The Santa Fe Trail Council arrived at the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A. P. Hill, Va., July 26 and was among an estimated 100,000 scouts and scout leaders attending the event. Courtesy photo
By NATHAN J. DOWELL
• Special to the Daily Leader
EDITOR’S NOTE: Nathan J. Dowell was one of the Boy Scouts attending the National Jamboree.
On July 26, 19 scouts and two adult leaders from the Santa Fe Trail Council arrived at the National Scout Jamboree at Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia. They were joined by scouts from Glacier’s Edge Council from Wisconsin, and scouts who traveled from Australia to experience the jamboree to form Troop 1126.
Meeting at Mandan, a scout camp near Dodge City on July 21, the scouts loaded their gear and boarded the Am Track train at 12:30 a.m., heading towards Jamboree.
Arriving at Chicago the next day, the scouts met up with the Glacier’s Edge scouts, along with Troop 1026, another Glacier’s Edge Troop. The two troops spent July 23, 24, 25 touring Washington D.C. and visited Mount Vernon, home of George Washington, on the 26th before arriving at the Jamboree.
Starting on July 27, after everything was set up, there was plenty to do at the Jamboree.
Boom! Camp Thunder, a shotgun range with clay pigeons coming from all directions was one of many available activities. An action center was open at all four sub camps, offering activities such as rock climbing; rappelling; BMX biking; bike-athalon, where scouts would bike a dirt course, stopping twice to shoot air rifles at targets. Archery; shotgun shooting; air rifle shooting; a confidence course; “Action Alley,” an obstacle course. A section called Buckskin Games, with Black Powder shooting, knife throwing, whipping, lassoing and Tomahawk throwing.
Other Jamboree activities include Merit Badge Midway, a place for scouts to earn merit badges, which are patches showing knowledge and understanding in certain fields. Brown-Sea island, a re-creation of the original Boy Scout camp; scuba diving; kayaking, a “Huck Finn” activity where scouts make rafts out of two barrels and wood also at the Jamboree. The armed forces adventure area, where different sections of the military had set up stations for scouts to interact with; a disabilities awareness center where scouts learn how difficult some things can be for the blind, deaf, and otherwise challenged through a series of hands-on activities; and many more.
Wednesday morning, the first arena show was presented. Paratroopers parachuted into the arena and the Navy Drill Corps demonstrated several routines with guns affixed with attached bayonets, such as spinning the guns, the guns being thrown up and caught, and one member walking right through as the rest of the corps stands in two lines on either side, spinning their bayonets in the same space he was walking and the sergeant emerging unscathed.
Other events included speakers such as Defense Secretary Gates; the two millionth Eagle Scout also spoke; and the wrestler “Sergeant Slaughter,” as well as Miss America singing at the show.
Throughout the week, different guest appeared at different regional stages. Several scouts from 1126 went to see racers Dale Earnhardt Junior and Jeff Gordon at the Southern stage. Others went a different day to see author James Patterson at the western stage and received free books as well as getting them signed for being the first five hundred scouts to arrive at the stage.
“I finally met my favorite author!” Adam Carr, Bucklin exclaimed excitedly.
Other stage performances included magic acts, cheerleaders, and bands.
Troops were set to do special “ticket” activities on set times and days. On Friday, several scouts that wanted to attend went to the Mysterium Compass, an activity set up by the Order of the Arrow (OA), which is an honor society in scouting and becoming a member is one of scoutings’ highest honors. Mysterium Compass basically shows that life is a mystery and the scout law and being a scout in general can act as a “compass” guiding you through it.
Saturday night, every scout, leader, and staff, plus an estimated 100,000 visitors, lined up to go to the big arena show. Starting with a pre-show, followed by a pre-recorded message from President Barrack Obama, the show was a big hit. A short speech and video showed scouts a preview of “the Summit” a new high-adventure scout camp and, starting in 2013, the new permanent Jamboree site. The host of the TV show “Dirty Jobs’” Mike Rowe, appeared to make a speech to the scouts, to wild applause. A short section entitled “Scouting Goes Hollywood” featured clips of movies that mentioned scouting, including “Star Trek” and “Scout Camp,” a singer then came and performed the theme song of “Scout Camp.” Other events included more paratroopers, the band Switchfoot, and at the end a gigantic fireworks show, with the finale being a rapid succession of fireworks, launching about five at a time and every few seconds.
On Sunday, several church services were offered in every denomination across the camp, as well as a non-denomination service for the individual sub-camps. At 1 that afternoon, several scouts went to the Technology Quest, another ticket activity set up by NASA and using high-tech displays. Sunday night, Troops 1126 and 1026, the troop from Glaciers Edge, had a joint Troop party including skits, humorous songs, a game, a birthday cake for Boy Scouts of America and a table centerpiece contest, where three scoutmasters and adult leaders from adjoining sub-camps were enlisted to act as judges and the judges were later invited back for cake.
