2017 National Jamboree registration now open for staff and attendees

2017-jamboree-logoWhere can you get the best of Scouting in one place?

At the 2017 National Jamboree, set for July 19 to 28, 2017.

Jamborees are one of the Boy Scouts of America’s coolest traditions. They’ve been around since 1937, and they just get better every four years.

Jamborees are a place to make new friends, to experience adrenaline-raising activities, to attend high-energy stadium shows, to trade patches with Scouts from across the country, to explore the stunning high-adventure playground called the Summit Bechtel Reserve and to unite with tens of thousands of fellow Scouts and Scouters.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend or serve on staff at every jamboree since 1997. I’d say that at least six or seven of my Top 10 Scouting experiences happened at jamborees.

With that in mind, this news is worth sharing: 2017 National Jamboree registration is now open. Get ready, because 2017 will be here before you can say “Live Scouting’s Adventure.”

Who is eligible to attend?

Most Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers and adult leaders are eligible to experience the unforgettable excitement of the 2017 National Jamboree.

For Scouts, you must be a First Class Scout and at least 12 years old by the first day of the Jamboree (July 19, 2017) or an 11-year-old who has graduated the sixth grade.

A boy born on or before July 19, 2005, will be 12 by jamboree time.

There’s an upper limit, too. To be a Boy Scout participant, you can’t have reached your 18th birthday by the last day of the Jamboree (July 28, 2017).

If your Scout will be too old, he could consider serving on staff.

Go here for more eligibility requirements for participants, including Venturers.

Who is eligible to be on staff?

Serving on staff is a rewarding experience that lets you help make a young man or young woman’s jamboree experience one they’ll never forget. It’s not all work, though. You’ll get plenty of time to enjoy the jamboree fun.

Go here for eligibility requirements for staff.

How much does it cost?

These are the participant fees. Your council may roll in transportation costs, gear costs, and additional pre- or post-jamboree tours that would increase the fee.

Youth participants: $975
Unit leaders ages 18-25 through July 18, 2017: $487.50, after which the fee for all adult leaders becomes that for 26+ indicated below
Unit leaders age 26+: $975

These are the staff fees. Staff are expected to provide their own transportation to the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017) — Full jamboree
Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017) — First half
Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017) — Second half
Fees are structured to support these three sessions.

Staff fees for the 2017 National Scout Jamboree will be as follows:

For staff ages 16-25 through July 18, 2017:

Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017) $425
Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017) $425
Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017) $425

For staff ages 26+ on or after July 19, 2017:

Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017) $850
Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017) $425
Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017) $425

How do I register?

There are two basic ways to experience a jamboree, and both are great. You can attend as a youth or adult participant, or you can serve on staff.

Either way, you’re guaranteed the time of your life.

Registration happens electronically. Go here and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll just need to link your BSA membership to your Summit account. To do so you’ll need your last name, date of birth and BSA member ID number.

If you’re registering as a participant (youth or adult), you’ll print your “Request to Attend Form” upon completion of the application. Parents, fill that out and take it to your local council for the next step.

What’s a jamboree troop?

Your council will help you find a jamboree troop, which is different from your regular troop but may be composed of some or all of the members of your regular troop.

Jamboree troops include 36 Scouts or Venturers and four adults. (Yes, Venturers, including female Venturers, are invited.)

Let’s say your troop has 36 Scouts who want to attend the 2017 National Jamboree. Those 36 would comprise one jamboree troop. Or maybe your troop has 10 Scouts who want to go. Those 10 would be matched with 26 Scouts from other home troops to form a jamboree troop. Perhaps your Scout is the only one from his troop who can attend the jamboree. No problem! He’ll join 35 fellow Scouts for an awesome time at the jamboree.

No matter how a troop is formed, lifetime friendships will develop within and between troops.

What’s new for staff?

Here’s what the SBR team says will be different for staff at the 2017 National Jamboree:

Transportation: Staff transportation will be enhanced. Assuming a reasonable level of fitness, no staff member will be required to walk longer than 30 minutes between their place of lodging and their assigned work station.

Time off:  Sufficient staff will be recruited and schedules developed to ensure staff members receive at least the equivalent of one full day off during the jamboree. Staff work hours will allow them the opportunity to visit and enjoy other areas of the jamboree outside their assigned work area. Provisions will be made for those desiring to explore the local area surrounding the jamboree during their day off.

Communications: A robust communications strategy will be developed and executed to keep staff members informed from the date they register as a staff member through the last day of the jamboree.

