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