Ventura County Council sent a contingent of Scouts and Venturers to this year’s National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. Thirty-six Scouts, eight Venturers, and six adult leaders made up this contingent, who joined over 30,000 other Scouts and Scouters to create the second largest city in West Virginia while the Jamboree was in session. Of these, there were four members from the Conejo Valley District, including Scouts AJ Lawrence, Sameer Patel, and Tyler Wolfe, and Assistant Scoutmaster Scott Wolfe. Other leaders included Scoutmaster Brian McCready, Assistant Scoutmaster Mike Kort, Assistant Scoutmaster David Hunt, Venturing Crew Advisor Lori Miller, and Associate Advisor Tim Miller, all from the Ronald Reagan District. The Conejo Valley District also sent some staff members to work at the Jamboree, including Dennis Anderson and Bill Cole. Other Ventura County Council staff members included George Kurata, David Graves, and our own Council Scout Executive, David Jones.
Those who have visited the Summit Bechtel Reserve can attest to the fact that it is an amazing property, with spectacular facilities designed to bring Scouts high adventure activities that they are unlikely to find anywhere else. In addition to standard camp fare such as rifle and shotgun shooting and archery, the facilities at SBR included opportunities for the Scouts to also shoot pistols, chalk-ball guns (think paint ball with powder rather than paint), and crossbows. Scouts had the opportunity to SCUBA dive in pools, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and compete in an aquatic obstacle course in the lakes, rock climb, run a Spartan Race, climb through challenge courses, participate in Scottish Highland games, take canopy tours, ride mountain bikes, skateboards and BMX bikes on state of the art tracks, go whitewater rafting on the New River, and ride one of the longest zip lines in North America (about ¾ of a mile long). The National Jamboree provided an opportunity for participants to take advantage of all of these activities, while also engaging in activities which are unique to Jamborees. Scouts met other Scouts from all 50 states, and about 78 other countries, traded Council patches, and were treated to stadium shows which included performances by the X Ambassadors, Jessie Chris, and the Plain White T’s, and even a much-ballyhooed visit by the President of the United States.
For those who were unable to attend this year’s event, I highly recommend attending one in the future. The Summit Bechtel Reserve is the permanent home of the BSA National Jamborees, which occur every four years. An additional opportunity for a major SBR event takes place in 2019, as the World Scout Jamboree will be held there as well. Of course, Scouts can also attend SBR as a summer High Adventure Base program (similar to Philmont), selecting one of the various program areas to focus on during their time. In any case, get out to see the BSA’s newest High Adventure Base, and see what all the fuss is about!