there, but we were thinking about spending a couple of days there and visiting the sights and exibits. This is mostly because this is such a milestone in scouting and I think it would benefit the boys to see how big scouting really is.


I have started doing the research. I have found that the milage only requires a local tour permit for us. I have also started finding reservations for lodging. We intend on camping to make it as close as possible to the jambo experience.


Is there anyone else out there that is considerring this. If so what kind of things are you looking into. Any things that I should be aware of.


I am looking for any information that may be used to prevent pitfalls that I may run into. I have started a book for the Jambo files and will keep adding from there.

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This is based on things I've heard in the past.


First off, you seem to be aware that you can't camp nearby and visit the whole time. That's a big no-no. I know there are rules regarding camping nearby and visiting the jamboree. Not sure about any restrictions about distance from the jamboree, but believe there is a restriction about how long you stay. I think the main point of such policies is to prevent scouts (or their leaders) from avoiding being official jamboree participants and just camping nearby the whole time and visiting. But as you are only doing that a couple of days, I think you're ok.


Don't let your cubs think that visiting the Jamboree entitles them to wear the Jamboree emblem. The last couple of jamborees they've had a separate 'visitor emblem' (usually a different border) that could be worn in the temporary emblem location.


Don't let your cubs think they can participate in the activities at the Jamboree. Activities are for the participants. They can certainly visit and see the sites (including the shows), but can't participate. You seem to be aware of this, but want to be sure.


FWIW, it appears the next National Jamboree will be in 2013 at the new location, where ever that will be. So if they will be old enought to attend that one, its something to bring up. (next one will probably be in 2017 I believe)

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A group of us took some Cubs to the last jamboree. We were camping as families, not as a pack, in fact, we weren't even all from the same pack, so tour permit rules didn't apply. However, we spent the day at Jambo, the kids were even allowed to participate in a few things, nothing major but enough that my oldest is very excited about the possibility of being an actual participant next time.


We then spent the night at the campgrounds at Kings Dominion Theme Park. We spent the next day at King's Dominion. It goes without saying that that part was a hit.


I can't speak to any rules about repeatedly visiting the Jamboree. No one was keeping track of that sort of thing. (Although you do need to show ID to get onto the military base) I do know that there used to be only one or two days when visitors were allowed, but they have lifted that rule, allowing visitors pretty much the entire time. We went on a Saturday and there were tons of people. We got there just after they opened for visitors and had to wait in a huge line. We stayed until they kicked us out and we saw less than half of what there was to see.


Food is expensive on site and you can't bring any in with you.


There's a LOT of walking between exhibits.


The talk among some visitors was that all of the hotels within 50 miles were booked well in advance. The campground we stayed at only had a couple of group sites and they were booked well in advance as well. I think we booked only a week, maybe two before, but we were only in a small family site. The KD campgrounds had patches available for scouts. Another campground nearby is at Westmoreland State Park. I understand it is very nice. We looked into it once for a pack camping trip, but it was out of our budget.


I will be a Webelos den leader in the Summer of 2010. My husband got a letter last week confirming his appointment to Jambo staff. I doubt our pack will plan a trip to visit Jambo, but I'm planning to pitch it to my den and if all else fails, I will take my own kids.


I thought the next one was going to be in 2014, not 2013. Although they are going to be moving it away from AP Hill, I understand they are looking at keeping it in the Mid-Atlantic area and are considering one or more sites in Virginia.

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"I can't speak to any rules about repeatedly visiting the Jamboree. No one was keeping track of that sort of thing. (Although you do need to show ID to get onto the military base) I do know that there used to be only one or two days when visitors were allowed, but they have lifted that rule, allowing visitors pretty much the entire time."


National uses tour permits to control those wanting to visit the jamboree as a unit.


I've been attending NJs since about 1981, and recall visitors visiting all the time during the jamboree. I am not aware of anything preventing visitors bringing food in.


But I've never been a visitor, only a participant (once) and staff (several times).


"I thought the next one was going to be in 2014, not 2013."


I thought so too, but I've been hearing things on-line that lead me to believe it will be in 2013. Partly, its due to restoring the gap between National and World Jamborees. Our move to having it in 2010, means the WJ is the next year (2011). Bringing it in a year will help with the next WJ (2015), as well as our plans to host the 2019 WJ (to be held at our new Jamboree site).