At 3 Monday afternoon, a cricket match was held between the Australian contingent with Troop 1126 and a British troop also visiting the U.S. to experience the Jamboree. The British team went first and finished with a score of around 170. After that, the Australian team took their turn and finished with about 130, meaning the British team won. The teams played eight-on-eight, and both teams also had American scouts join the team. “It was cool” Mitchell Irby, from Liberal, answered when asked about getting to play. The Australian team had energetic fans – in the form of Troop 1126. From giving an “Aussie” cheer to running around the field with Australian flags, hats, shirts, capes and two inflatable Kangaroos every time the Australian team did good, the support of the “Aussies” never stopped.
Throughout the Jamboree, many scouts participated in patch trading, where scouts would trade a patch from their council for a patch from another council. Several sets were also made and circulated around the Jamboree, such as Blues Brothers sets, civil war sets, armed forces sets, Star Wars sets, Star Gate sets and many more.
Tuesday, Aug. 3, things started slowing down. The scouts cleaned out their tents, then went to do last-minute activities they absolutely wanted to do before the Jamboree ended.
Seven scouts from Troop 1126 went to the confidence course, complete with a zip line and many other obstacles that the scouts must get through by trusting each other and working together.
“It was fun,” Nathan Jenkins of Cimarron remarked.
At 4, the scouts took down their tents, and after eating, they loaded the cooking materials and tables as well as personal gear. Leaving their dining flies and sleeping bags out, the scouts combined three dining flies together to fit all of the scouts.
The next day, 1126 woke up to a torrent of rain. Several scouts were prepared, and had rain jackets on them, and went to retrieve the gear, after sorting everything out, the scouts and leaders loaded the sleeping bags and rain flies, then proceeded to go to the pick-up spot and wait for the bus.
Riding the Am Track back home, at approximately noon, the scouts said farewell to Troop 1026 and the Glaciers Edge scouts within their own troop. After eating, the remaining 21 scouts and leaders boarded the train for the last leg back home.
After arriving in Dodge city at 5:45 a.m. Friday, Aug. 6, several scouts reflected that the Jamboree seemed to go by fast. The scouts departed for their respective towns. They returned Sunday to Mandan to collect their gear and then said a final goodbye. The Jamboree was over.
At least until 2013, when scouts say hello to the Summit.
This is a list of scouts in troop 1126
Adult Leaders(for information on leaders and offices, see footnote)
Scoutmaster – Paul Patrowsky, Bucklin
1st Assistant Scoutmaster – Andrew Stilles, Wisc.
2nd Assistant Scoutmaster – Pat Fellhoelter, Ness city
Junior Assistant Scout master-Chris Stilles, Wisc.
Australian Scoutmaster – Michel Pratt, Australia
Australian Scoutmaster – Aaron Wardle, Australia
Senior Patrol Leader (SPL)-Nathan Jenkins, Cimarron
Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL) – Sam Richards, Wisc.
Quartermaster-Garrison LeRock, Cimarron
Scribe – Nathan Dowell, Liberal
Patrol Leader – Landon Fellhoelter, Ness City
Assistant Patrol Leader- T. J. Sinike, wi
Adam Carr, Bucklin
Mitchell Irby, Liberal
Rob Shlimoultz, Wisc.
Dylan Hamilton, Ness City
Hunter Higby, Wisc.
Patrol Leader – Paul Downing, Guymon, OK
Assistant Patrol Leader-Tom Richards, Wisc.
Jared Fellhoelter, Ness City
Chad Ryersee, Bazine
Chris Schonasky, Wisc.
Zack Pierson, Moscow
Alex Ford, Jetmore
Patrol Leader – Nick Hankins, wi
Assistant Patrol Leader-Kyle Harris
Alex Merklin, Liberal
Colt Stairett, Jetmore
Henry Higby, Wisc.
Noah Day, Dodge City
Jared Hamilton, Ness city
Jacob Martin, Hugoton
Senior Patrol Leader-Guy Knopke – Australia
Ben McLead – Australia
Dominic Boratto – Australia
Riley Green – Australia
Mitchell Howlett – Australia
Malcolm McLead – Australia
Bailey Grant – Australlia
Footnote: A scoutmaster is in charge of the Troop, and there are two assistant Scoutmasters, and one Junior Assistant Scoutmaster, who is 18-20 years old. All four count as adult leaders. The troop also had two Australian adult leaders, for a total of six leaders in 1126. Four Youth Leaders are also present in the troop, with the SPL being the Head of the Troop, The ASPL assisting him, the Quartermaster in charge of troop items such as tents, rain flies and patrol boxes with cooking supplies in them, and the Scribe in charge of paper records and helping in certain types of planning. The Troop was divided into four patrols, which ate together, and each was headed by a Patrol leader and an Assistant Patrol leader.