This is how BSA members can participate in the 2019 World Scout Jamboree at SBR

The U.S. contingent logo for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.

The 2017 National Jamboree has ended, and the countdown to the 2019 World Scout Jamboree has begun.

The 24th World Scout Jamboree will be held at the BSA’s new permanent Jamboree home: the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. It’s actually co-hosted by three Scout organizations: the Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Canada and Asociación de Scouts de México.

A World Jamboree in our country is a once-in-a-generation event. The 2019 World Scout Jamboree will be the first held in North America in 36 years (1983, Alberta, Canada) and the first held in the United States in 52 years (1967, Idaho).

Some 50,000 Scouts and Scouters from 167 different countries are expected at the event, to be held July 22 to Aug. 2, 2019. They’ll meet people from around the world while enjoying SBR’s world-class adventure offerings.

The promise of the World Scout Jamboree on American soil is encompassed in the U.S. contingent’s motto: “The Boy Scouts of America wants you to come see the world!”

Now that you’re sufficiently hyped up, your next question is probably: Great, how do I become a part of this moment in history?

To find out, I talked to two young, bright members of the U.S. Contingent Management Team: Rachel Eddowes and Todd Christian. Eddowes is the co-contingent leader and Christian is the co-team leader for the contingent’s marketing team.

“We want to let every Scout and Scouter within BSA know about this opportunity and how attainable and accessible the World Jamboree is,” Christian says. “This is your opportunity to get involved with international Scouting.”

Largest U.S. contingent ever

The BSA contingent will include 10,000 people — the largest contingent the BSA has ever sent to a World Jamboree. The total will encompass Scouts/Venturers, adults and staff.

That will break down like this:

  • 7,200 youth participants (ages 14 to 17; see details below) and adult leaders
  • 2,700 members of the International Service Team (the name for staff at the World Jamboree)
  • 100 members of the Contingent Management Team

Even though the BSA’s presence at the World Jamboree will be large, we’ll make up only one out of every five people at the event. That means approximately 80 percent of Jamboree attendees will be from one of more than 160 other countries planning to attend.

“We’re looking forward to everyone who comes to have a global, cultural experience,” Eddowes says.”Scouting is a worldwide movement; the program is slightly different in each country based on their history, cultures and customs, but we are all united through the world brotherhood of Scouting.”

Registration will open in August 2017.

How to be a youth participant or adult leader

Max number: 7,200 participants in 180 units. Each 40-person unit will have four adult leaders and 36 youth.

Youth eligibility: Ages 14 to 17 by the first day of the Jamboree. This date is set by the World Scout Jamboree hosts, not the U.S. contingent leadership. That means your birthday has to fall between July 22, 2001, and July 21, 2005. (Born before July 22, 2001? Try to attend as an adult or IST member.)

Adult eligibility: Like for National Jamborees, prospective World Scout Jamboree leaders will fill out an application. Approval and a final decision will from the U.S. contingent leadership.

Cost: To be announced, but will be similar to the cost of attending a National Scout Jamboree at SBR. The World Scout Jamboree cost will include transportation, and, to keep costs down, there will be no pre- or post-Jamboree tour.

What youth will do: Cook, camp and participate in the Jamboree program with your troop or crew. That plus meet people from around the world, participate in high-adventure programs and have a true cultural experience.

What adult leaders will do: Facilitate troop and crew travel, ensure the health and safety of Jamboree participants, and help the youth make the most of their experience.

How to register: Keep an eye on the U.S. contingent website, especially beginning in August 2017.

Quotable: “The energy is different once you step beyond your national organization,” Christian says. “The aura, the energy that they’ll experience at the World Jamboree is unlike anything else. Everyone is united, despite their language, religion, and culture, thanks to the similarities we share through Scouting.”

How to be an IST (staff) member

Max number: 2,700

Eligibility: Must be at least 18 by the first day of the World Scout Jamboree: July 22, 2019.

Cost: To be announced.

What you’ll do: As a member of the International Service Team, you’ll work alongside Scouts and Scouters from around the world. Most jobs will be similar to the jobs available at a BSA National Scout Jamboree.

