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Follow along as we cover the jamboree from a Scouter’s perspective

Even if you’re not among the fortunate few attending, staffing, or visiting the jamboree next week, you can still play along at home.

Scouting magazine will cover the jamboree from a Scouter’s perspective, sharing news about programs; requirements for new merit badges released at the jamboree; interviews with Scouts, Venturers, and leaders; and compelling anecdotes.

But mostly we’ll cover those unexpected, only-at-jamboree moments that are impossible to plan for in advance.

You’ll find Scouting magazine in four places online: here at Bryan on Scouting, of course, but also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

On Twitter, we’ll tag our posts with #2013jambo and sign “-bw” for tweets from me and “-gs” for tweets from my magazine colleague Gretchen Sparling. Continue reading

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How fast are the cellular data and Wi-Fi speeds at the Summit?

Updated, July 11 | Added Sprint; Added Wi-Fi test in Echo camp 


Everything’s bigger and better at the 2013 jamboree, even the Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

Early reports from staff members on the ground indicate impressive Wi-Fi data speeds for all, and impressive cellular data speeds for AT&T and Verizon customers. This goes a long way toward legitimizing all that talk about this being the most-connected jamboree ever.

But how fast is fast? Here’s the early scoop:  Continue reading

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When you care enough to send your jamboree Scouts a treat …

jamboxNo offense, moms and dads, but I may have found something that bests the letter from home.

Send a JAMBOX to your Scouts attending the 2013 National Scout Jamboree later this month.

The $20 care package includes candy, cookies, trail mix, glow sticks, a bouncy ball, a mini first-aid kid, two patches, and a coupon for $5 off a jamboree towel.

Delivery is free. Your participant will get his or her box with the mail on July 17, July 19, or July 22 — your choice.

You’ll need the participant’s name and his or her troop number to order.

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At the 2013 jamboree, even the food boxes look cool

jamboree-box-3By now you’ve heard all about the “big things” you’ll see at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree: the zip lines, the skate parks, the canopy tours, the shooting sports, the climbing walls, and on and on.

Today, check out one example of a “little thing”: the official jamboree food boxes. They’re proof that with this jamboree, no detail has been overlooked.

These impressively designed boxes are what Scouts will use for carrying food back to their campsites each day. Remember those bulky plastic bins from past jamborees? Those are history.

Taking their place are these cardboard boxes, which will be collected at the end of the jamboree for use in the construction of a surprise recycling project.

Follow the jump for an additional image that lets you study all sides of the boxes and see that there’s more than first meets the eye…  Continue reading

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Form and function: This Boys’ Life jamboree map is more than a work of art

Bribe, borrow, beg — whatever it takes, you must get your hands on your son’s copy of the July 2013 edition of Boys’ Life magazine.

For adult leaders, swiping the latest Boys’ Life is a timeless tradition. But the newest issue has something you really can’t miss.

Inside you’ll find a fully illustrated map of the Scott Summit Center, aka the hub of the action at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.

Artwork with this level of detail and amount of activities happening simultaneously is reminiscent of those classic Where’s Waldo? books. Like those books, you could spend a long time studying every detail. Notice, for example, that some participants are wearing green uniforms instead of khaki, a reminder that this jamboree is the first to include Venturers. And you can spot Baden-Powell?

But more than just a frame-worthy piece of art, the map serves an important purpose. It’s a detailed, useful navigation tool to direct you to the nearest restroom, trading post, food stand, hydration station, or first aid tent. Activity areas are highlighted, too. You’ll find the challenge course, skate park, Sustainability Treehouse, daily stages, Brownsea Island, and (perhaps most importantly) the spot where Pedro will spend his jamboree.

There are two ways to get the map. If you’re impatient like me, you’ll want to grab the July 2013 edition of Boys’ Life to start planning how you’ll see it all. Visitors and participants, meanwhile, will get a version of the map when they arrive on site. 

Check out a low-resolution preview below:  Continue reading

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Where are Scouts going this summer?

Update June 7, 11:12 a.m.: We stand at an impressive 683 pins! Keep commenting with the location you’re visiting (be as specific as possible) and your unit number. I’ll update the map regularly.


Perhaps the better question would’ve been where are Scouts not going this summer?

Earlier today on our Facebook page, I asked where packs, troops, teams, and crews are headed for their summer adventures. More than 175 responses later, the answer is “far and wide.”

There’s Venturing Crew 505′s trip to Alaska’s Denali National Park, several units visiting the Florida Sea Base, a Transatlantic Council visit to the U.K., and pretty much everywhere in between.

