National Scout Jamboree Opens July 26th
The Boy Scouts of America will be celebrating its 100th anniversary the week of July 26th in Caroline County.
The National Jamboree will bring scouts from all over the country.
Pritchard: We will have 45,000 participants, scouts, their leaders and support volunteers, we will also have support from upwards of 2,000 military men and women.
Larry Pritchard is Director of the Jamboree.
Pritchard: The whole intent of the Jamboree is to give scouts a lifetime experience; we've kind of coined this Jamboree as the best, most exciting, fun-filled, safest Jamboree ever.
The Scouts are going to begin arriving early on the 26th and there’s going to be plenty for them to experience all week long.
Pritchard: We do mountain-boarding; for anyone who's not done that, mountain boards kind of look like skateboards, but with significantly bigger wheels, and of course, we have the guys all geared up with knee pads and elbow pads and helmets; you know, they go down and over the road mountain incline; this Jamboree is the first one where we've introduced Camp Thunder and Camp Thunder is a 50-gun, 12-gauge shotgun five-point shooting range, so 50 scouts at once will be able to shoot at clay pigeons.
New this time, an area called Technology Quest.
Pritchard: Every scout who attends the Jamboree will be able to leave with a sample of their own DNA; a great part of looking at your own DNA is finding out how much more alike we all are rather than being different. We will also have exhibits in Technology Quest from NASA and National Geographic and Lego, robotics, real cutting-edge 21st-century kinds of things.
And, Pritchard said, AT&T is also adding to the Jamboree’s 21st century excitement.
Pritchard: They have made the entire Jamboree site at Fort AP Hill a wireless 3G network, so that everyone will be able to communicate by cell phone; if every scout and leader there at the culmination show on July 31st wants to send a photo of the closing fireworks home all at once, the network will be able to handle it.
There’ll be the traditional merit badge midway, swimming and boating, and the popular trading of Council patches.
Pritchard: It's a whole lot different when you're sitting down with thousands and thousands and thousands of scouts, and you're trading a patch from Alaska for one from Florida.
There are two arena shows. The first, on the 28th in the morning, is for scouts only and the closing night is for all to see, even people who aren’t there.
Pritchard: We're actually, by satellite, sending out a signal to every Scout Council across the country, many of whom are doing their own big local gathering; in New York City they're gonna be in Times Square, for example.
The Scout Motto is “Be prepared” and to be sure that excitement doesn’t overcome common sense.
Pritchard: Well, we're providing each of the scouts with their identification credentials, a heat index card; we have a progressive temperature index throughout the Jamboree that goes from white to black, depending on what the temperature is and it will tell them what their activity time should be, they should slow down and how much liquid they should drink.
Learn more about the National Scout Jamboree at Fort AP Hill, online at bsajamboree.org.
John Ogle, WCVE News