Patrick N. provided his “Scout’s View” on the Jambo 2010:
This year's Boy Scout National Jamboree celebrated the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouting in America. Many 399 kids and others from troops around us were put in a temporary Jamboree troop (Troop 217) Because of the nearby Boeing plant we were assigned Boeing helicopters- ours was the CH 46 Sea Knight, a rescue craft (Troop 217! Sea Knights! HOO-HAH!) The troop was led by Mr. Baer, a scoutmaster from a different troop. We prepared for the trip up to 9 months ahead of time by going on outings to get to know each other. The 36 kids were divided into 5 patrols- the elected leadership squad (The Authority) composed of Kevin Jansen as Scribe, Hans Hunsberger as Quartermaster, and Peter Hayashi and Ray Gerhart as SPL and ASPL. The other patrols were the Flaming Oranges, the Devastating Dolphins, the Duct Tape Patrol, and the Squirtle Squad. Through meetings one Wednesday per month we built teamwork and got ready for the main event.
The Bus Ride
Our group was split in two, with most kids on one bus and Duct Tape, led by Josh Arnold, on a second. The five- hour ride to Virginia was pretty fun the first hour. After that it went into a bit of a decline. We arrived at our site, marked on the map, and amid the bustle of 10,000 people constructing a city of tents began ours. We were professionals already, the important and time-consuming things already done at Shakedown Weekend, the penultimate event. "Our" truck pulled up nearby packed with equipment. The tents, designed for 4 people, were an impressive 64 square feet. We pulled up canopies, built kitchens, ordered people around, fetched water and many other exciting activities. With our campsite set up we sat back and looked around- our subcamp was one of 4, bringing the total attendance to 40,000.
Time to have some fun- or maybe not quite. Some activities required heavy training that would last the jamboree, one of which was Shotgun. For those who don't know how it works, you shoot a gun firing a wide spray of pellets in the direction of a bright orange clay flying through the air. This can be dangerous so some of our friends sat through a three hour course on safety. This was made much easier by the convenient chairs built into our daypacks- making us the envy of every troop around. Hit 5 out of 5 of the shotgun clays and your name is added to the Wall O' Destruction.
The rotating responsibility to cook now falls on me. Every patrol cooks its own food. Meals are obtained through a trip to the commissary, where you wheel back food on a wagon. Two cooks slice and dice according to a hotly contested set of directions. Each day has a theme- Cajun night, Latin night, Asian night, etc.
Jamboree was set on a massive military base and thus had military equipment in it, like an obstacle course. Action Alley was a team exercise with some very tricky maneuvers. It took all day.
Action Center D
Subcamp 2 sent most of its scouts to Action Center D for activities. Options included archery, a bikathlon ( bicycing and then shooting in the lowest possible time. The faster you bike, the heavier you breath, the harder it is to steady a gun.), rappelling, air-rifle shooting, and several other activities.
The Buckskin Games were a station based around the rendezvous points of mountain men in the 19th century. At these meeting spots, competitions like shooting ( a muzzle loaded .50 inch caliber musket) lassoing, tomahawk- and knife- throwing, and branding irons took place in friendly competitions. we also saw relics like actual buckskin hides, bone tools and waterskins.
Today we went to the boating area to check what was in store. There were sleek racing shells with sliding seats- probably capable of enormous speeds if we knew how to use them! They also had a lake stocked with fish- 25,000 sq ft stocked with fish for every square foot! Our group of 10 joined with 2 Canadian visitors to form a Dragon Boat team. A Dragon boat is four canoes in a diamond shape lined with people. Our group came in second place for the entire week, missing the lead by only 5 seconds.
Tonight was the Closing Show. So far we have seen Miss America, the US Army skydiving team, the USAF Drill team, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca, and Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs, and much more. It was an awesome show.
The Mysterium Compass Quest, from the Latin for mystery, was a team activity in which older kids were asked to do what was necessary in order to advance. You had to trust yourself to figure out the right thing to do, thinking carefully about the situation you were in. We missed it by an hour because of bus delays. A foot injury (mine) at the course got us a free ride home by the bus driver who had just finished the last run of the day- (thank you!)
Sunday Sunday Sunday at the Mega Mega Mega Mall!!!- Eddie Bogert
The day for dismantling the site- day 2 in reverse. Everything came down starting at 2 o clock. That night we slept under the stars.
...until about 1 in the morning, when those stars were obscured by a thunderhead. Pouring rain and lightning forced our area to concentrate on the concrete floor of the nearest item resembling a structure, the Commissary tent, until about 5 am. Drips in the ceiling made for cranky campers. At 7 we loaded buses and began the journey home, kept awake at first by a dvd of Down and Derby and then by a Jamboree bus crash slightly ahead of us delaying our trip by about an hour. We all collapsed into our respective cars with our massive duffel bags, ready for air conditioning and a good night's sleep.
Although it is over, we proudly display patches from the four corners of the earth, rockers, battle scars and stories stranger than fiction. This was an event that will leave an impression on 40 000 boy scouts for years to come.