Lunch: We will make modifications to enhance the number and variety of lunch choices consistent with the requirement to maintain a “shelf stable” lunch menu given the demands of the site. We will provide supplemental items for our staff members in the more active program areas to ensure an appropriate level of caloric content for their anticipated level of activity.

Lodging: While capacity constraints of The Summit prevent the offering of two-person tent accommodations, staff members will be provided the opportunity to preselect their tentmates up to one month prior to the jamboree.

Staff Village: The staff village(s) will be designed to provide an area in which staff members can relax, recreate, and refresh themselves in the company of other staff members. Retail food and beverage stands will be incorporated in this design as well as an area for athletic competition.

Showers: We will explore options to increase water temperature; however, any solution will have to be consistent with our sustainability focus of conserving water and energy.

Laundry service: Laundry service will continue to be available for staff members desiring it.

Staff photos: Official staff photos of individual teams will be taken and staff members will have the opportunity to purchase photos of their choosing.

Learn more

Check out the official jamboree site for more details and get ready to Live Scouting’s Adventure!


  1. Judging from the lack of staff from the last Jamboree, causing many events to be reduced or cancelled, perhaps staff fees should be significantly reduced to incentivize Scouters to look into signing up. Why should I have to pay so much, paying my way from across the country, and spend most of my time staffing a site?

  2. Before I apply, I’ll need a definite statement from the BSA as to whether hot showers will be available. Also, at A.P. Hill I needed and was provided a bike to do my job. I don’t think asking for these two “luxuries” is too much, considering the $850 fee staff is charged for volunteering.

    • I agree – to mention the difficulty of providing hot shower and maintaining “our sustainability focus of conserving water and energy” seems to ignore the implications of assembling 30,000+ people from all over the US into a small area. Perhaps, if they really want to conserve energy, then all 30,000+ could skype in

  3. As I mentioned in a post regarding the announcement of the logo, the logo violates the flag code – see http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html#176 – subparagraph g.”The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.”

    I feel strongly enough about the flag and repect for it that I wrote a letter to Mr. Gates and Mr. Brock about it, but got a somewhat disingenuous response from an underling that the thing on the logo wasn’t a flag, but “an artistic interpretation” of one. If you look at the 50-star flag, the picture accurately represents the flag in arrangement of stars and stripes, and superimposes a fleur-de-lis, “2017, and a climber over it.

    I understand that no disrespect is intended, but as the premier organization for youth in the US, we have a standard to uphold. “Duty to God and Country” includes abiding by all applicable laws and statutes.

    I realize I am tilting at windmills here, but I would hope that more thought would go into the next logo developed.

      • I agree, middletownscouter. My first real exposure to the Jamboree was the 2013, wherein I helped my grandson go – I thought the logo was great for that one.

        My real point is that national needs to check out these and like issues before releasing a logo. It’s not to late to redesign the logo.

      • I am an Army veteran during Vietnam and have been a Scouter for 43 years. I also spent 18 years of my life in law enforcement and I see nothing wrong with the use of the flag on the patch and logo.

    • The patch does not have the “climber over the flag”. But the climber with the flag rising in the background, representing our nation, under-girding his activity.

      The wide “clipping” around the various other logo elements make it clear that they are separate and distinct from the flag … not placed upon it in any way shape or form.

      The utmost respect is clearly intended in the design of this logo.

      • Q – The “clipping” is for visibility of the element, and so you can see that the fleur-de-lis with the eagle and shield is a registered trade mark. The climber’s leg is clearly in front of the flag (back of the “2017”), as is hs climbing gear (rope, etc.).

        I understand that respected is intended – I never alleged disrespect at any time, in this or previous posts. My contention was that the design could have been don more in line with the flag code.

        All scout leaders should become familiar with the code, and make sure that the elements of it are conveyed to their scouts. I have proposed a merit badge in tis area (respect for the flag, flag ceremonies, retiring the flag, etc.) but have received no feedback

        • Precisely. It is a trademark, identified as such, and therefore not “on the flag”.

          Operative phrase: “in front of” [your words], not “upon”. The former is not in the flag code, otherwise any depiction of any citizen in any noble activity before a flag could be deemed a violation.

          It is compliant with the flag code as written.

          I would be tempted to debate the placement of the “SBR” logo above the flag, but even here by virtue of the relief shading, the best straightforward interpretation is of a location in this “living country” where a patriotic organization in a particular year will gather.

      • Obviously, this is NOT clear. Maybe the flag should have been on top of the logo “SBR”, and above the climber. I understand that the climber is showing “height”, and that if lower on the logo, might be more diffacult to convey its idea. But, Middletownscouter is correct.

