Final attendance numbers from the 2013 jamboree

The photos have been shared with Mom, Dad, and everyone on Facebook; the patches found a safe place in a binder or box; and the muddy clothes have been washed (and rewashed).

All that’s left to do is look back on a game-changing, awesome 2013 National Jamboree. Just as many of you have spent the last week thinking about those 10 days, so too has the hard-working staff at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Who needs sleep, right?

Today, the Summit team released the final attendance numbers for participants, visitors and staff. We even got a count of the number of service hours recorded during all those Messengers of Peace Day of Service projects. 


The big number is 30,037 youth and adult participants. That breaks down as 2,782 Scouting adult leaders, 2,118 Venturing participants, 455 Venturing leaders and 24,682 Boy Scout and Varsity Scout youth participants.

In jamboree historical context, 2013’s attendance total was the smallest since 1981, when 29,765 participants attended the first jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Va.

Of course, last month’s jamboree was also the first at a new location, so it’s an apt comparison. As it did for each subsequent jamboree at A.P. Hill, the attendance number for Summit jamborees should climb every four years. We’re off to a nice start.

International Scouts

The jamboree was hosted by the Boy Scouts of America, but all Scouts worldwide were welcome. In the end, 326 participants from 18 different countries helped us officially open the Summit last month.

If you were there, you surely noticed these international Scouts’ brightly-colored uniforms — and the crowd of American Scouts surrounding them, ready to trade patches, neckerchiefs, pins, hats or the shirts off their back.


Only in Scouting would 6,224 people use their precious vacation days and hard-earned cash to work for two weeks straight. Servant leadership at its finest.


The Summit tried a different model for visitors this time, offering lots more activities and experiences for visitors but also charging an admission fee.

A total of 15,732 visitor days were purchased, meaning thousands were able to say they were there at the first Summit jamboree.

Service hours

Also new this year was the ultimate service project. Scouts and Venturers ventured off the Summit property to give back to West Virginia communities. They painted fences, built trails, erected bat houses, constructed wheelchair ramps and more. The best part: Several Scouts I asked said their favorite jamboree experience was this day of service.

Grand total: 148,800 service hours through the Messengers of Peace Day of Service. I’d wager we’ll see this successful, meaningful program return in 2017.

Beyond the numbers

So that’s it. One week since Scouts and Venturers departed the Summit, happy but exhausted after Going Big and Getting Wild, all that’s left are the memories and the “I can’t believe I got to … ” stories.

And while the numbers are interesting, especially in a historical context, what really matters is the experience of each individual Scout and Venturer. And if this mom’s letter (and the comments below) are any indication, this jamboree was a great success.

Aerial photo copyright Boy Scouts of America

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.