MCCS has been actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America’s National Jamboree since 1989. The below is a report from the most recent Jamboree at The Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.
The theme of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree was Go Big. Get Wild. Members of Churches of Christ for Scouting embraced that theme with our slogan, Go Wild for God! The Jamboree was held July 15-24 in the mountains of Southern West Virginia. The Summit Bechtel Reserve near Mount Hope and Beckley is the new permanent location for the Jamboree.
MCCS had six staff members at the Churches of Christ exhibit in the Faith and Beliefs Area. Our staff came from all over the country and included: Nathan Williams and Kent Barnett from Abilene, TX, Chris Peurifoy of Longview, TX, John McCollum of Richardson, TX, John Conger of Nashville, TN, and Sommerly Simser of Las Vegas, NV. The exhibit staff worked in shifts and encouraged youth stopping by to earn their religious awards and to write a blessing or favorite scripture verse on a ribbon that was tied on a special ‘blessing tree’. MCCS also distributed patches and the youth and adults were provided the opportunity to have fun creating with Legos (refer to the spread pages in this newsletter to see some of their works). The Legos were a huge hit and many kept coming back to relax and build. The blessing tree was fi lled with hundreds of ribbons by the end of the Jamboree!
Two MCCS trustees who served in other areas, but actively supported MCCS’s efforts at Jamboree were Dan Tullos of Searcy, AR, and Bobbie Lee Wolfe of Abilene, TX.
In addition to those who staffed the exhibit, MCCS also provided five chaplains for the subcamps and chaplain headquarters where they ministered to youth, leaders and staff. Chaplains included: John Wood of Dayton, OH, Houston Costolo of Picayune, MS, Mark Hill of Yorktown, VA, Craig Owen of Senatobia, MS, and Roger Tate of Arlington, TX. “The three adult leaders of each Troop sometimes had their hands full during the initial days of the Jamboree and could not devote the time to that one Scout who was not prepared mentally or physically for the Jamboree. Sometimes that young Scout just needed someone to answer his question. At other times, it might have been a case of homesickness, bullying, or just missing the comforts of home. The subcamp Chaplains often provided that little bit of encouragement to those Scouts and adults that needed someone to listen” said Houston Costolo.
These men also participated in the Church of Christ worship services during Staff Sunday (July 14th) and the service for participants and staff on July 21st. An estimated 225 people attended the later service.
Overall, we feel that the experience was a huge success! We were able to inform many youth and adult leaders about the religious awards offered by MCCS. New friendships were formed as the MCCS mission was carried out!
About the BSA National Scout Jamboree
A National Scout Jamboree is a gathering, or jamboree of thousands of members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), usually held every four years and organized by the BSA National Council. Referred to as “Jambo”, or “the Jamboree”, Scouts from all over the world have the opportunity to attend these jamborees, considered to be one of several unique experiences that the BSA offers. The first jamboree was scheduled to be held in 1935 in Washington D.C. to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Scouting, but was delayed until 1937. The idea of holding the event on a regular basis did not take root at first, the next jamboree wasn’t held until 1950 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
The jamborees were then held around the country as a means to promoting Scouting nationally. Since 1981, the U.S. Army has allowed the BSA to use Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia as the home location of national Scout jamborees. A jamboree is held for ten consecutive days and offers many activities for youth participants and the 300,000 members of the general public who visit it. It is considered to be Scouting at its best.