Thoughts on Jamborees
Scott Begin (34RXESC@CMUVM.BITNET)
Tue, 17 Dec 1991 09:38:59 EST
As a participant in the 1985 national jamboree, I have these thoughts:
1993 or 1997? I would suggest letting your son decide. Let him know about
the jamboree and if he wants to go in 1993, let that decision be his. He
will then have to be sure he is the proper rank to attend and has the money.
I personaly would recommend waiting 4 years. Although he may be 13 and old
enough by the National Standards, he will get more out of it when he is 17.
Not only will he be more skilled as a scout, possibly being an eagle, but
will be more ready to take a 3 week trip to a jamboree. In school, he will
have studied more US history and hopefully be more able to appreciated the
US Civil War history in visited on the trip.
In my jamboree troop, we had several scouts who went "because their parents
thought it would be good for them." Unfortunately, these kids were the
ones who layed in their tents most of the time (when not going to the
snack bar). Don't push your son too much. Let him want to go.
Another advantage about going to the jamboree in 1997 is that you have an
additional 6 years to save money. Theoretically, I could have attended the
1981 jamboree, but I would not have been able to pay for it myself. By
waiting until 1985, I paid for most of my fee ($550 from Kalamazoo, MI),
the two additional uniforms I "needed," and my spending money (about
$150). I did this by selling firewood, selling corn, and helping my dad
with equipment installation for a customer.
As far as equipment, I agree that they overestimate the number of uniforms
you will need. I probably could have gotten by with two, and that is
only because during our trip to and from the jamboree, we were in class A
uniforms. Buying a red wool jacket was not necessary (although I
really like those jackets)...you could probably get by with a red windbreaker
(not necessarily from the BSA). My extra uniform purchases were acceptable
for three reasons: I still have a jamboree uniform hanging in my closet
(just don't ask me to try it on:) with all my jamboree insignia, including
jamboree troop numbers, wide game strip, and the Gettysburg trail patch we
earned en route (I only have the middle section...we didn't have time to
hike the 5-mile trails). I worked as a CIT at summer camp earlier in the
summer and purchased my uniforms via camp, at about a 20% discount (a
standard staff benifit). Lastly, I spent the following 2 years working on
camp staff, where I needed more than one uniform (although at summer camp,
I really didn't need 3...2 would have sufficed).
I agree that you should be able to lock your equipment, but keep in mind troop
equipment requirements. In our troop, we were issued GI duffel bags (12"dia x
24" long Olive drab), with our name stenceled on them. We were also given
carry on bags (courtesy of the East Central Region). We were permitted one
other duffel bag to put our sleeping stuff in. We were not allowed foot
lockers or framed backpacks since we were travelling via charter bus, and
wanted luggage to be able to be packed easily. If bundled up correctly,
a small lock could be placed to keep people out of the large duffle, and I
feel could have been as effective as a footlocker (I believe locks keep
people from looking through stuff...and therefore finding the stuff to
steal. A lock on my duffle bag could be just as effective as the built in
locks, which are easily picked, found on most footlockers). True, you
don't have a place to sit in your tent, but such is life....
I am happy to hear that the jamboree has gone to propane. Teaching scouts to
quickly be able to light charcoal is a real pain if they don't do it in
their own troop (remember what I said about having more scout skills?).
I just hope they have enou sense to have their stoves hooked to bulk 20#
propane tanks (for cost and environmental reasons).
My most important advice: buy your hat pins as soon as possible when you
get there. They go FAST!
I had a lot of fun at the jamboree, but I still think my trip to Philmont was
many times better (and that was even before I worked at Philmont:).
Yours in Scouting,
Scott A. Begin
1985 National Jamboree
Troop 612, Fox Patrol Leader
Southwest Michigan Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City