Bob’s Blog: 2013 Jamboree at the Summit, Taking High Adventure to New Levels

Every day, we see dramatic progress on the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in anticipation of its grand opening at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. I am truly awed as our summer camp, high-adventure base, and national leadership training center continue to take shape in the New River Gorge region of West Virginia.

It’s becoming much easier to visualize how mountain biking, whitewater rafting, cave exploration, rock climbing, and other extreme outdoor sports will be coming alive in this beautiful setting. This is all becoming very real, folks, and it’s exciting to watch!

As professional employees at every level of the organization, we have the opportunity to influence and encourage people to take part in this historic moment in Scouting’s second century. Since this is our inaugural event for the Summit, it is in everyone’s best interests to have as many people as possible enjoy this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Case in point: Leaders at the Heart of Ohio Council rallied to boost their 2013 jamboree attendance after experiencing a disappointing 2010 turnout. Thanks to careful selection of the right adult team to recruit Scouts for this memorable event, they’ve filled both troop rosters as well as their Venturing patrol for the 2013 jamboree. In addition, they are halfway to filling a second Venturing patrol, and tentative plans are under way to add a third troop—what awesome progress!

We need to do everything we can to focus on getting as many young people and adults as possible signed up to participate in the Summit’s opening and the launch of our 2013 jamboree. In addition to registering our Scouts, it will be really important to recruit a substantial roster of staff and volunteer leaders to give the Summit a grand opening that we can all remember with pride.

The deadline is rapidly approaching when we’ll have to wrap up registration in order to have sufficient supplies ready for everyone participating in the July 2013 festivities at our new home for the national jamboree. All the information you need for sign-up can be found here.

Get your registrations in now, and let’s make this an adventure to remember!

Taking High Adventure to All-New Levels

We often hear how important it is to keep the “outing” in Scouting, and how that contributes to the quality Scouting experience we all strive to deliver to America’s young people. I want to share how one council recognized the importance of the outdoors to its program and the commitment it made to get Scouts on the road to the high-adventure experience.

I blogged earlier about how the Heart of Ohio Council in Ashland, Ohio, had a disappointing 2010 jamboree and was only able to fill one of two troops. Determined to ensure that this would not be repeated for the 2013 jamboree at the grand opening of the Summit, the council created a high-adventure committee, responsible for finding a select group of adults to recruit Scouts for this memorable event.

This “contingent leadership” was thoroughly reviewed by a selection committee. The council felt it was important that this process not be rushed, to ensure the right mix of adults was available to recruit Scouts for the thrill of a jamboree experience.

Following are comments from Heart of Ohio Council Scout Executive Alex Tyms on the results of their efforts—it’s outstanding:

“Our leadership was finally and publicly announced in early January. We honestly felt that we were behind the curve if we were going to fill two troops and one Venturing patrol.

The new leadership accepted their role and attended any and all district or council events to promote the jamboree. The result is that as of April 27, both troops and our Venturing patrol are filled. We are halfway to filling up a second Venturing patrol and making tentative plans for a third patrol.

As a side note, our entire high-adventure program is growing significantly. In 2008 only 30 of our youth and leaders attended Philmont as a part of our council contingent. New leadership was recruited, and in 2012 we will have 97 participants. 

In 2013, in addition to our jamboree participation, we will again have 90-plus going to Philmont and 24 attending the Florida Sea Base as a part of our first council contingent. In 2014, we plan to add four crews to the Northern Tier Canoe Base. 

The excitement about our high-adventure offerings is definitely having a positive impact on our Boy Scout retention. It is also having a positive impact on the number of Eagle Scouts that our council has produced over the last three years.

Bottom line: Our success is due to the recruitment of quality volunteers who are given the responsibility and the authority to do their jobs, while sharing a common vision.”

Talk about going above and beyond!  This is just the kind of patience and leadership we should all think about executing when pondering how to turn around a failing program to experience remarkable results for our Scouts.

Well done!



One Response to Bob’s Blog: 2013 Jamboree at the Summit, Taking High Adventure to New Levels

  1. Leah Overson says:

    That is exciting! I’m glad for all who will be able to attend the lovely setting and hope the crowds are just the right size for everyone to meet many new friends and do all they would like to do. It’s a great time to be a Scout!

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