Greetings to everyone back home. I apologize for not providing more timely blog posts, but battery life is at a premium out here at Jamboree. I did want to use some of my precious battery life to share an amusing story about an event that occurred tonight.
We are in camp C117, which is a sub camp of C1. In this sub camp there are probably about 1/2 a dozen shower house locations with 3 shower/potty buildings per location (2 for boys, 1 for men). I would guess that each location is shared by about 8-10 troops.
To manage the cleanliness of the facilities, each of those troops take turns each day cleaning the facilities and today it was our turn. Alex B took control of managing our teams as they worked through each of the restroom buildings. To minimize the impact to traffic, it was requested that we work one building at a time, which the crew did (in a timely manner I might add).
After cleaning the first boys restroom/shower building, the crew moved to the second building. As they were securing the building, two scouts from another troop tried to enter the building and were notified that this building was closed, but that the first building was available.
Surprisingly enough. These two scouts had forgotten the scout oath and law and uses some rather inflammatory, off-color language with our cleaning crew to vocalize their disgust. Rather than using the other building, they insisted on waiting, timing the crew, and verbally badgering them while they did their job.
You would have been very proud of our boys. Rather than responding negatively to these two antagonistic goobers, they took it upon themselves to make sure that they really did an awesome job cleaning the restroom. They cleaned everything twice or trice and did it as slowly as possible to insure that the restroom was completely spotless. The crew claims that it was purely an accident when water from the sprayer flew over the wall and got the goobers wet. They informed me they were washing tp from the ceiling. (We wondered aloud how tp became attached to the ceiling.)
I wasn’t around to witness the cleaning crew, but learned about it tonight after the fireworks display when we did thorns and roses as a troop. Mr. Baumgartner mentioned that only Troop 26 could have as much fun as they did cleaning the restrooms. That’s when the boys shared the story. It was a good laugh and I thought I would share with you.
This is my first Jamboree and I am learning a lot and having a great time. One of the things I heard a lot about before coming to Jamboree is the patch trading. I’ve been to many scouting events and have never witnessed this fine art. It obviously consumes a significant amount of time for many scouts here.
After a couple of days of observation, I have a better understanding of what the boys are most excited about. Our council patches seem to be a good set, as are the council OA pocket patches (many scouts have stopped by looking for our patches).
Below is a pics of scouts trading as well as one of the sets that a C117 scout collected.
Yesterday, C117 participated in the Messengers of Peace Day of Service. The troop had to rise at 5:00AM, cook breakfast, and hike to the loading point. We hopped a bus and drove 2++ hours to Welch, WV. We met the mayor of Welch before we moved over to their site.
Our service project was to clean up a family cemetery and sand and paint all of the ironwork. We ended up being about an hour late due to an more scenic route than originally anticipated so we had a lot less time than originally scheduled.
Despite the shortened work period, a large quantity of poison ivy, and a physically demanding project, we managed to complete the task with time to spare. NOTE: we took special precautions to avoid the poison ivy and Mr.Warriner has set up a special clothes washing station to make sure exposure is minimized.
We all study the Civil War in school. However, nothing makes it more real than visiting a battlefield. At Chickamauga, we watched a brief documentary about the battles for Chattanooga, with Chickamauga being the deadliest (and the second most deadly of the war).
After the documentary, we went out back and was met by park ranger Chris, who was dressed as a confederate soldier. He gave a fantastic history lesson.
I was both moved and impressed by the sincere reverence and respect displayed by our entire troop. Everyone listened intently and asked great questions. It was a very sobering experience.
Below is a picture of some of the artillery on display as well as the view of part of the battlefield.
It’s hard to believe that we had so many activities packed into a single day. The Tennessee Aquarium made the day that much better. We were greeted by Loribeth and her crew who treated us to an informative behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium. In the picture below, one group gets a top view of the largest salt water tank, with over 600,000 gallons of salt water.
There, of course were lots of fish and other aquatic life. We also got to play with the butterflies.
One of the groups also managed to squeeze all 21 members into a shark cage. They would have made quite a feast for some shark.
We stayed overnight at the aquarium and got a chance to catch up on some sleep. In the morning, we played with the otters before we headed out.
Before we left in the morning, we got some pictures in front of the aquarium with our hospitable hosts. Thanks Tennessee Aquarium!
Ruby Falls was a pretty awesome visit. The next stop was the Incline Railway. We went from being 1100 feet under the mountain to being on top of the mountain. The ride is a mile, most of which is at a very steep incline. The view was great and the ride was relaxing.
The picture below shows the train path up the mountainside.
Fletcher and Caleb use the view as an opportunity to make a video. Wonder what they are up to?
The next stop for the day was Ruby Falls at Lookout Mountain. This was a cave tour that culminated in an amazing waterfall at the end if the tour (really the half way point). The water fall is 145 ft water fall located over 1100 feet below the surface of the mountain. You can learn more about it by visiting rubyfalls.com.
It is difficult to get good pictures in the dark caverns, but a couple of decent pics are available.
After traveling all night and sleeping on the bus, the crew arrived at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum around 8:30am eastern time. We set up shop and ate breakfast in the parking lot.
After breakfast, the boys were able to hang around the living museum and hop on some of the cars. Below are some pics of the boys milling about the RR cars.
We had an awesome turnout of friends and family to see our Jamboree contingent off on our adventure. As is customary, we took the time to take group pictures before disembarking. Check this awesome group out!
I don’t believe it’s a tradition to get pics of the “photographers”, but it really should be. These friends and family members have been behind the scenes encouraging and helping these boys prepare for this adventure.
This jamboree will be different than the last seven or eight because it’s the first one that will be without Bill. We will be traveling with his wisdom and leadership as our badge. Bill sent us off with three rules. Check the video below.
Troop 26 gathered on Sunday, June 30th for the Jamboree Shakedown. This was our opportunity to divide into our troops (A229 and C117) under the direction of out SPLs. Each of the patrols came up with their patrol names and got an opportunity to work together for a while in preparation for the big adventure.
No Troop 26 trip would be complete without the wisdom and leadership of our formidable scoutmaster. Bill is seen in the picture speaking to the participants about making the most out of this huge opportunity in front of them.