For many, the National Scout Jamboree is the culminating experience as a Boy Scout. It's scouting at its finest, incorporating some of the best scouting activities, with the best scouts and leaders from across the nation and around the world. In recent years, the Jamboree has been held at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, a military base that is converted every four years to welcome tens of thousands of scouts for a ten day adventure.
In 2001, I participated as a Boy Scout and in 2005 I returned as staff for the Action Center C Bikathlon event. Similar to the Olympic Biathlon (where athletes cross country ski between shooting stations), the Bikathlon involves mountain biking through a wooded course and stopping to shoot at various stations before continuing to the next station and on to the finish. One's score is a combination of both shooting accuracy as well as biking time. This and a myriad of other activities are available to the 40,000+ scouts who stay there and 300,000+ visitors that attend the Jamboree. Climbing, scuba, pioneering, shooting, archery, boating... the list goes on and on. With so much available, it isn't possible to do everything offered.
There are two things though, that really make the Jamboree stand out. One, is the cooperation of thousands of people, many of whom have never met. My bikathlon team was comprised of men and women, young and old, from across the country, with little other than scouting in common. But that alone was able to unify our team and allow us to begin working together the day we met. The other attribute that sets the Jamboree apart is the emphasis placed on developing character. Scouts and staff alike encourage each other to become men and women of character who embody the Scout Oath and Law in their everyday life. I have never seen this anywhere else on such a scale and without it, such an event would not otherwise be possible.
Below are some video clips of things I did while on staff at the 2005 Jamboree, as well as my daily recordings of what happened during trip and a slideshow of some of my photos, enjoy!