How to register: Keep an eye on the U.S. contingent website. You’ll apply through the U.S. contingent and be approved by the BSA. After that, the World Scout Jamboree host team — separate from the U.S. contingent team — will make the final staffing position decisions.

Quotables: “There’s not one thing anybody can do that’ll be a golden ticket in,” Christian says. “We’re trying to equalize the playing field for everyone, participants and staff alike.”

How to stay connected

Want the latest news about the U.S. contingent for the World Scout Jamboree? Follow @wsj2019usa on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. See the contingent’s website for more information.


BSA photos by Jeff Hattrick (first three photos) and James G Parker.

45 Comments

  1. Are we going to invite our President to address the World Jamboree? He hijacked the National Jamboree. Think what he can do with an international audience.

    • Bill Shriver. While President Trump’s address may not have been stellar, we need to let it go — forget about what happened. Let’s focus on all of the good that happened at the Jamboree. No, I am not Pollyanna.

      • That’s right. We need to forgive him (so that it stops eating away at us), and move on, but never invite him back to speak at another Jamboree.

        • Don’t forget, he is the Honorary President of the BSA. Every sitting President gets invited.

      • The president’s speech did NOT hijack the wonderful jamboree. You’re watching too much news . My son loved the jamboree and the excitement of having the president show up and speak a majority of inspirational words. You may want to poll all the kids that were there and you may find that the issue with trumps speech is only annoying to the adult parents with fixed views in one area .

        • I have no fixed views. However I do object to anyone with enough ego and self grandisement tocrow about his presidential victory to an audience of primarily 11 to 18-year-old boys Who are not there to hear him, but to have the best jamboree experience possible. I eventually will let this one go, but to tell you the truth I really do not have to. What he did was unforgivable. Jamboree is about the boys, not about him.

        • I sent 11 youth participants to the Jamboree, including my two children. So far I’ve heard from one or two that they were super excited and happy that they got to see the President and loved his speech. One has said they were extremely disappointed with the President’s speech and would have stayed behind at the campsite rather than attend but it would have been too big of a hassle for the rest of the unit to deal with that so they sucked it up and went. Several said they felt it was a joke when the POTUS kept saying things like “fake news” and “you’re fired.” The rest generally seemed to think it was neat to have the POTUS there, but wasn’t worth losing an entire day of activities to spend hours dealing with security and would rather have had a video message or no message at all and been able to do the things they went to Jambo to do (or had the POTUS come on Sunday when there wasn’t any activities going on anyway).

      • I agree. In a post 9/11 world the amount of security is insane yet necessary. There were complaints that Obama did even take the time to come to the Jamboree, but at least it wasn’t a day long security check. Maybe for the sake of all involved a taped message would be the safest and allow the participants to do more activities.

    • You know what, I was there. He didn’t do that at all. Don’t be so ignorant. All people like you do is complain and then hide when someone challenges your false opinion. There’s a reason why you have 56👎🏻 on your post.

  2. Quotables: “There’s not one thing anybody can do that’ll be a golden ticket in,” Christian says. “We’re trying to equalize the playing field for everyone, participants and staff alike.”

    I would love to believe this statement, however, It is common knowledge that this event will be just like the 2015 NOAC, where the demand will overwhelm the available slots (for all areas). And with a “cap” on attendance BSA will be limited on what they can do to add to that (unlike 2015 NOAC).

    Sadly, this is where “Politics” will step in (in every area, large and small).

    Those who are ‘in the know or connected” will be assured a slot. While those who are not, will be on a waiting list, never to be picked up. They will be told that they will be given a “token of appreciation” for their willingness to help, which will be an empty promise too (just like the Red Centennial Sash at NOAC).

    I know this will be viewed as unfair / unpopular, but when you step back from all the hype and promotion of the event (once in a lifetime event, last held in the US in 1967….)
    This is just how it is.

    The “Golden Ticket” is reality. There are those who will be asked “when are you going / are you able to go”, versus “have you applied to go / I hope you are selected”?

    Many already know that they are going, no questions asked.

    This situation goes down to the Scout level too (however at that level, it is your best chance of going).

    So, the term “It’s Who You Know” will be very accurate when it comes to getting that “Golden Ticket”.

