No matter what you call it, teamwork works

As it turns out, teamwork is universal.

In my first few days serving on the staff of the Viking section at the World Scout Jamboree, I’ve seen teams collaborate in innovative and fun ways. They come from different countries and speak different languages, but they share an implied understanding that the team is greater than the sum of its parts. Patrol after patrol made it clear that Baden-Powell had the right idea more than a hundred years ago.

There’s definite implications for Scouting in the United States, too. If the Scouts from your unit think they’re dissimilar, they’re wrong. Like the Scouts I’ve seen here, your guys can come together as a patrol and succeed under your guidance.

At my group’s corner of the Viking world in the Quest area, patrols use A-frames attached to ropes. As the picture shows, they must lower one of their members toward the dirt, where one brave (and trusting) patrol member stretches to grab some beanbags that are strategically placed on the ground.

We’ve had an estimated 15,000 Scouts go through our area so far. They come from France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Australia, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Portugal, Mexico, Turkey, Pakistan, and pretty much any other country you can name (and many I can’t).

It hasn’t been uncommon to hear “one, two, three” in three or four different languages at once as patrols work to heave their teammates off the ground. Hearing happy Scouts shout “un, deux, trois” or “um, dois, três” or “ichi, ni, san” is music to my ears.

It’s one of those experiences you only get at a World Scout Jamboree, and it shows just how similar Scouts are in all corners of the world — including your corner.

Random thoughts

Who are we?: Getting to know the fellow members of my group of International Service Team friends has been fun. For you and millions of other Scouters worldwide, Scouting is one of two full-time jobs. That’s true in my Viking group, too, where we’ve got a dentist from Lebanon, a lieutenant in the Swiss Army, a British military veteran and retiree, and lots of students. But we’re all here to make this a great experience for 29,000 Scouts. And what a great opportunity to learn from others.

As Austrian as…: My worldwide exploration of food continues. The latest stop? Austria, where we dined on apple strudel. With thin dough layered with perfectly cooked apples, the Austrians give American apple pie a run for its money.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.