    • It’s not a flag, it’s a representation of a flag. If you can’t wave it from a stick, run it up a pole or hang it from mast it’s not a flag. It’s not a flag any more than my using crayons to draw a picture of a flag on a sheet of paper makes that paper a flag.

      • Navy Vet – thank you for your service – without you and others like you, we would not be free to have these discussions.

        However, look at this below. While it prescribes penalties for those doing certain things apparently only in DC, it defines, in the last sentance shown below (separated for clarity – in the source, it is not in a separate paragraph:

        TITLE 4
        CHAPTER 1 – THE FLAG

        § 3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag

        Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign, to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court.

        The words ‘flag, standard, colors, or ensign’, as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

      • I agree that the depictions are in play in the flag code.

        However I contend that the code is carefully written to allow depictions where the flag is the backdrop, such as in this Rockwell http://www.nrm.org/apprints/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/we_to_have_a_job_to_do1.jpg. I suppose we could argue as to the propriety of the museum’s watermark over the digital rendition, but that’s tangential to our discussion. The licensed product of the scout in front of the flag has never, to my knowledge, has never been challenged under the US or DC code.

        This jamboree logo in particular goes to great pains with perspective drawing to project the flag in a different plane from all the other elements. This is clearly done to have the viewer infer that none of the other elements are set upon or integrated into the flag. Taking the code quite literally, everything here is in compliance.

    • Just answered my own question. We just finished the registration for my daughter who will be 18 at the time of Jamboree, and it allowed her to register as a Venturing youth participant.

  4. I don’t want to be a belly-acher. I attended the last Jamboree and I loved it, cold showers and all. The extra staff was needed particularly at the zip lines and climbing stations. Hopefully that will be addressed for the next one. My thought is simply: This feels like it’s a year too early. I registered and started forming a troop for the 2010 Jamboree in the late spring of 2009; registered for the 2013 Jambo in the late spring of 2012. Is this the new model or is this primarily about the staff sign ups?

    • Ted I believe the choice to open the earlier registering is a good choice it will allow more Scouters to sign up and help solve the shortage of volunteers like in 2013. I also attended the 2010 Jamboree as Scout master and I wish we could have started a year earlier as we had cancellations and we barely made the 36 scout and 4 leadership positions in time and we had to go to our alternates to fill the Jamboree Troop 820’s needs. I was a Shooting Sports volunteer in 2013 and we on staff had little time off with long days. Ted one problem that we had at the Shooting Sports location was the long walk for the participants.[ the staff did have transportation except when we went to the central Village to view events from the Shooting Sports location] I heard many complaints from the Scout Leaders and Scouts and they said that they would be attending the closer activities thus leading up to overcrowding events like the zip lines and climbing stations. I believe we need more bus’s to move the Scouts around to the activities. I to feel that the fee for staff members + transportation is higher than it should be maybe a $150.00 transportation voucher could be used as an incentive to bring more volunteers who live further [I live in California] to the Jamboree. As you have stated the 2013 Jamboree was a great event though it has some small problems.The 2013 Jamboree was the first at the new location and bugs were sure to happen. Bring on Jamboree 2017 I am ready to go. Trenton Spear, Scoutmaster.

      • Trenton, would you provide information related to your volunteer position with the Shooting Sports, i.e., what role did you play as a volunteer? How far away was your staff camp from the shooting sports area where you had to work? Where do the staff park? How did you get your gear to the staff area from the parking location? Any suggestions on what to bring as gear is concerned for staff members, etc. Thanks, JC

  5. I’m thinking the opposite, that the online registration process for 2017 is actually a couple months late starting compared to 2013. I recall a post from Bryan about Venturers being able to attend as youth participants in April 2011 and at that point I had already done the online registration for my son and I and went back and started one for my daughter.

    Been waiting for a few months for this to go live, we are excited to get the registration process started!

  6. I think the fee is discriminating against the adults over 26 years old? Why should they pay twice the fee based on age?

    • The idea, I feel, is to encourage younger Scouters to participate. Many of these Scouters are in college or first jobs and couldn’t otherwise afford to be on staff.

      • So the people who are further along in life with families, health care costs, mortgages, college payments, taxes, careers, disabilities, that still find the time to volunteer that “1-hour” a week are taxed 100% more?

        Oh…that makes total sense.

        • I agree with Mr. Don. What’s with the age discrimination? Actually, it’s really not news. This same type of message was communicated before the last jamboree; a Summit representative visited our roundtable and told us the BSA was looking for younger people to staff the jamboree. Guess what all of us old coots thought of that.

