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BSA National Jamboree Trip - by Chad Boltz

posted Aug 14, 2010, 6:37 AM by Ralph Heredia
My name is Chad Boltz, and I am a Boy Scout who would like to share the best 10 days of my Scouting life with you.

It involves the National Boy Scout Jamboree, held outside of Washington D.C., which honored Scouting’s 100th birthday this year. It was held from July 26–Aug. 4, 2010.

Preparation for this trip began in 2009 with lots of planning by our Scout leaders before I ever learned of the trip. At first I was hesitant, but my father kept telling me it would be both fun and educational.

Our troop leader, Dr. H. E. Chip Walpole said, it would be “an experience of a lifetime.” So after several weeks, I decided it was for me, and I am sure glad I chose to go because there were nonstop events every day.

Four new troops were formed from the BSA Blue Ridge Council, which is comprised of several counties. Our troop was #1917 and had 43 Scouts and three leaders from Anderson, Pickens, and Greenville counties. We prepared by having meetings and camping trips so we could get to know each other and work together as a unit. We elected leaders and also filled various positions in the troop. One of the positions was for a “Hometown Reporter”, who would report back to their community about the events that were taking place at Jamboree. I was selected by our troop to do it.

Jamboree is no small event. It consists of more than 43,000 Scouts and leaders coming together for 10 days at the same site. They traveled from almost every state and several foreign countries. That requires a lot of deodorant, when you get that many Scouts together.

We always prepare for weekend camping trips, but this was not your ordinary trip. We had to prepare our breakfast and dinner, stay hydrated in the heat, get to event areas and have a great time, all in the same day. I guess that is why the Scout motto is “be prepared.”

We departed Greenville, bound for Bowling Green, Va. on three charter buses the night before the big event began. Try getting sleep on a bus with 50 other Scouts full of anticipation — it does not make for a good night of sleep.

When we arrived, we immediately set up camp and started getting oriented to the huge Army Base. There were around 100 buses for transportation to get to various Jamboree activities, each traveling about 70 miles per day. We were issued ID cards and off we went.

The camp was very well laid out, divided into sub-camps. There were areas for swimming, boating, biking, archery and a merit badge midway. Merit Badges are areas of interest where Scouts can learn about various fields like Energy, Camping, Music and Personal Fitness. Over 80 badges were offered here, taught by professionals in their fields of study. I took an Engineering class taught by people from MIT and Perdue University.

I had special access to many areas, since I had a press pass. This enabled me to interview an Apollo astronaut, the President of AT&T Corporation and several authors. We heard interesting speeches from the U.S. Secretary of Defense to Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame.

The Jamboree usually takes place every four years, so it has a wide range of activities, exhibits and demonstrations that keep Scouts interested and wanting more. This year it was five years so it would fall on the BSA 100 year celebration.

This trip really made me feel proud to be involved in Scouting. I realized just how many people are involved in putting together an event this large. On behalf of all of my fellow Scouts, I would like to thank all involved in this great event. This was definitely one of the highlights of my 14-year life.

Read more: The Powdersville Post - BSA National Jamboree Trip
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