A person zooms around the bend of a BMX course … then another flies down a gigantic zipline … then another takes off on a kayak.
Young men and women throw tomahawks, climb rock walls, shoot bows and arrows, play on an aquatic play structure, and much more.
All this stuff you can do at the 2023 National Scout Jamboree.
All this stuff you can see in a series of 23 videos posted to the official BSA YouTube channel over the last couple of months. It’s the perfect way not only to learn more about the Jamboree yourself, but also to spread the news to your friends, family members and Scouts in your unit.
With the exception of one video designed specifically to reveal the new Jamboree logo, the videos are between 45 seconds and two minutes long, perfect to show at Scout meetings or to share via social media.
I encourage you to watch them all when you have about a half-hour to spare, because they’re all great, but in the meantime, I’ve embedded my favorites below.
The best one to start with is the general promo vid, entitled “National Jamboree 2023.” The last National Scout Jamboree was five years ago, meaning some of the youngest BSA members at the 2023 event would have barely been old enough to be Tigers back then.
Scouts of this age might never have heard of the Jamboree, or the high-adventure base that hosts it. This video is perfect for them and their families.
From there, we’ve got different videos that highlight all the activities offered at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. (Spoiler: There’s a lot of activities offered at the Summit.) Mixed in with these videos are personal testimony from past Jamboree attendees. In some cases, their words are just as powerful as the video that accompanies them.
Take, for example, Cathie Seebauer, who recounts her experience as the emcee of the Jamboree stadium shows.
“I just remember walking out onto the stage and seeing this sea of Scouts from all across the country … and it just looked like this big patchwork quilt of everyone that was in Scouting from different backgrounds and cultures, but they’re there to celebrate,” she says.
So many things to do
Of all the places you can visit in Scouting, none offer a wider variety of activities than the Summit, and the best way to experience many of those activities is by attending the National Scout Jamboree.
Take, for example, The Trax, an off-road course that takes bikers up and down and around as they race against their friends.
Similar videos are up for Water Reality, The Ropes, The Rocks and The Canopy.
One of the Summit’s signature landmarks is the Big Zip — five zip lines that allow riders to reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour as you soar over the appropriately named Adventure Valley.
“One second you’re there, the next second you’re just flying down,” says Eagle Scout Michael Hall. “You can feel the wind flying in your face. All the trees are whizzing by. It was exhilarating.”
A great opportunity for adults as well
“What are your plans for next summer?” asks Ray Rodriguez, a staff member from the 2017 Jamboree.
He’s not just talking to youth, either. There are lots of openings for rewarding and fun adult volunteer experiences at the National Jamboree.
“Are you tired of your 9-to-5 grind?” Rodriguez asks his fellow Scouters. “Why don’t you come out to the next National Jamboree and work as staff. You’ll have the time of your life, and it’s a worthwhile, rewarding experience.”
And, finally, there’s an interview with everyone’s favorite blogger, the original Bryan on Scouting, who shares his experiences attending the 2005, 2010, 2013 and 2017 Jamborees.
“I like to think about the fact that you are writing the history of Scouting,” says Bryan Wendell. “If you can possibly find a way to be there, you’ve got to do it. You’ll always remember the Jamborees.”
Click here to sign up for the 2023 National Jamboree.