Adieu Fort A.P. Hill; Au Revoir Jamboree – Reflections on the Exciting 2010 Boy Scout Centennial Celebration

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Jambo Journal – Day #11, Wednesday, August 4, 2010 The Voyage Home.

Yesterday’s entry: Life Happens When You’re Having Fun

In the journalism biz, of 890532_16433007_Farewell_to_the_Sun_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300which I’ve had an off-again on-again affair with since my salad days, there’s a trade secret regarding writing non-news stories on a tight deadline: write the story before the event actually happens. That way, you can quickly tweak it for facts based on what really happened and still have an excellent piece before the editor demands, “The presses are running now! Give me whatever you got!”

I figured nothing says “tight deadline” than shipping out day, when chaos lords over the earth and misdirection rules the day. In that spirit, I figured I’d use that ol’ trade secret. Here’s what I wrote Tuesday with what I intended to serve as the first paragraph for this entry:

The day begins early after a dewy night. We’ve already positioned our gear in the staging area near Troop 314. Now we just wait for our trucks. The buses will be coming an hour later. There’s a chance the military may require the trucks to wait for the buses. This would prove problematic if true.

Events have overwhelmed my corner-cutting strategy and would soon have me Continue Reading “Adieu Fort A.P. Hill; Au Revoir Jamboree – Reflections on the Exciting 2010 Boy Scout Centennial Celebration”

Life Happens When You’re Having Fun

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Jambo Journal – Day #10, Tuesday, August 3, 2010 The Last Day.

Yesterday’s entry: Smitten Again By a Bug You Don’t Want

Last night at dinner we 1174317_40471385_early_bird_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300reviewed the progress the boys were making towards earning their Jamboree Rocker patches. Imagine the “diversity” requirements colleges have to make sure you don’t just take courses from one academic department. Jamboree officials created the rocker patches for the same reason. They don’t want the boys spending all their time at Merit Badge Midway or just the Activity Centers or just in the water. (I guess they didn’t count on the impact of patch trading, though.) They also want to encourage the boys to travel to every corner of the camp. (Wait, maybe that’s where the patch trading comes in.)

We haven’t prodded the boys on earning their rockers. One of the primary principles of Continue Reading “Life Happens When You’re Having Fun”

Smitten Again By a Bug You Don’t Want

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Jambo Journal – Day #9, Monday, August 2, 2010 A Day of Rest.

Yesterday’s entry: Have Fun: Do Nothing.

I finally did it. I didn’t want to. 1067182_slice_of_pizzaI’ve been there before and I know the consequences. It took a lot of years to go through detox. I have a family now. I don’t want to go there again. But I can’t say no. I am again consumed by this awful temptress.

But, more on that story in a moment. First, I’ll give you the lowdown on the current plan for the new Jamboree site.

I went to The Summit exhibition in the morning. We (my son and another scoutmaster) walked there after waiting a half hour for a bus. It takes a half hour to walk to the National Exhibits area from our camp site. The air was cool and comfortable while we waited, but the sun Continue Reading “Smitten Again By a Bug You Don’t Want”

Have Fun: Do Nothing.

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Jambo Journal – Day #8, Sunday, August 1, 2010 A Day of Rest.

Yesterday’s entry: How to Lose 75,000 Votes in Ninety Seconds.

I thought the last time I’d be 397709_6500_cheese_plate_stock_xchng_royalty_freewearing this particular Jamboree Class A uniform (I have two) was last night. When I realize we have to walk back to the same arena we came from last night to go to the Catholic Mass, I decide God doesn’t care if I smell. He’d understand my desire to keep one clean shirt for the ride home.

Though early in the morning, the shade of the trees cannot hide the growing heat of the day. The undulating trail, with its extended inclines, makes the trek hard work. I realize I made an unfortunate choice to wear an undershirt (I didn’t the night before). When I get to the arena I’m spent. I’m also amazed. There’s about 15,000 people. I wonder how they’re all going to get communion.

Then God shows his grace. As the Mass starts, I notice the backs of the neckerchiefs inContinue Reading “Have Fun: Do Nothing.”

How to Lose 75,000 Votes in Ninety Seconds

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Jambo Journal – Day #7, Saturday, July 31, 2010 Closing Ceremony.

Yesterday’s entry: How to Train a Teenage Boy.

I don’t know if this is true or not, 697306_99080393_beware_of_ice_stock_xchng_royalty_freebut when I was a kid listening to Danny Nevereth in the morning on WKBW radio (1510 on the AM) out of Buffalo, he once told the story of the origin of the name of the band “Three Dog Night.” He said in ancient times – I can’t remember if it was in Alaska or just some lore from an American Indian tribe – on cold nights you slept with a dog to keep you warm. On really cold nights you brought in two canine critters. And on really, really, cold nights, you needed three dogs to keep warm.

In that vein, last night was a three-layer night. My wife questioned my wisdom in bringing an extra set of warm clothes on a campout that would probably include triple-digit heat. Last night made me look like a genius. It very likely got down into the upper 50’s, despite just tipping 90° during the mid-day heat. During the night I slipped on not one, Continue Reading “How to Lose 75,000 Votes in Ninety Seconds”

How to Train a Teenage Boy

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Jambo Journal – Day #6, Friday, July 30, 2010 The 5K Run.

