SUMMIT BECHTEL RESERVE, W. Va, - Troop C327 from Ogden has settled in at the 2013 Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America.
The troop is composed of 36 Scouts, gathered from many local troops. Each boy signed up and started paying over a year ago to travel here, to the Summit Bechtel Reserve, in a mountainous area of West Virginia.
The National Jamboree is an event put on by the Boy Scouts of America every four years. It is a 10-day long event, with more than 30,000 Scouts and leaders attending. The Jamboree offers activities including whitewater rafting, ziplining, rock climbing, BMX riding, and a variety of hard-to-find merit badges. At night the Scouts sleep in tents on mountainside campsites. As Josh, a Scout from Ogden, said, "It's the best camping spot I've ever been to. Great tents, lots of activities that fit your personality, [but] the bathrooms are only adequate."
Arriving off the bus in the evening after an 8-hour bus ride, the troop started setting up their camp just minutes after unloading their bags. When the tents were set up, they had to be placed in a limited area according to a map provided. They are spaced to provide paths for walking and escape routes. After the tents were set up and they had eaten dinner, most of the troop felt like Scout Michael Flamm, who said, "I'm excited for it to start, but I'm also exhausted."
The next morning, the Scouts hiked over to the Opening Ceremony. The ceremony introduced everyone to camp with live bands playing to help get the scouts excited about the Jamboree experience. The Ceremony takes place in the AT&T Summit Stadium, a large amphitheater built on a hillside. This year's ceremony included performances by the Army National Guard band, and country music band Taylor Made. There also were speeches by many high-ranking officials, including the BSA President, the CEO of AT&T, and some members of the Bechtel family, which provided funds for the 10,600-acre facility.
The members of the Ogden troops were split about half and half between those who enjoyed the Opening Ceremony and the band performances, and those like Scout Bryson Kimber, who said, "They could have gotten better bands." Evidently not all of the Scouts are fans of country music.
Even though it's only the first couple days of Jamboree, the Scouts are already planning what activities they'll be trying throughout the week. Many are hoping to experience things here they might otherwise never be able to do.