    I know that this post will not be popular, but before you label this negatively, look at the facts, previous similar events (like 2015 NOAC) and BSA’s track record, you will agree with me.

    Probably the best chance of a guarantee of attending is to hook up with one of many sponsors and work their booth. That is mainly for the adults. But even with this possibility, it’s still, “who you know”.

    • There are areas where they are always short on trained staff, like anything Climbing related. Get a cert in something like that and you’re basically guaranteed a staff slot.

      • Remember, this is not a BSA Jambo.
        There will be IST from other countries too.
        The demand for slots will be huge.
        The only example close to this is the 2015 NOAC.
        Ask how many people were turned away from that and expect more with the 2019 WJ.
        Do not compare this to any BSA Jambo held previously (or 1967 Idaho WJ) this will be totally different.

  3. With the age limit, how will Venturing young adults and Sea Scouts (between 18 and 20 years old) be able to attend without being part of the service team?

      • Will future venture Scout be able to apply? My daughter is joining next summer when she’s 14 or just current venture scouts?

        • That’s a good question. When they announced that Venturers would be able to attend the National Jamboree as youth participants in 2013 for the first time, my daughter wasn’t yet old enough to be in Venturing. But she turned 14 about 4 months before the Jamboree. I signed her up for Jamboree through our council and continued to make the required payments and the day she turned 14 they processed her youth application and assigned her to the Jamboree Crew. I’m not sure how that would work with the World Jamboree though. Maybe wait until the registrations go live later this month and see?

          (Unrelated, but there is no such thing as Venture Scouts. Members of a Venturing Crew are called Venturers.)

  4. I’ve been told the medical team will be US only due to licensing in West Virginia. We were short handed in Medical the last two jamborees. If you are in the medical field( Dr. Nurse, PA, NP paramedic, EMT you have a good chsnce. If you have worked in 2013 or 2017 on staff, your odds are good you will be selected if you performed well.

    • Have a skill that is tough to find volunteers for, usually those that require additional training. Probably around water or climbing (as others have said). Staffing is cheaper than going as part of the contingent, but you have to pay your own way to West Virginia as the transportation for the contingents will be in the price of the package.

  5. My son is in a tough spot. He very well may be Eagle by then (Star without a doubt). However, his birthday is July 24, three days AFTER it begins. He’s ineligible to attend.

    • Don’t go too fast. There’s no need to plot out advancement 2 years in advancement for an 11 year old. And even if he does achieve Eagle by then, he’ll have years of youth scout experiences ahead of him. Maybe even a world Jamboree in another country!?!?

        • WOSM sets the age limits. Normally, this means that every American Scout has only a single chance to attend as a youth. BSA hasn’t nothing to do with the age limits. The 2023 World Jamboree that most likely occur in Poland (the other finalist is South Korea). My son will be 17 1/2 when the World Jamboree occurs at the Summit so he will be one of the older Scouts attending (if he gets a slot). He just got back from the National Jamboree so I actually wish his once chance as a youth, it was in a different country. There is nothing wrong with being one of the older Scouts at the event and actually, the older ones might get more out of meeting the Scouts from around the world.

    • My son is in the same boat, but by one month. 8/23. Worse, is his brother 8/21/04 will be able to go. How can you send one and not the other? Answer: I can’t.

    • It’s the same age range as applies to all World Jamborees. Those who are too young this time will be able to go in 2023 (Poland I think?) and those who are too old will have had the chance in 2015 (Japan)

      Those age ranges are set by WOSM.

    • Eagle Scout is irrelevant to the discussion. This is a world jamboree. Unless you’re bothered about some Queen’s Scout being to old to attend, you can’t be bothered about some Eagle Scout being too young. It’s an award, not an entitlement.

      He will be able to attend SO many other activities. Encourage him to save up for the next World Jambo, or some other international event.

  6. Is there going to be a conservation trail similar to National Jamboree’s but focusing on world wide issues such as pollinators?