Yesterday’s entry: Can I have Some Lumbar Support with that Sandwich?

Another night of coolness – but 1276439_38407327_outdoor_dining_table_stock_xchng_royalty_freeonly in the early morning hours. The sleeping was much better – not the best I’ve had on a campout, but much better. The morning urge to “de-hydrate” ruins my intention to sleep in. The troop wakes up at 5:30am and all but one go on the five-kilometer run/walk. As usual, I stay back to guard the treasures, yet again invoking my special function. The other leaders have graciously volunteered to stay back the rest of the day, giving me time to shuffle off to the Staff Dining tent, begin typing this missive and (finally) charge my thirsty electronic devices. (BTW, did you know if you turn your internet connection off on your phone, your battery lasts a lot longer?)

The boys trickle back into camp led by, appropriately, the Troop’s SPL. They started the runners first and the walkers ten minutes later. In all, there’s about a 45 minute difference between the first and final returnees. The SPL doesn’t wait for each patrol’s gopher to arrive and smartly dispatches the first four boys off to procure our breakfast rations. That’s when the morning’s lesson begins.

Continue Reading “How to Train a Teenage Boy”

Can I have Some Lumbar Support with that Sandwich?

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Jambo Journal – Day #5, Thursday, July 29, 2010 Stormy Weather.

Yesterday’s entry: The Real Reason We’ll Never have a Co-ed Army.

There’s been a delay in these journal posts. The AT&T network keeps failing. It’s very frustrating.

It’s amazing how alive you 1269245_42697299_sun_burst_stock_xchng_royalty_freecan feel with no sleep. This doesn’t surprise me. I once wrote a novel in two weeks without taking a day off at work. I wrote it at night. I didn’t sleep. There must be something to that adrenaline stuff.

I had breakfast with the Skittles this morning. They rated yesterday’s opening ceremony between a 5 and a 7 (out of ten). They liked the paratroopers and the cannon fire (for the 1812 Overture) the best. They initially said their favorite speaker was Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a former boy scout. When asked about Sargent Slaughter, they responded, “Oh, yeah. But he was just entertainment, not a serious speaker. Besides, he called us ‘maggots.’” Like the others, they universally panned Miss America with “she should speak less and Continue Reading “Can I have Some Lumbar Support with that Sandwich?”

The Real Reason We’ll Never have a Co-ed Army.

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Jambo Journal – Day #4, Wednesday, July 28, 2010 Opening Ceremony.

Yesterday’s entry: When Hot Gets Cold and Cool Gets Hot.

Today is Opening Ceremony. 1214648_gift_box_stock_xchng_royalty_freeThe troop has to leave subcamp two hours before the show. The weather’s fine as they leave but I fear it’ll be in the Black Zone when they return. I’m staying at camp. I volunteered to stay, since a Scoutmaster is required to be in camp at all times. I really want to see Saturday’s evening celebration which includes the biggest Boy Scout fireworks show ever.

The entire camp is empty as the troops parade one-by-one to the Arena. I look around and see some camps have no Scoutmasters, but I don’t mind sitting back and enjoying the soon-to-be hot summer day. I relax. I eye the now empty adult showers, but it defeats the purpose for me to leave camp to take a shower. I decide to wait until the Continue Reading “The Real Reason We’ll Never have a Co-ed Army.”

When Hot Gets Cold and Cool Gets Hot.

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Jambo Journal – Day #3, Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Arrival.

Yesterday’s entry: Faithfully Following Directions Leads Us Astray – With Amazing Consequences!

While Monday evening saw us 1103971_32963947_unhappy_feet_stock_xchng_royalty_freeenter our tents in a sweat, too hot for even the barest of covers, by the wee hours of Tuesday morning we experienced something these parts of Virginia has not recently experienced. It’s something I believe the experts call “cold.” Well, not quite “cold,” actually more like “cool.” Word is folks from the northern tier might call it “balmy.”

In either case, it got cold enough during the short night, to require an extra article of clothing and – where’s that sheet it was too hot for earlier? Others might complain, but I thought it was great sleeping weather. Unfortunately, that darn moon had other things in mind and, for the second night in a row, I counted sheep until they passed out. By the time enough of them there woolly ovine had finally Continue Reading “When Hot Gets Cold and Cool Gets Hot.”

Faithfully Following Directions Leads Us Astray – With Amazing Consequences!

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Jambo Journal – Day #2, Monday, July 26, 2010 Arrival.

Yesterday’s entry: Eternal Answer Finally Revealed

After a night of no rest, we turn 795594_46981410_Danger-Do-Not-Enter_Sign_stock_xchng_royalty_freeinto the large McDonald’s (complete with McPlayground) at 6:00am Monday, a full hour behind schedule. Wait! No, it’s the wrong one. We leave with another of the five buses and head down the road to the McDonald’s we phoned ahead to warn.

We get there and wonder if the busses will be able to park anywhere. Man, is it small. In fact, it’s about the size of one of Ray Kroc’s original franchises. Don’t worry about not having a playground, it barely has Continue Reading “Faithfully Following Directions Leads Us Astray – With Amazing Consequences!”