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Jamboree Today Archive

Stories from Previous Scout Jamborees

“I’m going to tell you something I don’t tell very many people,” said Eagle Scout Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel’s popular program, Dirty Jobs. “My dad took—no, he kidnapped me—when I went to my first Scout meeting.”

Rowe was addressing a crowd of over 70,000 Scouts and guests tonight at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. The event celebrates Scouting’s one hundredth anniversary in America.

He described a game that he was pulled into playing as being “designed by an idiot.” It involved swinging a bag full of wet rags around in a circle on a 12-foot rope. The Scouts standing in the circle try to jump as the bag passes. “And if you miss, the bag slams into your ankles and knocks you down,” Rowe said.

“So I was in Boy Scouts for two minutes and I had a bloody nose,” he said.

45,000 people make a lot of trash, use a lot of water, and eat a lot of food. The de facto city which has been erected as the 2010 National Scout Jamboree is no exception.

Each night, tons of food and supplies arrive via semi-truck at the gates of Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, the host site of the jamboree. Hundreds of pallets of bottled water dot the Arena field, ready to be consumed by the 100,000 expected attendees at the Centennial Celebration on Saturday night.

Although these numbers boggling to the mind, the Scouting movement teaches the principles of “Leave No Trace” and “Tread Lightly.” Each principle has an educational activity area dedicated to it along the jamboree’s main thoroughfare. Scouts learn techniques to minimize their impact on the environment and follow the point of the Scout Law that says, “A Scout is Thrifty.”

The Boy Scouts and their U.S. Army hosts have also posted signs around the base which read “Smell a little! Save water.” Trust me, the nose knows; there are Scouts heeding this advice. (Hopefully they are balancing it with a reasonable amount of “A Scout is Clean!”)

It never rains at the National Scout Jamboree. Really, it doesn’t.

Today, the skies opened, pouring buckets upon the 45,000 Scouts, Scouters, and staff assembled at A.P. Hill. The stiff winds bellowed tents and collapsed troop entry gateways. (No one was hurt to my knowledge.)

Yet the damp Scouts’ spirits did not seem dampened. As soon as the skies cleared, and the hot sun turned our corner of Virginia into a sauna, the Scouts jumped into action undeterred. They righted their tents, raised their gateways, and resumed their business with smiles.

Scouting’s national honor society, the Order of the Arrow, teaches that Scouts should be cheerful as directed by the Scout Law, even in the face of tasks and responsibilities which are irksome and tiresome. We learn we should persist through hardship, and do so without letting it wear on our spirits.

All Scouts are united by a common set of values, which I have been exploring this week at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. Each point of the Scout Law is something to aspire to, but one stands out as unique: Obedient.

While being thrifty and brave, or loyal and friendly, are things that someone can use their own initiative to demonstrate, obedience is perhaps the most challenging to live up to.

What does “A Scout is Obedient” even mean?

Ask a Tenderfoot Scout, at the beginning of his Scouting experience, and he might say that it means he has to follow the instructions of his Patrol Leader. Ask that Patrol Leader, who is a First Class Scout, he might say he has to follow the example of the Senior Patrol Leader.

{rokbox title=|First Scout :: Life Scout Blake Wall, 16, from Winnsboro, La., steps o the bus Monday upon arrival with Jamboree Troop 1508 at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. (Photo by Mark Duncan)| float=|right|}images/stories/2010/0727/onedown.jpg{/rokbox}

Blake Wall, 16, was the first of 45,000 Scouts and Scouters to step on the grounds of the 2010 National Scout Jamboree on Monday. The Life Scout from Troop 53, Winnsboro, La., population 21,263, is a member of Jamboree Troop 1508, Southern Region.

Officially stepping off the bus at 7:27 A.M., Wall said that he was very excited and looking forward to the “new experience of the jamboree and meeting new people.” This is Wall’s first high adventure and first jamboree.