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Parent-son (and now parent-daughter) jamboree experiences are tough to beat

I’ve never had a jamboree experience without my dad, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

My dad, Don, and I attended or served on staff together at the 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2010 jamborees. And as you can see in the photo above taken backstage at the stadium a few moments ago, we’re both here in 2013, marking our fifth straight jamboree together.

It’s hard to top a parent-son jamboree experience. You get to experience the magic together, and you both return speaking the same “jamboree language.” Countless stories with my dad start with the words, “Remember that time at jamboree when …” And we often quote that official jamboree video from long ago where a guy juggles before saying, “Jamboreeeeee’s a ball!”

Now that Venturers can join the jamboree fun for the first time, parent-daughter experiences will be formed out here, too. Though there have certainly been parent-daughter teams serving on staff at previous jamborees, expect even more now that young women are invited to participate.

Thinking about my fifth jamboree with my dad got me wondering: What other parent-child jamboree teams have attended or staffed jamborees together? If you’re out there, share your story in the comments and tell us what made it special for you.

And thanks to my dad for 16 years of jamboree magic!

15 thoughts on “Parent-son (and now parent-daughter) jamboree experiences are tough to beat

  1. In 1985 I served on staff and my son was an SPL for his troop. In 2010 my son and I served on staff, and my grandson attended with his troop, along with my brother and his son on staff. Yes it is a phenomenal family experience!

  2. My daughter Katie served on the 2005 subcamp 19 staff with me. With all of the challenging and rewarding experiences from the heat of 2005, I know that it was one of the great formative experiences of our time together.

  3. At the 1989 Jamboree my son, daughter and I were all participants. My daughter was one of 22 girls that were part of the coed Explorer Post that was in Subcamp 14 and my son and I were members of the Council’s Troop. At the 1993 Jamboree I was on the OA Service Corps Staff and my daughter was on the Alpha Phi Omega National Exhibit staff. This isn’t the first time girls have been participants.

  4. My husband and son are in DC touring right now as part of the MT Contingent. I am pleased that I will also be attending as staff, so all 3 of us get to share in the amazing times that are coming for this Jambo!

  5. I am counting down the hours before we board our bus to Jamboree. My son and I will be experiencing our first Jamboree at the Summitt!

  6. While my husband and I can’t attend with our children this year (daughter a venture scout and son youth staff), they are attending with my dad, their grandfather, who is serving as chaplain for I think the 7th time. Have fun!!

  7. My son and I attended 2001 with the Council contingent. I was 3rd Asst SM of one troop. He was in the other Troop. We didn’t see each other much during the event, but we toured Mt Vernon together. I found the event to be everything it was hyped to be. I regret that my health prohibited attending any more.

  8. My dad (76 yrs) and my son (19) aren’t on twitter. So I am reporting for them. They were at the last Jambo in 2010. My son as a participant and his grandpa on staff. My dad had a great time watching his grandson experience the Jambo. He had just earned his Eagle and Grandpa (also Eagle) bought him the special life time membership as a special remembrance. They of course weren’t together much, but one night grandpa made a trek out to his campsite and arrived to see Ryan being awarded the Central Region bike-Athlon championship award. Lots of good memories for both.

  9. My oldest son and I attended in 2010 with our Council’s contingent, Troop 440. My role was more as an inclusion facilitator to make sure that my son enjoyed his Jamboree and avoided any hitches that could happen because of his unique set of disabilities and potential side effects of his medications. We both consider the trip to be the highlight of his Scouting career. I truly hope that I will be able to return in 2017 or at the World Jamboree with my other son and my daughter, both of whom are in Venturing.

  10. I was a subcamp commissioner in ’89, my father was a cook in another subcamp, and my oldest son attended with the council contingent. I visited for a few days in 2001 with my middle son, and was on the dining hall staff in 2005 with my youngest son who played in a jamboree staff band.

  11. Bryan, Thank you for sharing. I am sharing your posts with my son who will be of age to attend the next Jamboree. He is getting excited.

  12. There is a lot of good positive publicity, including your excellent article, about coed Venture Crews at this year’s BSA jamboree. But this is not the first time girls were participants. At the 1989 Jamboree the 22 girls that were part of the coed Explorer Contingent that was in Subcamp 14 were the first female participants. I know this because I was on commissary staff and issued food for the Explorers twice each day. Some of the girls were Girl Scouts who had joined an Explorer Post to be eligible to attend. Between 1989 and this year, the only girls who attended were on staff.

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