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Senior Leadership at Jambo

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I have just been given the biggest honor in my Scouting career. I've been selected to be the Scoutmaster of one of our Council's National Jamboree Contingent Troops. Woo Hoo!


For those of you who have been a contingent leader before, how did you determine who your senior leaders (SPL, ASPL, QM Scribe) were?

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Your Council Contingent Troop should be an actual Troop, from now, thru the Jamboree, until the transportation returns them back to your council.


Like all other troops, we held elections, after the endorsement of the Scoutmaster. My contingent asked for resume's and positions they desired to run for. (All were fine resume's, they all were endorsed.) The resumes read more like school transcripts. Ranks, Camps, High Adventures, positions held in their units, and youth training attended. All resumes were distributed simultaneously to the troop, a week prior to the election period.


The election period and final deadline date was set, and votes were submitted to the Scoutmaster via email.


The SPL and PL's were elected. All other POR positions were endorsed by the Scoutmaster, then negotiated and invited by the new SPL.


I would highly recommend that your SPL and green bar leadership be elected into their positions, and that the SPL request the remaining candidates to fulfill the remaining needed PORs.


Of note. The Scribe will usually be the "Home Town News Reporter". The "Home Town News Reporter" will submit electronic stories about your troop, to email contacts at your local newspapers. (Before, Specifically during the NSJ, and a final after you return) The best part is, in order to get between your Subcamp and the NSJ News bureau desk (which may be up to 10 miles), they should be issued a special ID, chain and key, and corresponding Huffy bike (serial number matching their ID). Even better, alot of NSJ equipment is actioned off during the last day; our Scribe bought his 10 day old Huffy bike for under 50 dollars.


Only the Home Town New Reporters are authorized to ride bikes at NSJ. You will see it in the rules that you agreed to, and the youth will agree to during their application, that no personal or troop bicycle transportation will be brought to NSJ.


The reporters are suppose to submit a news article daily, so they may be allowed to be separated from the troop/patrol for half a day, depending on the Scoutmasters and troops safety rules. Anyways, with permission, they can be in Merit Badge Midway or the demonstrations booth, literally hours ahead of the troop, taking part with other Home Town Reporters from their subcamp.


The SPL is the most prestigious position at NSJ. But the Home Town News Reporter (usually the scribe) may just be the smartest position to take.


Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv




Oh yes.. Just to add... With the heat and rain and a few disappointments by the national staff and subcamp directors.


There were a few ocassions of grumbling in the ranks. Usually, misdirected at the SPL, for his interpretation of the rules. All of the SPL statements were acceptable, just not always the most popular. Sometimes, the grumbling was a little more louder than usual or more from a few higher ranking Scouts. But we would state, "Hey, The Troop elected him!", which would quiet the grumbling down.(This message has been edited by Crew21_Adv)

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Congrats on being selected.

I served as SM for one of our Council Troops at the last two Jamborees.

The down side of selecting /voting Patrols and Youth Leadership.

1/ I received the list of who was going to the Jamboree. I played no part in the selection. In fact it was very much "First come with the deposit. - First served."

2/ I didn't know many of these Scouts.

3/Many of them didn't know each other.

4/Time!! While it is a fact that the Troops do fill up very quickly. In our Council about two years ahead of the event. Knowing when to start meeting as a Troop is a big problem.

The Scouts and their parents have the details and are paying into the payment plan from when they sign up. Most of the Scouts who do sign up do as a rule tend to be the more active Scouts.

5/ I'm unsure how to say this without sounding unkind, but for many of the Scouts this will be the first time that they have been exposed to the Patrol method and you will be shocked at the lack of skills that most of the Scouts have.


For the 2001 Jamboree. We held our first Troop meeting in October of 2000. I split the Troop into groups (Not Patrols.) We played some team building games and went over how things would work at the Jamboree and what the responsibilities of the youth leaders were.

When the Scouts returned for the November Meeting I had made a list of who was in what Patrol and who the youth leaders were.

