Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31st, 2010 - Day 8

With a new day upon us, a new adventure is about to begin for us all. Starting with a French toast breakfast you could see the boys were still exhausted from yesterday and not quite awake yet. Knowing that a good day was ahead of them they all went their separate ways, with a buddy of course, to take on whatever came their way.

As I left the campsite on my way to the Action Center, I spotted that the bathroom crew still had a good sense of humor by the ornaments placed on the front of their vehicle. Our Action Center is located just across the main road by our campsite, and features a number of fun activities for the boys to participate in. Activities in the Action Center include Archery, Rappelling, Climbing, Air Rifle, Trapshooting, BMX, Bikathlon, and Buckskin Games. At Buckskin games boys are able to do several events ranging from; popping a balloon with a whip, branding, hawk throwing, roping, and of course black powder. All these activities are not only fun, but help the scouts experience things that they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to experience at home.

Temperatures at the Jamboree have begun to cool down making life outside at the Jamboree a little more bearable for everyone, including the many visitors. Every day the Jamboree allows only so many visitors to be on site and today was no exception. With the arena show tonight, people began arriving early to secure their spot for scouting’s centennial celebration called “A Shining Light”. It was my understanding that the Jamboree reached their capacity limit by 9:30 AM a full ten and a half hours before the show even began. All day visitors could be seen walking around the Jamboree participating in the activities and experiencing the long lines at every station, store, and event that the boys have grown accustomed to over the last week.



By request of the senior patrol we were required to be back in camp a little earlier today than normal so we had time to assemble and gather our evening “on the go” meal. It wasn’t much of a meal to begin with and knowing this ahead of time I stopped by the kettle corn trailer before getting back to camp so I would have a snack for later. Before we left camp we assembled underneath our gateway for a group picture of all the boys looking nice in their Class A uniforms. Just like the last arena show the whole process getting to the show went pretty smooth considering this time there was almost twice as many people in attendance. As we got there the pre-show had already started and was keeping everyone entertained until the main event. When we got to our seats, or I guess I should say patch of ground, we were located a little farther back and to the left from our spot at the last show. The crowd was already enormous when we got there and was still growing as we waited for the show to start.

Just before the start of the show, Barack Obama addressed the scouts through a short pre-recorded video, which contained no apology for not being able to make it to either show, a tradition that every President before him as done. Clinton and Bush both missed the Jamboree during their first term in office but were able to attend during their second term, keeping the tradition alive. The first part of the show started off with a bang as the arena was lit up by huge flames located on the top of stage and live video feed from remote locations around the nation joining in on the 100 year celebration. This lead into a song performed by several scouts wishing scouting a happy birthday that included dancing and in upbeat tone that set the stage for the rest of the show but for the next 100 years as well. Other guests included Eagle Scout – Mike Rowe from Dirty Job’s, Singer – Alex Boye, Chief Scout Executive – Bob Mazzuca, Rock Band – Switchfoot, Jamboree Chairman – Terry Dunn, and musical group – Honor Society. The real highlight for many though was the tremendous firework display at the end to mark our step into the next century of scouting.

At the end of the show as we headed back to camp, amongst the crowded Jamboree streets the talk was all about wonderful the show was. I can’t speak for everyone but I do have to admit that the show was pretty good and one of the better arena shows that I have seen in my three jamborees. It was a good way to end the day for it wasn’t long after everyone got back that we all settled down for a good nights rest.

Friday, July 30, 2010

July 30th, 2010 - Day 7

With many waking up before the sun several began preparing for this morning’s 5K Run/Walk. Most of the boys decided to participate and earn their 5K Run patch segment. The starting gate dropped at 6AM and the boys were off on their 3.1 mile adventure. For some it wasn’t much later that they began to stumble back into camp tired and sweaty.

Toasted Oats, strawberry yogurt, and muffins graced our table this morning as everyone settled down to eat before the day’s activities. As usual clean up went pretty smooth, however the boys had a little bit too much fun with the cereal and the grinder buckets. They seemed to put too much in the buckets causing them to overflow and make a mess. After being tasked to clean up the mess and properly dispose of the food the boys decided to not be so carless even though they had fun doing it.

The boys spent all day out and around the Jamboree working hard on earning their patch segments, and having blast doing it. However being an assistant scoutmaster my day was a little less eventful. I spent part of the morning writing for the blog and waiting in the line for the Dunkin Donuts that sits a just a few hundred feet from our campsite. This was the first time that I had made it to the fully operational store that sells donuts, coffee, tea, and many other items that you would see in a normal store. The donut shop has been a huge hit amongst the boys here which is obvious by the lengthy query times that are usually upwards of 45 minutes to an hour.

