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Flathead Scouts Attend Boy Scout National Jamboree

By Beacon Staff

The Boy Scout National Jamboree is a nationwide Scouting event held every four years at Fort A.P. Hill Army Base in Virginia.

For 10 days, Boy Scouts from all over the nation gather, camp and live in a tent city of 35,000 to 45,000 Scouts and adult leaders.

The Jamboree includes all types of Scout activities from shooting to art, radio, tv production, canoeing, zip lines and hundreds of other activities.

The Jamboree – often called “Jambo” – isn’t just a National gathering of Scouts.

It also serves as a training exercise for thousands of Army personnel, who use the event as a training exercise for quickly organizing a tent city / displaced person living center for a large group of people. Any time you gather 40,000 people in one place, you have lots of logistics to tackle, from water and health care to toilet facilities.

This year, the Scouts have encouraged each Scout council’s group to have a “hometown correspondent” in the local papers. Sean Malone of Whitefish Troop 1936 is the Montana Council correspondent and will be filing reports as the Jamboree progresses. This is his first report.

Subject: Days Arrival-3

It was only two days ago that my airplane finally landed in Washington, DC, and as I went through the door I was immediately blasted with the sad truth that went with the one-hundred degree air: this Boy Scout Jamboree is going to be difficult. Being a Montanan, I’ve been used to the cool weather, the cleared roads, the small population, and the vast beauty of Whitefish. Coming into a city such as DC felt like going to a foreign country like England or Japan…or California.

Blistering heat combined with east coast humidity that would make even Texans complain, along with the hustle and bustle of the crowded streets and landscapes of skyscrapers and mega-malls is all new to me and my sixty or so comrades. It was all of this that we’ve been enduring whilst exploring the national landmarks, the less known landmarks and the several food courts which we’ve been getting free-food coupons for. Yes, we’ve paid in full for everything that’s required: hotel rooms, meals, transportation; but isn’t there one place that we can get some fresh, cold water and not such lukewarm liquid in these drinking fountains?

Among the many landmarks we’ve explored it’s been very rushed and very numerous. From the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial, to the Gettysburg Battlefield and the Holocaust Memorial museum, it’s been an onslaught of landmark after landmark, memorial after memorial from 7:30am to when the sun glows orange on the horizon. And just as we’ve been traveling about the city we’ve encountered other troops whom have also been sight-seeing from all over the country; Texas, Mississippi, California, Missouri; we’re seeing them all.

However, we’ve yet to come to the great army base where the big Jamboree events will be taking place. We’ve been able to take shelter in nice, air conditioned buildings at times, but I shudder as to think of what will happen when the AC is nowhere to be found and instead replaced with the boiling saunas that we’re going to call our tents.

Sean Malone
Boy Scout
Jamboree Participant
Montana Contingent Correspondent

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