    • Kelly Horton,I registered yesterday for the 2017 Jamboree Staff and I hope many more will sign up early to fill the Staff needs. I will be 80 years old at the time of the Jamboree and am looking forward to the event. I hope many of you will not worry about the Staff fees and make a commitment to service the greatest youth activity in the United States it is more important to put cost a side and serve with honor and a unselfish commitment that has made the BSA so successful over a 105 years. I use my flier miles to offset the Airline fees. In 2013 I only paid $35.00 to fly round trip to the Jamboree from California. Please answer the call to staff this great event. Where there is a will you will find a way. God Bless the BSA. Trenton Spears, Scoutmaster.

      • Mr. Spears, I just registered and hope our paths cross in two years. Men like you are the inspiration for me in my scouting journey. At 80, you don’t whine or moan or complain … you just serve. Thank you

  7. Bryan, you might want to note on the article that if you are registering for a staff position, a $150 fee is due at the time you register via credit/debit card. Might want to let people know that so they know they have to have that deposit available on a credit (or debit) card at the time they sign up to be on staff.

  8. Bryan,

    I have a serious question… no really. I’m confused:

    Can you explain the magical thing that happens to drive up the cost of a Staff member when the go from the age of 25 to the age of 26? I’m not sure what mystical milestone in life that is, but it jumps the price up $425.

    Seriously, I’m actually wanting an answer. If the BSA is being “Thrifty” we all know that the staff cost per person is covered under the lesser amount. This would be the food, lodging, patches, etc. So why are those of us who exceed the age of 26 being provided for session 1 a full 100% tax based on age?


    • Mr. Don, throughout all of our scouting program, we want to encourage leadership by young people. Thus the 50% discount.

      It’s also a dirty little trick to get a few of those young staffers hooked and committed to saving their dimes for this jaunt every four years.

      Us old folks, we need to pick our battles and insert ourselves personally only where we’d do the most good. If you don’t like paying the full fare, then find another young scouter short on means but long on skills and motivation and offer to pay his/her half fare.

      Jambo gets a staffer, and you can dictate another purpose for that “100% Tax” … and your time. 😀

      • Actually, BSA is supposed to be about YOUTH leadership. This “young adult” category seems recently made up to fill some sort of new need or direction…maybe due to declining youth membership?

      • Depends on what you call “recent.” In a 15 minute search, I find references to discounts for staff age 16-25 from as far back as 2001. I’m pretty sure the practice goes further back. The thinking (according to an older fella who committed to staff as often as he could) was that younger staff would be volunteering working about half the time and enjoying the exhibits the other half. Older staff, well you just pay to volunteer full time … everybody knows that.

  9. I attended my first jamboree as a Scout in 1957. My first staff experience was in 1981, and I have been on the staff of every jamboree since. My recommendation is to be there to soak up the experience; I have yet to manage to do all at a jamboree that is on offer. A jamboree is a super show of Scouting.

  10. National, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that they would rather have younger Scouters than us more experienced people. Well, seeing as there’s no way in this world that I’ll be paying $1500 what with transportation and attendance, etc., they can keep the young Scouters. The goal should be to find mature individuals who know how to kick back and be goofy when they’re not working, and focus and be serious when they are working, not to focus on young people. And this whole “ask people to pay more than a thousand bucks to work” is inherently unsustainable. Like every other camp, if the Summit can’t make enough money to pay employees, it will eventually die, and in the meantime you’ll have disappointed people who won’t get to do what they wanted to do, and while they’ll buck up and bear it while there, they won’t return because people vote with their pocketbook when they think their words aren’t receiving enough attention.

    Last time, I said they weren’t going to get enough staffers, and I was right. They won’t get enough staffers this year either.

    People who staff tend to be different from people who attend. You need to start the ecosystem of staffers early, and you need to provide a good incentive for people to want to not take a different summer job to pay for college, etc. Staffers and attendees have different motivations and outlooks on life. I’m not saying that one is better than the other, because obviously both groups need the other in order to survive. But the current system seems like it was set up by someone with a marketing degree and wishful thinking, not by someone with any real experience in actually running conventions.

    If only the same group was behind this decision and the “water guns are dangerous firearms” decision so we’d only have one group to blame… oh wait, we can lay the blame at the feet of a single group, National.

    • I was on staff at the 2005 Jamboree and was interested in staffing the first Jamboree at The Summit (especially since was even closer to home than AP Hill). But the price to pay to “volunteer” was too far out of line with my budget and I passed on the opportunity. But Bart is right, the increasing cost to staff, plus the cost to get to Middle-of-Nowhere, WVa. for many, is going to again impact the staff numbers. I suspect that if a true budget and final cost breakdown were available for the last Jamboree, we would see that a part of the fees paid by staff and participants was siphoned off to help reduce the debt on the property and project.

