Jump to content

did jambo change the way your scout sees scouting?

Recommended Posts

I admit this is partly a matter of idle curiosity. Considering that in most councils, it appears that the adults chosen to lead jambo troops are really the cream of the crop and that the boys who sign up are probably also among our strongest scouts, I wonder if participation in such a group has changed the way boys view their home troops upon returning? This might be good/bad/some of both, I suppose, but most boys never experience scouting on a level other than with their home troop and jambo might expose them to different ideas about how a troop can work. Yes? No?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our own home troop had strong representation within our Council. I think we had 8 boys go. There was another unit in a nearby town also with about 8 boys going. As a result strong friendships were established at the Scout/Leader/Parent level between the units. This has helped when rounding out High Adventure crews.


It clearly showed that Scouting is a powerful organization and unique social force.

Link to post
Share on other sites



Thanks for the compliment! ;) I've never been called the cream of the crop before. I was selected to serve as an ASM in 2005. My son was 12 for that Jambo. He signed up for 2010 when he will be 17.5. Since the price had increased an additional $1100 over 2005, I did not throw my hat in the ring for consideration. One of the ASM's for our three cntingent troops decided to drop out for financial reasons and I got asked to replace him. I'm not sure I'd agree with your comment about the boys being among the strongest scouts. Some are and really want to go and some are not and really want to go and some have parents who really want them to go. If they are willing to fill out an application and plop down the money, they can go. Let me tell you from an adult perspective, you get a little bit of everything. You get some super kids that step up to leadership and you get some real stinkers that you almost have to leash to keep from losing or from getting in trouble. I think it probably does give them a different perspective to see how large the scouting movement is and to be exposed to all the possibilities. There is a merit badge midway that has representation for every MB. There is an area where every association that supports a Religious Emblem is represented. There are all sorts of activities in the action areas like mountain boarding, obstacle courses, climbing walls, etc. For guys that come from maybe a small troop or a laid back troop that doesn't have as many resources and adult support that a big troop does, it probably does have an larger impact. All that being said, it is somewhat like a vacation too. Yes you are in a tent and living out of a bag and showering in 2x4 and black plastic make shift shower houses.....but you also live in neighborhoods of tents with lanes running east and west and south and north just like streets. You have trading posts full of candy, snacks and pop. You have a bus system that can transport you wherever you want to go.


Does it make them stay in longer? Like anything else, it can. I've seen kids get involved in OA, NYLT, staffing summer camp, etc. get fired back up and recommitted. Jamboree can do the same thing. However, I know number of scouts from our 2005 Jambo troop who are no longer in scouting. We had one kid whose dad was one of my fellow ASM's both in our home troop and in the Jambo troop. The boy had LOVED Cubs and about the first 6 months of Boy Scouts. Then he decided he wanted to be a skateboarder and our 1.5 hour meeting per week and one campout a month was cutting into his board time. He wanted out before we went to Jambo and was counting the days until Jambo was over so he could quit. He probably stayed in for a month after Jambo before finally dropping for good.


Bottom line, it depends on the kid. I will say, I don't know a single kid that went that didn't have an absolute blast. They all grew from the experience. It truly is a once (or twice if you are lucky) in a lifetime experience. But it isn't a make or break deal. There are much cheaper ways to revitalize a boy. If a family can afford it and/or raise the funds, I highly recommend sending any boy who is interested.

Link to post
Share on other sites



SR540-- Covered it pretty well. I can reflect on it from both a scout and leader perspective; but when I went in 1960 as a scout, they did not have nearly the choices now available. Still, the experience was one of the highlights of my life, period. Did it keep me in, as a 16 year old? Probably contributed to my continued involvement through HS, especially since I lived in the hinterland desert of San Bernardino.


In 85, I was 1st ASM. Saw many of the things SR540-- noted. One thing that I noted that applied to both experiences, IMHO, was that scouts who had to work to go, get there partly or almost completely on their own efforts, truly appreciated the experience, and took advantage of it far more enthusiastically than others. That is not to say that those whose parents simply plopped down the bucks did not enjoy, or whatever, as most did; but there were a few of these that were the real problem children of the troop. And, most of them did not stay in the program past their "forced" Eagle.