"Although they are going to be moving it away from AP Hill, I understand they are looking at keeping it in the Mid-Atlantic area and are considering one or more sites in Virginia."


I have no idea what sites they are looking at nor were they are located. While they've stated the basic criteria, they've given no further info.


We'll know when they make the announcement. Would be nice to know sometime soon, but have no idea how long the process will take or where they are in things.


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I see where several of you hvae mentioned the "where to stay issue."


I have made some contacts. I have found one campground that is more than willing to help us with the reservations. They have space and are ready to take reservations today if I wanted. And no I am not telling who. (Sorry guys, gotta lookout for my boys)


I have also made some other contact and checked into some other things.


I can imagine that things are going to be expensive. This is expected. But this is also something that we are trying to start planning now so that we are not rushing around in the end.


I am going to bring up some of the things to our committee next week when we meet. It is at this time that we will be getting some confirmed people to commit to helping out and forming a committee.


I think that this is going to be a great trip and oppurtunity. I do not know who is looking foward to this more. Parents or the Boys.

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I've been kicking around the idea of going down there for one day to visit the Jamboree with a family vacation thrown in with scout who will be a bear at that time, but I wasn't sure if he would get enough out of it to make it worth the trip (about 700 miles)


People who have taken Cubs, was it worth it? Did you have enough fun and learn enough to make the trip a good experience?


I'm on the fence due to the fact that he'll only be a bear. If he was a W1 or W2 I'd probably start the planning now, but as it stands I'm just not sure.



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Here are a few things to consider.

There are many pitfalls. Two specific pitfalls to be warned about. One being the amount of time to move around NSJ. The next is that day visitors may view exhibits, but are not suppose to be allowed into participant events.


The sheer volume of people, NSJ attendees and guest makes moving around NSJ very, very slow (a bus ride around the entire campus was about three hours for maybe a 25 mile trip).


Regarding the time it takes to move around NSJ. Some units attending NSJ have some logistic support (someone family or Scouter in the nearby area to bring purchase goods incase they have forgotten anything) My NSJ Scoutmaster lived an hour away, and our NSJ Scoutmasters wife made two trips bringing specific goods (batteries, soap, etc). I myself had a fellow Scouter and his Eagle Scout son that were on vacation in DC during the 2005 NSJ. On the days they arrived, it took about two-three hours from the Fort A P Hill gate to our campsite. About an hour and half to get to the parking, about an hour and half on the bus to move just a quarter of the way around the campus.


Also, theoretically, Day Visitors can go thru exhibits to view, but were not suppose to participate in activities (as you and emb021 have stated). Too many times there were hundreds of visitors in lines with the hundreds of participants, and were regularly allowed to participate in activities. The visitors drove up just for the day, the participants paid a large council and national fee to be at NSJ for the entire camp.


Sorry if this sounds blunt, but it is unfair to the Scout and families for a paid participant to wait hours and maybe not have an opportunity to participate. NSJ Scoutmasters would see Subcamps release their Scouts at 0900, by the time participants arrived at the Midway area (maybe an hour later) there were thousands of visitors already in the activity and exhibit lines. Some events the participants never actually got to participate in, because of the hundreds of visitors in the queue.


So if you desire to attend with Cubs or family members which are Cub Scout age. Be prepared for long, long, long (and hot) waits, and if the event staff abides by the participant only policy, there may be limited events the visitor can take part in during their visit.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv


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I know it was a while back, but I stopped in for a day at the 1989 jamboree as a second-year Webelos - we worked it in as part of a visit to my grandparents.


It was an overwhelming experience, in all senses of the word. There was a lot to see, but not much to do. Kind of boring overall unless you liked standing in line. I vividly remember being eager to see Steven Spielberg, who was launching Cinematography MB at the jambo that year. You could barely see the stage for the crowd.


It put me off NOAC and other similar big events more or less permanently. I figure I can go on 20-30 campouts for the same two grand that a full jambo trip would cost, having more fun seeing more territory to boot.


I will, however, always remember the Scouter from California who saw I was interested in the patch-trading row and gave me a patch from Orange County. It was probably one he had about 10 copies of, but it was a very kind gesture to a young squirt.


If you really want to go, the multiple-day trip would be your best bet for sure. Just be patient, and practice walking and map-reading.

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