My selection was based on my knowledge of the Troops that they came from and my knowledge of the Scout. I'll admit that age, rank in their home Troop and previous Jamboree experiences did come into play. (I did contact and talk with the youth leaders before the meeting.)

The Patrols were selected by me and I mixed them up so they had an equal number of older and younger Scouts and not too many from any one Troop.

The SPL and the ASPL had both attended the previous Jamboree. Both were 17 and to be honest did a not so great job.

While it is true that the Patrols do set up camp and strike as Patrols and do cook and clean up as Patrols. I found that once the Troop was dismissed and the Scouts let lose to go and do there own thing around the Jamboree they did so in their own little groups. This at times caused problems as many of the older Scouts who hung out as a group were late returning at supper time and being as they were scattered among the Patrols every Patrol ran late.


For 2005. I was older and maybe a bit wiser?

We stated meeting in September.At this meeting we went over all that good stuff but I asked them to sort themselves into teams (Not Patrols) We then held an election for the POR's (Needless to say the SPL who was elected came from the Troop which was sending the most Scouts.) Then the Scouts were left alone to sort themselves out into Patrols, my only stipulation was that brothers couldn't be in the same Patrol. (I have had very bad luck with brothers trying to work together.)They also selected Patrol Leaders.

The next week I held a PLC meeting and asked each Patrol to have their own Patrol Meeting and informed them that they were expected to have a Patrol name and Patrol yell for the October Troop meeting. We also added a Jamboree Troop camp out in the spring so the Scouts could get to know each other a little better and this gave us an opportunity to work on the gateway. The Gateway was only done because it needed done, my aim was trying to get the Patrols to get to know each other better and get used to working together.

The big problem with the camp out was finding a date.

I don't like the cold, so winter was out! The Jamboree Shake-Down is in May. The OA has a Spring weekend and we had to try and work around what the Scouts home Troops were doing.

All in all I think this worked better.

We did have a few problems with setting the site up. Some Patrols had more muscle than others and the Patrols with younger Scouts seemed to have a hard time getting things done. But we send the youth leaders over to give them a hand.

For 2005 I also had PLC meetings before each Troop meeting which I think made a big difference. I found that Sunday afternoon / evening was the best time as even if the Scouts had been away with their Troop they were home by then.

At the Jamboree we did hold a daily PLC meeting and we did ensure that anyone with a "Title" was doing what they were supposed to be doing.

Every morning before we cut the Jamboree Troop lose we had the Youth Leaders do a camp inspection (Mainly to ensure that the scouts personal gear wasn't going to get wet if it rained.) The SPL gave the announcements for the day, the Chaplain said a prayer. We found an unsuspecting Jamboree Staff member and had them join us for the Polynesian Duck Dance.

While the Scouts did form their own little groups once they were cut lose, it did seem that they were less mixed up than in 2001.

Meal preparation at the Jamboree is not a big deal. It is however worth the time to go over each menu before you go to the event and go over it a day ahead. Bring bags for the days when you have eggs. Bring extra 5 gal buckets to hold waste water. Have a youth leader go with the Patrols when they dispose of the waste water.

Impress on the Troop that once the SPL has done the nightly check in that they are not to go off exploring.

The Jamboree is a wonderful experience for all the Scouts who are fortunate to attend. It is a fun time! It isn't about advancement. (Sure if a Lad wants to hang out with a buddy at the MB-Midway, that's up to him!) Don't try to over program the Scouts. It just doesn't work and everyone will end up feeling frustrated.

I'm sure that you will have a wonderful time. Just buy into all the fun that the Scouts are having. The sub-camp meetings can turn into "Moan and groan" sessions! Some people are not happy unless they have something to complain about. If possible take the SPL with you and remind the people who are moaning that there are youth present!

Have the SPL or the SPL accompany the commissioner when he or she does the site inspection.

Find something silly that the Troop can do as a Troop. That brings the Troop together. (At WB it's the "Back to Gilwell" song, for us it was the Duck Dance)



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