I first attended the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1960 as a fresh Eagle Scout. The trip to the Jamboree also included a three-day hike at Philmont, in New Mexico, a white-water rafting experience and an overnight stay at the Koshare Indian Kiva in La Junta, Colo., with a performance by the Koshare dancers.
Beginning in 1989, I joined the national staff of the Jamboree with my first position in media relations. At a later Jamboree, I proposed the Jamboree website and was the founding website director. More recently I have served on the photography staff. This year was the last of the Jamborees to be held at Fort A. P. Hill, Va. The new permanent location for the Jamboree beginning in 2013 will be The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in W. Va.
The photo staff are all professionals and we make the archival pictures for the national office of the Boy Scouts and feed pictures to the daily newspaper, Jamboree Today, and the Jamboree website.
Each photographer covers one of the many religious services and I choose the Episcopal service. Click the play icon below to get a flavor of that service (computer sound up).
Fort A.P. Hill is comprised of 75,000 acres of woodlands. It’s a big place. Some of the Scouts have to hike as long as three hours to get to the arena shows. I encountered a particularly gregarious bunch along the route. I had my digital recorder in one hand and my camera in the other. Click the play icon below to get a sense of the spirit these Scouts demonstrated (computer sound up).
One of the popular spots at the Jamboree is Brownsea Island, a reinactment of Lieutenant-General Baden-Powell’s original Scout camp begun in 1907. It was here that Baden-Powell tested his ideas for his book Scouting for Boys and is considered the origin of Scouting. At this first camp the leadership structure and the patrol system were laid out and still persist today. Competitive games were developed to enhance skills and provide fun. Click the play button below to see a sampling of the experiences at Brownsea Island (computer sound up).
See more of my pictures of the 2010 Jamboree.
The President of the United States often visits the Jamboree at one of the arena shows. In 1960, President Eisenhower stood up in a convertible while being slowly driven through 60,000 people. With the Kennedy assassination, also in an open convertible, everything changed. I have seen, first-hand, the intense security now imposed on the appearance of the President. To know that the security measures needed now are necessary saddens me.