Steve Eisenberg (Sandalfoot@AOL.COM)
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 23:07:44 -0400
I thought that this might be of interest to the group:
Of COURSE They're Prepared
30,000 Boy Scouts Ready for Jamboree
By Justin Blum
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 27, 1997; Page B03
The Washington Post
FORT A.P. HILL, Va.--Boy Scout Heaven is almost complete.
Volunteers are installing the final ropes on rappelling towers. Trucks
are delivering 8.5 tons of hamburger to giant freezers, bass to the
fishing hole and freshly cut trees to the pioneering center.
Tomorrow, this Army facility 80 miles south of Washington will become
Virginia's sixth-largest city and home to Boy Scouting's biggest
quadrennial event -- the National Jamboree.
About 30,000 Scouts and 5,000 staff members and troop leaders, including
nearly 500 from the Washington area, are coming for nine days of outdoor
ecstasy, complete with scuba diving, archery, knot-tying, patch trading
and a chance to break the world record for the longest fire-bucket
brigade. They also may get a chance to see President Clinton, who is
scheduled to appear Wednesday night.
"The jamboree is right up there," said Braxton Showalter, 16, of
Winfield, Ill., here for his second jamboree. "It's basically the best
thing you do in Scouting."
This giant camping trip mixes summer vacation with learning and making
friends. But for the boys who flock here from across the country, it's
mostly about fun -- that is, if they survive the mosquitoes and the
rampant smell of body odor.
Some Scouts have spent months selling popcorn and other goods to raise
money for the jamboree and related expenses, which can cost $2,000 or
more. The basic rate for food, activities and camping is $225, but many
troops pay extra for equipment, long-distance travel and additional
Volunteer Scouts and parents -- sporting traditional green shorts and
matching socks -- have been arriving in the last few days, helping
organizers build activity areas, put fishing line in rods and assemble
Among them was a clutch of Scouts who spent hours Friday threading ropes
and safety harnesses through pulleys for rappelling. And because it just
wouldn't be right to allow jamboree attendees to be guinea pigs, the
volunteers tested the 40-foot tower. Just to make sure it was safe, of
Mike Sievertsen, 16 of Auburn, Wash., took the first plunge.
"It was great! It was fun!" he announced after easing into the sand at
the bottom of the tower. But "it wasn't as good as I thought it would be
because I didn't go fast enough."
At a neighboring activity area, dozens of Scouts and leaders were busy
measuring, sawing and hefting splintery tree limbs that they eventually
planted in the ground to form several giant gateways.
Nick Greco, 17, of Berlin, Conn., was on his knees using rope to measure
the distance between several holes.
"Greco! Lift it up! Up! Up! Up! Up!" a Scout supervisor barked as Greco
slowly lifted the rope. "Okay! That's level."
Greco said he was learning new skills. "You meet plenty of different
people from all over and get to build stuff like this," Greco said. "You
learn from them, and they learn from you."
The themes of this year's jamboree are character and being prepared for
the 21st century, which Scout officials said will be emphasized as part
of the daily routine. The theme will be reinforced at meal time, Scout
officials said, when different Scouts will be responsible for cooking
Although Scouts will be sleeping in tents and showering outdoors,
they'll hardly be roughing it. Everything from food to fish bait is
provided by organizers.
At Fish Hook Lake, Scout leader Andrew Molzan, of Orlando, has been
supervising the delivery of bass and catfish. They've put so many in the
lake, the only question is whether Scouts will have to wait before
getting a nibble.
"You throw something in and you're going to catch something," Molzan
said. "A lot of these boys have never fished before. A lot of them have
never even touched fish before."
That's why volunteers will help remove fish from the hooks, clean them
and toss them in a frying pan.
ASM, Troop 75, Columbia, MD
CS Leader Training Committee
UC, National Pike District/Baltimore Area Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City