Overall, if a scout can go, it is generally a growing experience. Personally, I still think that 12 is a bit young; but I do not make that decision.




Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in Westmoreland Fayette Council.

We have four Districts, two in Westmoreland County, which is more? Shall we say affluent then Fayette.

One District of the other two which mainly serves Fayette has a School district that is in both counties.

I served as Jambo SM for the Fayette end of the Council.

I'm not sure why but for both 2001 and 2005 the two SM's served for both Jamborees.

The SM from the North Troop (Westmoreland) is a really super fellow, who I really like and admire a lot.

The Troop he serves as SM is like a Troop you would read about in Scouting Magazine. The Scouts are all in full uniform, follow the methods of Scouting and offer a program that includes trips to Sea Base, Philmont and all the big ticket Scouting activities.

When it came to sign up for the Jambo a number of parents paid the entire amount that night.

Meanwhile I had Scouts who started paper routes and were hoping that we would have lots of snow that winter so they could earn extra money to pay their way.

I think or like to think that these guys got more out of the event because they had put more into getting there.

OJ went and as ever my deal with him was that I'd pay half and he had to earn the rest.

One problem a Jambo SM and a WB CD has is that you have all these names and you have to place everyone in Patrols. Kinda hard when you don't know all of them.

In 2001 I had a large group of older Scouts who came from a Troop where the 1997 Jambo SM came from, these Lads had been to the Jamboree back in 1997, as had my #3 ASM. This proved to be a bit of a problem as he was in some cases only a few months older than the older Scouts and was a little too close in age to them.

I ran the Troop with a very strong Patrol method in practice both before and during the event.

This was new to a lot of the Scouts.

If I had to pick two things that I think the Scouts seen as being different or got out from attending.

One would be the freedom they had.

Trying to keep track of where Scouts were going is a lost cause and waste of time. A ASM from the other Troop who is a real geek had the most complicated chart I ever seen in my life. -Which didn't work!!

My deal with the Scouts was that after Breakfast and Flag , they were free to go and do what ever they wanted. I informed them that they hadn't paid all that money to hang out at our camp site, once gone I didn't want to see them until it was time for supper. If they wanted to work on MB's that was fine, in fact they had no real ties. I did get a little worried that some were spending too much time patch trading and the PLC with a very big nudge from me did ask that we have two days when no one would go out just to trade patches.(By which time most of the Scouts had run out of patches to trade anyway!)

The other thing was just seeing the number of Scouts, arriving at the shows looking over a sea of Scouts all in uniform; I think made them see that they did belong to something far bigger than they had thought.

Some other things that I thought were funny:

Blaine gave up his hair-gel after 3 days.

The girl scouts from Poland were not impressed by the little Scouts who had drenched themselves in Axe after shave.

Sharing clothes, socks and underwear with your tent mate was accepted as just being normal, no matter what the difference in size.

Inviting people to join in something silly was a lot of fun, the more important the person the more funny it seemed. (We had the Scout Commissioner for England and Scotland join in the Duck Dance)

Josh was going to talk with his Spanish teacher about the Scouts from Mexico not understanding his Spanish.

A few of our Scouts wondered what the Scouts from Scotland were wearing under their kilts? But were too shy to ask.

After the heavy rain in 2001 our Scouts named the lakes in our camp-site after the leaders. - I kinda liked having a Lake Eamonn.


I hope more than anything that all the Scouts seen that just about anything can be fun.

Even on the hike to the show that was canceled in 2005 our guys were busy singing silly songs and yells.

A couple of the Scouts told me I was "Cool" as I didn't yell as much as their leaders at home.

A few of the Scouts I had in 2001 came back in 2005.

One Lad who went on to serve as NE-Region OA Chief served as my #3 ASM. OJ served as a youth staff member where he met our pal Hops.

A good many of the Scouts attended the Hindu service and thought it was cool.

I think the Jamboree should be the model for all Council ran Summer Camps and don't understand why it isn't.


