Edited by John Clark
Health awareness for 2010 Jamboree
Do you want to attend the 2010 National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P Hill in Virginia? Then you need to be aware of the physical and mental risks involved.
Scheduled to take place July 26-Aug. 4, the jamboree will celebrate the BSA’s 100th anniversary. Before Scouts and Scouters apply to attend, they should assess their physical conditioning. Can you handle the exciting, high-adventure activities — all taking place in an environment without air-conditioning? Can you walk from five to 10 miles per day?
Also, consider weather conditions. Summer temperatures in Bowling Green, Va., can range from 87 degrees during the day to 65 degrees at night, though extreme temperatures have hit 104 degrees and dropped to 43 degrees. And in July, rain showers and thunderstorms produce the area’s highest amount of average precipitation.
John Alline, national jamboree director, says you should be capable of walking steadily for an hour without rest in high temperatures and humidity or reconsider your participation.
Jamboree applicants will be required to submit a detailed health history, meet immunization requirements, and undergo a thorough physical fitness examination between July 27, 2009, and May 1, 2010.
Physical examinations should be performed by a licensed health-care professional and will be subject to review and evaluation by the jamboree subcamp, as well as the regional and national medical service.
Not completing the fitness examination process by the May 2010 deadline may limit, or even prohibit, you from jamboree participation and could subject you to being sent home at your expense.
In addition, participants will receive a recheck upon arrival at the jamboree to verify medical information and current fitness. If would-be participants are found medically unfit at that time, they cannot attend the jamboree and must return home at their own expense. The jamboree medical service will not support medical-device requirements or provide long-term health care.
To sign up for the jamboree, go to www.bsajamboree.org, click on “Register Now,” and follow the instructions. Contact your local Scout council service center for the price of its jamboree contingents and what that covers.
Confirmation of the application’s receipt does not guarantee a spot in a council jamboree troop. Local councils have a limited number of Scout and adult leader positions.
Know the risks, Alline urges, so that you can help the BSA make this the “best, most exciting, fun-filled, and safest jamboree ever.”
Spend the summer in Europe
If enjoying a few weeks in Europe sounds like a great way to spend your summer vacation, make plans now to volunteer for the BSA’s European Camp Staff Program.
Eligible Scouters between the ages of 18 and 30 have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and increase their knowledge of world cultures while serving at a Scout center overseas.
Don’t expect to work in just one specialized area — or with just guys. Volunteers at European Scout centers experience a coed environment and get involved in many different aspects of running the operation, unlike staff at BSA camps in the States.
You can specify a European region of preference, and if you have language skills for that region, so much the better. Sound like fun?
You must be registered with the BSA and willing to commit a minimum of six weeks to the program. Applications must receive approval from your local Scout council and the BSA’s International Department, which will forward them to the European Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement for final selection and assignments to individual host centers.
Once you learn your locale, you can work out the practical details, including exact dates, travel arrangements, and equipment required, with officials at the host Scout center.
You pay your way to and from the destination. But, hey, the European Scout Region will refund 50 percent of your travel costs after you return home.
Get more information at the BSA’s International Department Web site, www.scouting.org/international/ecamp.aspx.
A Head Start on Quality
It’s never too late to improve the quality of your program. And it’s never too early to begin planning to earn the 2009 Centennial Quality Award.
Designed to recognize outstanding packs, troops, teams, crews, and ships, the annual award honors excellence in providing a quality program to the BSA’s growing youth population. It challenges units to upgrade and increase adult-leader training, as well as to improve youth recruitment and retention, parent participation, youth advancement, outdoor program participation, and annual program planning.
Between Oct. 31 and Dec. 1, 2009, you’ll need to complete the Centennial Quality Achievement form and get it signed by unit and district leadership, usually a commissioner, after they’ve met to compare your goals to achievements for the calendar year.
That might sound like a long way off, but don’t wait until the last minute. That way, if your unit hasn’t accomplished all of its goals as the deadline approaches, you’ll still have time to develop an action plan to achieve the recognition before year’s end.
“The process should be even easier for everyone this year,” says Stan Willey, of the BSA’s Council Solutions Group, “because it hasn’t changed at all from 2008.”
For more information on the Centennial Quality Awards Program, go to www.scouting.org/awards/centennialawards.aspx.
Message to alumni: reconnect
With the recent launch of its Alumni Connection program (www.bsaalumni.org), the BSA is encouraging alumni across the United States to reconnect — in time to take part in the celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary in 2010.
The goal of the program, according to Bill Steele, director of alumni relationships, is to have people whose lives have been positively influenced by Scouting demonstrate their “dedication and commitment to the next generation of Scouts.”
