Goodbye Summit!

We had an early wakeup at 2am Wednesday while the rest of the Summit was still sleeping. We had to take down the tents and dining flys and haul our gear to the pickup point at our subcamp headquarters.

We checked the radar when we awoke (something we have gotten very familiar with) and noticed a large thunderstorm bearing down on us. The boys kicked it into high gear and we “borrowed” a large staff tent near our pickup location to stage our gear. The last of the gear and boys made it to the tent just as the storm hit the camp at 3.45am.

Thanks to our teamwork the boys and our gear were able to stay dry through the storm. Our bus arrived at 5.30 and we quickly loaded up and were gone by 5.40.

Goodbye Summit!

Cleaning the Restrooms

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.

Stadium Show

Saturday was the big stadium show. It was originally scheduled for Saturday, but due to the weather forecast, it was moved to the afternoon.

image

There were several guests and speakers, including Mike Rowe from Discovery Channel (“Dirty Jobs”, “Deadliest Catch”). Mike is an Eagle Scout and he gave a great talk about Scouting and educating our youth.

image

Later, the rock group 3 Doors Down performed. They did a great job of and the boys really got into it.

You might be able to find the Mike Rowe and 3 Doors Down videos on YouTube.

image

image

Patch trading

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.

20130718-132220.jpg

20130718-132233.jpg

Day of Service

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.

20130718-130634.jpg

20130718-130647.jpg

20130718-130700.jpg

Day of Service

Wednesday we had an early 5am wakeup and a 7am pickup to head out for our day of service. We traveled 90 minutes to Welch, WV to a cemetery to perform some landscaping and painting.

image

Each Troop at The Jamboree will do a day of service during their stay. That’s over 35,000 scouts heading out to do helpful projects around West Virginia.

The 9 Counties surrounding The Summit have been preparing for the past three years for these service projects to help in much needed areas. It’s a great way for the boys to give back to the community that helped build The Summit for them.

image

At our project we painted several railings and cleared brush from the grounds of the cemetery. The cemetery had gravesites dating back to the mid-1800s and held the grave of the first pilot shot down in WWI.

image

image

Continue reading

Opening Ceremony

Tuesday morning we attended the opening ceremony in the Summit Stadium. They introduced the Bechtel family who donated the land and much of the funding for the Summit.

Afterwards, the boys spread out across The Summit to take in the activities and sites.

The facilities here are first class. One of our Assistant Scoutmasters, Joel Stinnett, is working the rock climbing area and said they are using specially designed equipment that is better and safer than any he has seen before.

image

image

image

Summit Scenery

The Summit is a beautiful place and the grounds are amazing. Here are some shots from an evening walk around the lake.

The weather today was much hotter than expected – highs in the low nineties with no breeze and lots of humidity. While there are lots of trees, most of the camping areas are wide open fields with little shade.

Our camp site is about 20 minutes from the lake activities and rock climbing, but further from other areas of camp. Overall, we are in a fairly central location.

The boys had a busy day setting up camp and getting unpacked. We had to figure out how to pickup and prepare food, cleanup, shower, and trade patches. They did a fantastic job pulling together and taking care of everything.

Tomorrow morning we have the opening of ceremonies at The Summit Stadium.

image

Chickamauga National Military Park

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.

20130713-180101.jpg

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.

20130713-180354.jpg

Below is a picture of some of the artillery on display as well as the view of part of the battlefield.

20130713-180544.jpg

Tennessee Aquarium

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.

20130713-171832.jpg

There, of course were lots of fish and other aquatic life. We also got to play with the butterflies.

20130713-172216.jpg

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.

20130713-172808.jpg

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.

20130713-172521.jpg

Before we left in the morning, we got some pictures in front of the aquarium with our hospitable hosts. Thanks Tennessee Aquarium!

20130713-173147.jpg