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a little bit of what I was thinking, Eamonn. Actually I was wondering if jambo troops maybe aren't a little more "boy led" than many typical troops? After all, here you have a group of pretty experienced, competent, and trained leaders who actually should all "get it" in terms of how the program is supposed to work, patrol method, a real PLC and all that. That is not always the case in a regular troop but my experience is that boys are a cautious lot and tend to think the way "their troop" does things is the only way - until or unless they experience something different. And maybe being in a provo Jambo troop gives them that different perspective sometimes.


SR540Beaver, I found your comment about the boys who sign up to be an interesting one. I would have expected that, due to cost and length of time involved, the boys who sign up would be the ones who are pretty fired up about attending.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Actually I was wondering if jambo troops maybe aren't a little more "boy led" than many typical troops? After all, here you have a group of pretty experienced, competent, and trained leaders who actually should all "get it" in terms of how the program is supposed to work, patrol method, a real PLC and all that. That is not always the case in a regular troop but my experience is that boys are a cautious lot and tend to think the way "their troop" does things is the only way - until or unless they experience something different. And maybe being in a provo Jambo troop gives them that different perspective sometimes."


Well, I went to my first Jamboree as a boy, but was just a member of a patrol, not a junior leader. For the travel to/from the Jamboree, it was more adult run, but you kind of had to expect that. While we where at the jamboree, the junior leaders were more running things. Other then making sure the troop was where they were supposed to be, the adults really didn't do much during that time.


My own experience has been that if a boy's troop is poorly run, going thru an experience like Jambo, or even attending a well-run NYLT may get him to understand how a troop can and prehaps should be run. Whether he can make that change in his troop if the adults won't let him is another thing. (some adults may get the same experience in a well run WB course, but there's no guarantee of this...)



Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy-led. Our home troop SM was our 2005 Jambo SM. He runs a pretty tight ship at home at at Jambo. By that, I mean he is a strong believer in boy-led, but he also has standards like full uniform and tucking your shirt in and wearing socks and such. Being in the Jambo troop was a real eye opener for boys who came from laid back, easy going antything goes troops back home. We did however put a lot of effort into the patrol structures and youth leadership and was very boy-led. One of our sister Jambo troops was very adult-led. So Lisa, even with trained adults who are supposed to get it, Jambo wasn't thant much different from what you see back in your district or council......a little bit of everything.


A for instance. Our council was very strict on clothing. You need three full class A uniforms. The only thing not uniform was a swimming suit, sleep clothes and underwear. We had troop t-shirts for class B at Jambo. Don't bring civvies. End of story. While there though, we say lots of kids wearing their giant legged baggy pants with chains hanging off of them and black t-shirts with skulls on them. Guess their council and SM didn't care.

Link to post
Share on other sites


I think that I dealt with more uniform questions from the parents than just about anything else.

As you say from the time we left until the time we got home the Scouts were expected to be and were in Scout uniform.

Our Council was kind enough to allow all the Jamboree participants buy what they needed at cost.

Once we got on the bus and until we arrived home, both in 01 and in 05 no one, not a single Scout questioned or said anything about being in uniform.

I found that a lot of the "Work" that a SM needs to get done is done before the event.

You have small groups of Lads who do know each other and bringing them together as Patrols and as a Troop is a task. Sometimes breaking them up is also a task.

Some of the adults who staff the Jamboree seem to have not heard about this "Boy Led" thingy.

Commissioners who come to inspect the site, seemed a little taken back when I didn't go with them and send the SPL along with the PL from each area.

The Sub Camp meetings seemed to forget that some of us had brought our SPL with us.


For 2010 the fellow who was ASM 1 is going to be the SM.

His ASM 1 will be a great guy, who up until being asked to be the Lodge Adviser was a SM (His term as Lodge Adviser is up and he has returned to the Troop as an ASM) This guy is really good with dealing with the older Scouts. ASM 2 is the Lad who was ASM 3.

I have to smile as I remember that back in 2001 He came to me feeling very down and very homesick, I let him use my cell phone to call home, he asked his Mom how the dog was? And then hung up and was then fine for the rest of the time.

I have a great deal of affection for this Lad and was overjoyed when he and OJ became close pals.



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
  • Create New...