“This is an opportunity for our alumni to impact the next century of Scouting,” Steele says. Reconnected Scouts and Scouters represent a potential boon to current leaders.
According to Steele, a surge in alumni involvement could mean more volunteers, ambassadors for Scouting, and even donors.
The invitation to participate in the Alumni Connection program extends to former Scouts and also their family members, BSA volunteers, professional Scouters, community leaders, and the tens of millions of Americans who benefit from Scouting every day.
Each council will have access to the contact information of those who reconnect. Leaders, you can get strategic guidance on how to find and engage alumni, as well as template presentations, fliers, and promotional materials from a toolkit available on YourSource (scouting.org/100years). Anniversary volunteers can contact their local council staff advisers to learn how to access YourSource.
Alumni will soon be able to search the site for old Scouting friends and mentors, upload photos and stories to an online scrapbook, and learn how to get involved in centennial activities.
Through the Year of Celebration program that launches in September 2009, alumni also will be able to earn commemorative patches as part of the celebration — something that, for the past 100 years, only active Scouts could do.
Take Part in the Adventure
How about a fun summer job in a scenic locale, working with great people and getting a taste of high adventure?
If that sounds cool, and you’re 18 or older, apply now for seasonal work at one of the BSA’s three high-adventure bases: Philmont Scout Ranch, Northern Tier, and Florida Sea Base.
“We’re looking for people, men and women, who love being outdoors and on the water,” says Florida Sea Base general manager Paul Beal. “It’s a great opportunity to work in a beautiful tropical setting and to make a difference for thousands of Scouts and Scouters.”
To qualify, you should have the willingness to teach others, a high level of comfort in outdoor environments, and the ability to learn fast.
“We can teach them hiking, canoeing, and wilderness skills,” explains Carl Boyles, director of programs at Northern Tier. “But we can’t teach them people skills. That’s what we look for: people who can get along with people.”
If selected, you’ll get a place to stay, three meals a day, access to the recreational facilities at each location, and a salary that can range upward from $900 a month, depending on experience. But you don’t need extensive experience because BSA professionals will train you to perform your summer specialty.
At Northern Tier, for example, you’ll receive 12 days of instruction in aquatic rescue skills, wilderness camping techniques, indigenous species of flora and fauna, and more.
Some available summer positions at Scouting’s high-adventure bases include canoe-trip leaders and outfitting staff at Northern Tier, trekking guides and backcountry counselors at Philmont, and certified scuba instructors, divemasters, and Coast Guard-licensed watercraft operators at Florida Sea Base. In addition, each location will hire summer workers for positions as trading post, office, dining hall, and maintenance staff, as well as other jobs specific to each location.
“We’re seeking the best and the brightest of the BSA who are excited about outdoor adventure,” says Philmont’s associate director of program Steve Nelson. “They’ll make great friends, have fun experiences, and get to stretch themselves, learning to work as a team to serve the 23,000 people who come here every summer.”
To receive more information or to apply for a seasonal staff position contact:
Florida National Adventure Sea Base, P.O. Drawer 1906, Islamorada, FL 33036; (305) 664-4173, www.bsaseabase.org. Summer hires: 130.
Philmont Scout Ranch, 17 Deer Run Road, Cimarron, NM 87714; (575) 376-2281, firstname.lastname@example.org. Summer hires: 1,016.
Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases, P.O. Box 509, Ely, MN 55731-0509: (218) 365-4811, email@example.com. Summer hires: 210.
Nominate the greats
Know someone special, someone who has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of others? We’re betting that you do.
That’s why the BSA will launch a nationwide search for special Scouts and Scouters to become part of the 100th Anniversary National Hall of Leadership.
Envisioned as a collection of stories and testimonials honoring youth and/or leaders, the Hall of Leadership seeks to recognize the best of those with proven leadership abilities.
To nominate an individual, simply select a person (or persons) — one who may or may not be officially registered with the BSA — who has served at least one year. No age restrictions apply, though only living Scouts or Scouting volunteers are eligible. Then, submit an easy online form and a 450-word-or-less essay describing how this person exemplified leadership by serving others and why he or she deserves this one-time honor.
For more details and to submit your nomination, check out www.scouting.org/100years. Nominations will be accepted through Feb. 8, 2010, and the BSA will announce its inductees in May 2010.
“For nearly a century, Scouting leadership expressed in service to others has improved the quality of life in every town,” says Bob Mersereau, director of the 100th Anniversary Project.
“So start now to think about who you’d like to nominate. This is a great way for Scouts, leaders, alumni, family, and friends to get engaged in the anniversary celebration.”