Later that evening as we gathered back in our campsite for our evening meal of hamburgers, potato salad, and brownies; we had a large sheet cake brought to us for “John’s Birthday”. Even though it wasn’t really John’s Birthday the boys and adults welcomed the cake with open mouths. The cake white cake’s decoration featured the National Jamboree logo and tasted just as good as it looked. John did the honors of cutting the cake since it was his birthday, and many took a part in celebrating the occasion by eating a piece or two or three.

The plan for the evening was to take the boys to see the Kawahdi Indian Dancers at the central region stage. Starting just a little after 8 PM our scout got to see the dancing of a scout group out of Amarillo, Texas with some of the most elaborate and intricate costumes I have ever seen. Many have got to see these dancers over the years because they perform often for scout groups traveling to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. This group has traveled all over the nation performing their Native American dances all while spreading the word of scouting everywhere they go. Talk amongst the boys after the hour and fifteen minute show was nothing but praise of how well the group performed, which for many sparked them to want to be just as good of Mic-O-Say dancers. At the conclusion of the show wee traveled back to our camp to get a good nights rest after a long and tiring day.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29th, 2010 - Day 6

Back to our normal schedule we awoke to an already warm morning with extremely high humidity making it feel like a sauna for most of the day. While waiting for breakfast some scouts chose to read the daily newspaper (Jamboree Today) to find out about what happened yesterday and what they can expect today. This morning pancakes and sausage was what we were eating before we started our 4th day at the Jamboree.

My first stop was the trading posts were I picked up today’s Patch of the Day. Everyday they release a different patch and it’s my understanding that they are limited to only 2010. Our trading post that is closest to our campsite only gets about 680 and is usually sold out within the first hour or two of being open. Today’s patch featured the International scouting symbol to mark the jamboree’s celebration of International Scout Day.

Next I traveled west to go checkout what that side of the Jamboree had. Spotting several really cool activities I took some pictures of the scouts having fun at the disabilities awareness area, technology quest, and the Mysterium Compass. The last two things are ticketed items that troop are only allowed to show up at their allotted time. Our troop is scheduled for the technology quest area on Sunday afternoon, and because we only received 20 tickets for Mysterium Compass we gave our tickets away to a neighboring troop. However the Mysterium Compass area has two sections and one is open to anyone at anytime. This section features a lot of scouting’s history in the form of patches, books, pictures, and neckerchiefs.

Since we need to be back at camp by 2 PM we decided to swing back the long way a check out the fishing lake and where they do SCUBA and snorkeling. Stopping to get lunch before getting back to the campsite, I used my day’s meal ticket to pick up a bagged lunch and headed back to eat it at camp. It wasn’t long after I got back and started to eat that it began to rain. It rained hard for about 25 minutes completely soaking everything and knocking our gateway over in the process. The wind was also strong enough to snap one of our flag poles in half, and send trash and other gear flying around our campsite. The kids back in our campsite were having a blast playing in the rain until they figured out they would be the ones cleaning up the mess after the rain stopped.

We had planned on performing our second Mic-O-Say dance around 3 PM this afternoon but due to the rain and potential for more rain in the forecast the adults made an executive decision to hold off on dancing for another day. With this in mind we sent the boys about their way to take in a few more hours of fun. I decided to tag along with a few of the boys for a couple hours before we needed to be back for supper and I must say that I had some fun. We did a little patch trading and made a couple stops in the exhibit area. One of the better stops we made was the Bechtel Scout Reserve tent. This tent had a lot of information on the recently acquired land by the BSA that will host the next National Jamboree. The boys got to use computers and iPads to take a survey on what they would like to see at the next Jamboree and when they completed the survey they got a free hat.

Being back in camp by 5 we settled down for our not so good SPAM supper with mac and cheese for a side dish. Needless to say it wasn’t the best tasting meal we have had on our trip and it showed by the amount of leftovers. The adult leaders discuss what should be done because we didn’t really want to eat what was being served but we choked it down the best we could. So we decided that if the boys’ cleanup supper and the camp by a certain time we would allow them to visit the concession stand to get some better tasting food. Everyone seemed to like this idea and began rushing to get everything done in time. Later that night when we got back to our campsite we sat down with the patrols and had our nightly patrol meeting to discuss how the day went and what is yet to come. After the patrol meetings were done we gathered up all the boys and I presented everyone with a patch from the 1997 National Jamboree as gift that everyone seemed to like. Soon there after we sent them all to bed so we would be prepared to wake up early the next morning for the 5K Run/Walk.