I’ve compiled it all in an interactive, searchable Google map. You can click each marker to see which Scout unit is visiting that location. You can zoom in close. And you can uncheck Boy Scouts and Venturers if, for example, you’re only interested in seeing Cub Scout packs. Speaking of, the blue markers indicate Cub Scout packs, green markers represent Venturing crews, and red markers are for Boy Scout troops.

Several units are headed to Philmont, Northern Tier, Sea Base, and the Summit Bechtel Reserve, so I spread those markers out a little to make every submission visible.

Want to put your unit’s summer adventure on the map? It’s not too late.  Continue reading

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Charleston, W.Va., to Scout families: We’re your gateway to the jamboree

charleston-2You may have heard there’s a big party at the Summit this summer, a little get-together called the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.

But did you know that just an hour northwest of the BSA’s extravaganza sits the hip, historic city of Charleston, W.Va.?

West Virginia’s capital city has a host of opportunities hand-picked for packs, troops, teams, crews, and Scout families visiting the area this summer. And they’re extending a formal invitation to make Charleston a stop on your itinerary before, during, or after you visit, attend, or serve on staff at the jamboree.

The video embedded below — made just for Scouts and Scouters — spotlights a lot of what Charleston offers, much of it available for free or just a few bucks.

Some of the event highlights around jamboree time include: Live on the Levee, a free concert on July 12 headlined by American Idol winner Kris Allen; a July 13 free family movie night on the University of Charleston campus; several West Virginia Power minor-league baseball games; and a live taping of Mountain Stage, the popular two-hour music radio show.

And if you need a place to stay, that’s available for cheap at the University of Charleston’s residence halls.

Plan your visit at the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau site, or follow the jump for a roundup of activities and deals available:  Continue reading

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Visiting ours: Jamboree visitor passes now available

jamboree-visitorDon’t just read about the great time we’re having at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree this summer.

Come see it for yourself.

Jamboree visitor passes — including one day, two days, and all days — are available now, starting at $35 for a one-day pass for visitors 11 or older.

Be sure you’re not left out by purchasing your passes today. Simply go to this information page and find the “Click for Visitors Passes” link. You can’t miss it; the button is big and red.

Just like you can’t miss the chance to be among the first to experience the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. Unlike past jamborees, where visitors could see but not do, this time around visitors get to sample everything: ziplines, BMX bikes, rock climbing, shooting sports, and more.  Continue reading

Messengers of Peace

These North Carolina Scouts and Venturers are giving Peace a chance

The precious ring can be yours, if you complete a Messengers of Peace project.

The precious ring can be yours, if you complete a Messengers of Peace project.

You can’t promote world peace by sitting on your couch.

No, you’ve got to follow the lead of units like Venturing Crew 122 of North Carolina’s Tuscarora Council. The Venturers and advisors of Crew 122, along with some Scouts from Troop 33, cleaned a 9.5-mile portion of the Neuse River by canoe last month.

Over the 10-hour day, they collected more than 400 plastic bottles, 70 glass bottles, 52 toys, 37 aluminum cans, and 36 styrofoam/paper cups.

Almost as impressive as that garbage haul is the fact that the Venturers kept a count of what they had collected: almost a half-ton of trash in all. And remember they collected it all by canoe.

The conservation effort went beyond just a daily good turn, though. It was the crew’s Messengers of Peace service project, earning them the ring patch seen above.

Now THAT is a load of garbage. Nice job, Scouts!

Now THAT is a load of garbage. Nice job, Scouts!

You were first introduced to Messengers of Peace in a blog post last year. The global program, which launched in 2011, is “designed to inspire millions of young men and women in more than 220 countries and territories to work toward peace. The initiative lets Scouts from around the world share what they’ve done and inspire fellow Scouts to undertake similar efforts in their own communities.”

How do you participate and get one of those Messengers of Peace ring patches? Read on…  Continue reading

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Buy a Samsung device on AT&T, get a free jamboree-edition solar charging kit

att-charging-2Updated | July 10, 2013

There’s just one problem with all that Tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming Scouts and Scouters will do at this summer’s national jamboree.

All those Web-connected devices can only go as far as the batteries inside them.

So, hook up with Samsung and AT&T, an official sponsor of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.

Now, when you purchase a new Samsung smartphone or tablet and sign up for a two-year plan with AT&T, you’ll get a commemorative, jamboree-edition Goal Zero Switch 8 solar charging kit (a $100 value) for free.

The pocket-size kit will fully charge a smartphone and gets its juice from the sun’s rays, meaning you won’t be tethered to a charging station at the Summit all week — though those will be available for the non-solar Scouts and Scouters among us.  Continue reading