  7. The OA provided a Service Corps at the 1967 World Jamboree in Idaho. You can find a reference on the OA’s history Website. I do not see why the BSA cannot set aside some BSA IST slots for an OA service Corps. Also, the article is slightly misleading because of the parenthetical comment defining youth – 7,200 is the total number of youth and adults as non-staff. There are only 6,480 youth slots. That is less than 24 youth per council on average. If you have Scouts that will be of the proper age you need to get them to register immediately. IMMEDIATELY. You’d hope that there are some commonsense factors built in – maximum number of youth per troop, maximum number per council, guaranteed minimum per council, maybe regional quotas, etc. Use your own judgment – if you were the BSA and you had to select a few Scouts, what factors would you use: Eagle Scouts would get a preference, maybe NYLT participants, NYLT staffing, OA membership with a bonus for being at least Brotherhood, serving on camp staff, attending BSA high adventure programs, Scouting leadership positions, etc. Maybe some bonus points for having attended the National Jamboree or another Summit activity, maybe bonus points for speaking one or more foreign languages. If you have Scouts who are interested, sit down with them now and help them come up with a plan to maximize their “resume”/application.

    • I agree with a lot of your post. The part I don’t agree with is that scouts who went to other national/world events should basically get ahead in the line. What about scouts who have been saving for this trip and this trip alone for years. Thousands of dollars is was for some parents to pay and it’s the difference between life and death for others.

      What I don’t understand is why there isn’t a BSA National Jamboree the same year for the other 95% of the kids that wanted to go. I know it’s not the same, but if there’s only so much room, either have multiple camps or choose participants by rank, participation, ethics, recommendations, and so on. Not how much their family was able to pay out to go to high venture camps. I’ve spent hours & hours along with my scout’s dad and my scout just to pay for one summer camp and a few school year camps. He’s working on Eagle and is 13. He’s never been able to afford to go to a Jamboree before and has been waiting for this one.

      That said, those who have been able to afford to go on a lot of trips shouldn’t be punished. I was punished getting a scholarship into college (top 5% in my class) because of my parents’ net worth. That didn’t mean they weren’t on the verge of bankruptcy because of the housing market.

      Basically all apps should have no name on them. Selection by merit only.

  8. Well I can say is the scouts enjoyed having the president show up for them. I know the scouts for or against him. They just enjoyed thhe event.

    The funny part is if your against the president speech then you are also X ambassadors.

    But the sad part is watching the staff cut in front of the scouts. I watch them run though my camp. Also staff was not walking on the trail as they cut. But as soon as the president speech was over a ton of staff left prime seat up front.

    But the main thing is people need to relax and look to have fun and not look to complain.

    But what we told our scouts.1. Respect the position of the president. 2. Enjoy the moment as you don’t always get a time to see the president. 3. Don’t get political.

    I think the scouts did that and adults could learn.

    But if you dont think Obama made a political shot at scouts I think you should rethink it.

  9. I’d like more information about “day visitors” – can you be sure to include that in future articles? Day visitors need a big bulletin board when they arrive that tells them where they can go and what they are allowed to do….. this past Jamboree was not really good at that for the day visitor.

  10. Would be curious to see if they will be allowing day visitors for this. I went as a day visitor with my sons to the last jamboree at Ft A P Hill and we had a blast, the boys came home with a bag full of patches from various vendors and displays. Move forward to the first jamboree at the summit: less vendors, much less to do as a visitor for the day, chalked it up to the new location and figuring out what could or would go where. Went again this year and it was terrible. Increased cost with less to see and do (no, I wasn’t interested in zip line or bmx) but definitely far less to see. Came home with 5 (free)patches for $35 admission and cost of transportation. Didn’t understand why merit badge tents were moved out into common areas where visitors could walk in at any time. I realize jamboree is for the boys, but if you aren’t going to offer anything for visitors, don’t admit/charge them.

  11. I am seriously considering throwing my hat in the IST ring, but …

    For those folks who aren’t accepted (or won’t be applying in the first place.) Can we have info about inviting visiting units to consider extending their stay and meeting our troops and crews?

    Also, is there away for concerned parties to contribute to the travel costs of visiting countries?

  12. Will there be Venturing Contingents at the World Jamboree? I know you all like to forget, but we are members of the BSA also. What will the age requirements be for Venturing Crews?

    • Yes. I mentioned Venturers in the article and included both troops and crews. I’m a big fan of Venturing and have covered the program extensively on this blog.

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