      • Beckley hardly qualifies as “Middle-of-Nowhere, WV”. If you are interested in such a place, I have a hike plan for you! 😎

        • Granted, Beckley is a happening place 🙂 and is at the junction of two interstates. The point, though, is that for anyone who wants to get to The Summit by means other than driving — mainly flying — they don’t have many choices that are convenient. I seem to remember that the last go-round, Charlotte, Dulles, and Pittsburgh were offered as the nearest airports (one could also fly into Roanoke but that’s a small-market airport with higher fares).

  11. Before we continue the 99%-er’s argument, we should consider that Jambo never attracted more than 2% of youth membership. Don’t know what percent of the adult membership ever staffed Jambo.

    I was in the 2% for one Jambo only, as a youth. It was nice (Oakridge boys, King of Sweden, etc …) but I’m not a convention person. From then on I saved my dimes for things that were a higher priority and/or suited my style.In my troop, the fellas who went to Philmont did not go

    I’ve always told my boys to sock away $100/month for the next big thing they want to participate in. That gives $2400 every couple of years. Perhaps we adults would do well to follow suit.

    Limiting yourself to one pricey activity every couple of years seems like a reasonable plan.

    Or, do like I do, fill up my free time for medium range activities, patronize a buddy who is working those extra hours to cover expenses, and enjoy his/her photos from Jambo.

  12. This “old goat” just signed up for Staff, along with two children who are going as youth.

    Expensive, sure. Worth it, I believe so. I figured out a long time ago that being a Scouting volunteer wasn’t cheap. But the payoff I’ve gotten back from being involved in this program for myself and my family is a ROI that I can easily say far outweighs the dollars spent.

    • middletownscouter Way to go there is a lifetime payback it is called contribution to the youth of America and have fun doing it even though we were short handed at the last Jamboree in 2013 I never heard many complaints and would do it all over again. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

      • During the 2010 Jamboree I was in our staff area when the participants arrived in the buses. When they exited the buses they were smiling and thanking us for being on staff. I realized then that the time and money I spent was worth every bit of it. I have staffed three jamborees and am going to the 2017 Jamboree and then will be on staff at the 2019 World Jamboree. The reward from my experience is worth every penny. See ya at the Summit. Ken Suttle (Mountain Boarding)

  13. 3 of our scouts and the Scoutmaster are not elidgeable to attend due to the weight restrictions. This is from a Troop that regularly hikes, bikes, and rows without issue. We do things as a group, if you don’t want one of us, you don’t get any of us.

    Jeers to the BSA and the repeatedly exclusionary attitude.

  14. I hiked 138 miles during my Jambo 2013 staff experience. 1) It’s worth it; 2) It’s an experience unlike anything else; 3) It is about the youth and the staff price is about right, the younger staff price is a discount to incentivize their participation; 4) The BMI standard is universal for all BSA high adventure bases. It is for your safety and you do need to be readonably fit for all the hiking you will do daily. If you can’t make 40% BMI look up ScoutStrong / PALA and get to work. You’ll be better for it.

    • The BMI enforcement was a joke, sorry to say Scott. I was on 2013 staff and there were quite a number of staff members who were very overweight but because of their assignment, either did not have to walk far from their tent or were able to drive around.

  15. It is disappointing to say the least that ‘old timers’ are discounting young adults as leaders and volunteers. The younger set are exactly the model that Baden-Powell had in mind to lead youth. They are so much more relevant than a bunch of old guys who think they know it all and want to keep reliving a lost youth.

  16. I attended the 2013 Jamboree on staff. I don’t mind paying for being Jamboree staff but one day off is still not enough time to justify the cost and travel time. I want to have time to relax and enjoy the facilities. We had multiple people at our merit badge area go home because of the long hike from the staff area so I only got a half day off to try scuba diving. Because of the short staff, the lines to the activities were super long so my options for my half day free were very few. In short, they need more staff, a lower price, and 3-4 days off in two weeks is the minimum. One day off in two weeks is more hours than a normal work week. Certainly, better transportation would help free up some time and give a little bit of a break. The cold showers didn’t bother me but the lunches were terrible. There was no time to get anything else so I was starving at dinner time. In summary, fix the days off and reserve some time for me at a zip line and other fun activities and I would go again. Give me one day off and a huge line to wait in or no opportunity to do the big activities, forget it. I would rather pay to attend one of the high adventure camps with my troop.

    • That’s why you don’t ask staff to pay to attend, because they’re professionals who are there to work and make sure everyone else has fun. You know, just like at every other summer camp.

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