Nine Summit County Boy Scouts attend National Scout Jamboree in Washington D.C.
special to the daily
On July 26, Wade Rosko and eight other Boy Scouts from Troop 903 – a combination of troops that stretches from the Great Divide to Grand Junction – will attend the National Scout Jamboree in Ft. A.P. Hill, Virgina for nine days of mountain boarding, biking, rock climbing, and all the other summer activities enjoyed by boy scouts.
But this is no ordinary summer camp. Taking place every four years, they’ll join 40,000 Scouts at the big Jamboree, with even a few international troops from England and Japan. The camp will make use of the 76,000 acres of the military base at Ft. A.P. Hill, which will be divided into several sub-camps for tents and different activities such as aquatic sports, mountain sports and live arena shows. There is even an entire bus system to transport the boys around. This year’s Jamboree promises to especially exciting, as it was delayed an extra year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouting in America.
The Summit County contingent includes boys from 12 to 17, all of whom have to be first-class scouts and receive recommendations from their scoutmaster to attend. To raise the $2,900 needed to go, the boys have been fundraising for the past 18 months with things like Christmas tree pickups, popcorn sales and a Father’s Day brunch at the Elk’s Lodge.
“I try to do a summer camp every year,” says scout Wade Roscoe, “but this is supposed to be one of the most fun times you can have.”
One of the things Roscoe says he’s most excited about is the freedom to do whatever he wants at the Jamboree – whereas most summer camps have rigid schedules and mandatory merit badges. While you can work on some badges at the Jamboree, you can’t finish them.
“I might try scuba diving, a new badge this year,” he says.
Each troop brings designs for their own patch for the Jamboree, and one of the traditions is to trade them with each other. In addition to making it to all of the different activity areas, Roscoe says he really wants to try to collect as many patches as possible.
For the 14-year-old Roscoe, the Jamboree isn’t just about fun and games. As the troop’s scribe, Wade has to write at least one story per day on a blog to keep parents informed of how and what they are doing. The Summit Daily will publish his blog posts on its website (www.summitdaily.com), so the whole county can keep track of how the boys are doing.
While Roscoe’s blog posts will likely be about the fun things the scouts are getting into, there is a greater importance to them as well: At the 2005 Jamboree, an accident in setting up one of the sub-camps resulted in four deaths. By not having an efficient scribe, parents back in Summit County had no way of knowing whether or not it was their boys involved in the accident. By writing home at least once a day, Wade will make sure everyone knows they are safe in case something happens.
There are two adult chaperones accompanying them, including Roscoe’s father, who have been in safety training for 18 months and have been working backstage on logistical things. They will be there as supervisors only – Wade and the other senior staff scouts will be running everything themselves.
Troop 903 will leave Colorado a few days before the Jamboree for a chance to tour the East Coast, with stops in New York City and Washington, D.C. There may even be the chance for them to get a look inside the White House.
When asked what he’s most excited about, Roscoe says: “Seeing all the different scouts from all over the country … and the arena shows.” Really though, the only thing he isn’t looking forward to is the hot, humid summer weather of Virginia.
Between blogging, touring, and all the activities and shows, he’s going to be very busy.
“Its going to be a crazy two weeks, but a great memory.”
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