In less than 90 days, an estimated 40,000 Scouts from all over the United States and around the world will gather at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia to “Live Scouting’s Adventure” at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree. If you aren’t fortunate enough to be among those who will get to experience “Jambo” live and in person, read on to find out how you can share in the adventure from the comfort of your smartphone…
For those making the trek to the Summit, the trip will be the culmination of over two years of hard work, fundraising, preparation, and planning all leading up to ten days that will likely be the experience of a lifetime! Scouts will have the chance to participate in high adventure activities including over five miles of zip lines and challenge courses, 36 miles of mountain bike trails, 13 acres of shooting sports ranges, kayaking, rock climbing, bouldering, scuba diving, hiking, fishing, and white water rafting. In addition to these activities, there will be merit badge workshops, stadium shows, service opportunities, and worship services. Youth will work together as they camp, cook their own meals (including doing the dishes!) and plan their activities for each day.
To make all of this happen, over 8,000 staff volunteers will spend up to three weeks away from their home and career responsibilities. Each will pay their own transportation costs, registration fees, and other expenses for the opportunity to help at one the various Jamboree venues. Among the army of volunteers will be a group of over 100 Church members who will host the Church’s Duty to God and Country exhibit along with the Genealogy and Family Life merit badge tents. Additionally, members of the church will serve as chaplains, ministering to youth and adults of all faiths in the participant sub-camps.
The involvement and commitment to the Scout Jamboree by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints underscores the important relationship the Church has enjoyed with the Boy Scouts of America since becoming its first chartered partner in 1913. It is estimated that over 5,000 LDS Scouts, Scouters and volunteers will be in attendance at this year’s event.
Charles W. Dahlquist II, former Young Men General President and current national commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America said, “Scouting helps young men not only develop vital character traits that will help them be better prepared for missionary service, to become husbands and fathers, and live lives of service, but it also provides them with life skills as well, such as goal setting, project management, serving hearts and hands, communications skills, time management abilities, survival skills, and many more.”
This past weekend, nearly 200 Scouts from Trapper Trails Council contingent troops and crew participated in a “Jamboree Shakedown” campout where they had an opportunity to get to know each other better by conducting team-building games and activities. They also practiced setting up full-scale jamboree style campsites and finalized their plans for the big event.
Among those attending the shakedown were three members of the LeBaron family from Layton, Utah. They have been preparing to attend Jamboree for almost two full years. Eric LeBaron will accompany his son Hadden’s troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster. His daughter Audrey will be attending with a co-ed Venturing Crew. To earn the money necessary for their trip, Eric and his two children started their own business installing residential windows on weekends and evenings. “We fasted and prayed to know if attending Jamboree was something that our family should do and the Spirit testified to us that it was. We have been blessed in countless ways as we have prepared.” said Brother LeBaron. Hadden and Audrey are excited to go zip-lining, white water rafting and to explore Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Washington DC as part of their tour prior to arriving at the Summit.
In the coming months, I will have the opportunity to share the story of Church members and their experiences at Jamboree with you. I hope to use my love for Scouting and my photojournalism background to help people who are sending a family member, or know someone attending Jamboree feel connected to the experience.
I’ll be traveling to the Jamboree and posting daily updates to the various social media channels listed below. I invite you to connect, like, friend, and follow along for what is sure to be an amazing adventure. If you will be attending Jamboree, please reach out to me and introduce yourself. I’d love to include your story in my posts.
Blog Posts: ldsbsa.org
Hashtags: #ldsbsa #ldsjambo #mormonjambo
-Rob Newbould is an award-winning photographer known for his unique ability to capture light and bend color. He first fell in love with taking pictures while working on the photography merit badge as a Boy Scout. This led to a lifelong career in the photo industry and a passion for telling the story of Scouting through his images. Rob lives in Clearfield, Utah and serves in his Stake’s Young Men Presidency. Additionally, he is the NYLT Coordinator for the Trapper Trails Council. Rob is an Eagle Scout and Silver Beaver recipient. The views and opinions expressed in these blog messages are solely those of the author.