Scouts and Scouters weren’t the only ones who left the 2010
National Scout Jamboree with a head full of great memories.
The men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who helped run
the event also shared in the celebration. And it’s likely that none of them
enjoyed it more than Lt. Col. Jack Haefner. As base commander, he’s the man in
charge of Fort A.P. Hill, a responsibility he calls “a real honor.”
Haefner, an Eagle Scout, never attended a jamboree before
2010. That made this one, which he shared with his 7-year-old Cub Scout, Lucas,
even more special. The two are pictured above at one of Haefner’s favorite
jamboree moments: the daily opening ceremony at the Court of Flags.
This year marked the final time the jamboree will be held at
Fort A.P. Hill, the 76,000-acre military base in Virginia. Eight jamborees were
held there over a period of 29 years. During that time, 3.15 million warriors trained
at the base, Haefner said.
The jamboree offers a chance for the men and women of the
military to “do the job that they’re normally trained to do,” Haefner said, “but
the rate at which they’re trained is higher.”
During the jamboree, Fort A.P. Hill turns into a small city,
and to make sure that the city runs smoothly, Haefner and his team started
planning right after the 2005 jamboree ended.
That process started with Haefner and his colleagues at the
Joint Task Force (JTF), a team of BSA and military officials who helped ensure
a smooth jamboree experience for everyone.
The JTF was responsible for integrating a wide-ranging group
of contractors, volunteers, military personnel, and professionals. That group
included forestry workers, communications specialists, construction inspectors,
utility technicians, firefighters, logistics experts, police, and members of
the armed forces—to name a few.
The challenge is “being able to establish a city and to have
the kind of folks here who can do that,” Haefner said. From the looks of it,
his team succeeded. And the success of the planning didn’t go unnoticed.
“The BSA staff was just so appreciative, and nobody took anybody
for granted,” he said. “It’s very touching to see the people who would thank
you for your service.”
Beginning in 2013, future jamborees will move to The Summit
in West Virginia. But the memories made at Fort A.P. Hill—home to nearly half
of all BSA jamborees in history—will last forever.