Wrapping It Up

Well, we got back from our fantastic trip and I proceeded to come down with a sinus infection.  I’ve just about recovered from that and am finally getting around to posting everything I wasn’t able to during the trip.

Here are some videos I took of several of the boys reporting on their days of fun during jambo.

I took a couple of short videos when we were in the pioneering area on top of Garden Ground Mountain.  Several of the boys really liked the swing that was lashed together with rope and timber.

Now, I’ll back up to the first day of touring prior to Jambo.  We drove all night and our first stop was the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

This is the train rolling into the station right before we board for the short trip.

This is what we got to see when we reached the end of the line.  They turned the engine around on the turntable.

That first night, we toured the Tennessee State Aquarium and slept with the Jellyfishes!

We finally make it into West Virginia.  How else do you celebrate it?

We arrived at Adventures on the Gorge that evening.  We would raft the New River the next day.  There is a gallery of pictures from the trip on the Troop 26 web site.  After our rafting trip, we had time for a campfire after dinner.  Here’s a few of the skits that were performed.

We finally arrive at Jambo and Mr. Lowe’s birthday was the day we arrived.  He was “assisting” with assembly and placement of our carport/dining fly.  His birthday present was portable shade!

Another really neat thing that happened at Jambo was the Ham Radio Station, K2BSA contact with the International Space Station.  10 boys got to ask astronaut Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP, questions.  This first video explains what is going to happen, the second video is that of the actual contact.

We spent our first night after leaving Jambo at the National 4H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD.  This happened to be Ben’s birthday!  His folks sent a package with me to deliver to him on his birthday.

Now we’re getting to the REALLY GOOD STUFF!!!!

Our first full day of touring Washington, D.C. began with meeting our Senator and Congressman.  Senator Jim Inhofe spent 30 minutes talking with us and answering questions on the Capitol Steps.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine, and Eagle Scout, spent more than a half hour answering our questions.  I got the first 15 minutes of our visit until I ran out of memory.  These meetings were something really special.  How often do you have the opportunity to spend that much time with the men who represent you in Congress?  Not often!

That night we toured the National Mall.  We had a tour guide on each bus to show us around.  I especially enjoyed getting to see the WWII memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.

The next morning, we were honored to have had our request approved to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, in Arlington National Cemetery.

We got to see a changing of the guard right before our ceremony commenced.

Then we had four attendants represent us during the wreath ceremony.  Alex, Carson, Jarrett and Brock.

We finished our trip with a visit to Gettysburg.  Mrs. Moore was kind enough to make it possible for us to have a guided tour of the battlefield.  She was right!  It made our visit something to remember.  I always have a hard time looking at the monuments in the National Battlefields and understanding what actually transpired there, so many years ago.  These guides were top notch!  Everyone had a wonderful time and learned so much!  Thanks Becky, from all of us!

Finally, we capped off our visit to Gettysburg with the Troop 26 Gettysburg Pledge 2.  I caught the first part of the ceremony on video, but we were interrupted by rain and I had to secure my camera.  Each boy pledged to complete high school and earn the rank of Eagle.  He was given a commemorative Gettysburg quarter which he will return at his Eagle court of honor.

We drove all night and arrived back at the Church less than 30 minutes from our anticipated arrival time.  We came back to a great welcome home!

This was the trip of a lifetime!  Hope you enjoyed following along with me.  I still have some still photos to go through, so there might be a little bit more show up here.  Thanks for following along!  I had fun doing this.


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Heading Home

It’s 4:12pm EDT and we just left Gettysburg.  We’re headed home!

We’ve had a wonderful back end of the tour.  Unfortunately, wifi connectivity has made posting difficult.  We’ve also been so busy, that I’ve found it hard to find time to post much.  I’ll have time on the way back to fill in.

For now, I’ll fill you in on today’s adventure.  We pulled in to camp Tuckahoe last night after dark.  It’s a boy scout camp and they had just finished their summer camp season.  We filled up two cabins.   Each cabin had a little more than 20 bunks.  We had just a few boys that slept on the floor.  The weather was perfect, so the lack of air conditioning was not a factor.  Each unit had a large ceiling fan that kept the air circulating.  Plus, it was probably in the 60’s so it wasn’t hot anyway.

We woke up at 5:45 to pack and eat breakfast.  We were on our way to Gettysburg by 7am and arrived for our 2 hour guided bus tour of the battlefield.


Making a note to myself here to insert video of our bus tour when I have the opportunity.

We have Mrs. Moore (Josh’s Mom) to thank for donating the funds to have the guided bus tour.  It was soooo worth it!  The tour guide was very knowledgeable and gave us a great tour.  I have always found it hard to look at the monuments and understand what took place on the battlefield.  After our tour, I had a good understanding of what took place.  The boys raved about it.  Each one of them took something away from the experience.  They walked through areas where the battle was fought, climbed a 100 foot tower to get a birds eye view of the battlefield, learned the names and places where significant fighting took place and learned about the farmsteads that were taken over during the battle and used for things like field hospitals.


Following our bus tour, we returned to the visitors center.  They had a 30 minute moving explaining the events that took place.  We watched the movie and then viewed the cyclorama, an oil on canvas painting that was painted in a round room with a 360 degree view.  It was an amazing piece of art.  The Gettysburg Cyclorama is 377 feet long, 42 feet high and weighs 12.5 tons.

We then headed for lunch.  Several of the boys said it was the best meal of the whole trip.  We ate, just off of National Park property at General Pickett’s Buffet.  Breakfast was light, so everyone enjoyed getting full on an all you can eat buffet!

After lunch, we returned to the park.  We spent another hour going through the gift shop and the museum.  I tell you, these are the shoppingest bunch of boys I know!  They spend as much time in the gift shops as they do at the attractions.  But, they’re happy and they’re enjoying themselves and learning, gaining memories and that’s what matters.

We finished the day with the Gettysburg Pledge 2, a very special ceremony written by our own Scoutmaster.  I got video of the first part of it, but, fittingly enough, a thunderstorm came through just minutes into the ceremony and I had to shut down my camera to avoid damage from the rain.  The ceremony consisted of a remembrance of those troop 26 boys who toured Gettysburg in 1981.  That ceremony in 1981 was the original Gettysburg Pledge.  We reminded them of several of the boys who were there, that returned this time as adult leaders.  Adult leaders who now have sons participating in the troop.  Thus, the “2”.  The pledge asks the boys to commit to completing high school and earning their Eagle award.  In 1981, 106 boys accepted the pledge.  Of those 106, 75% completed their commitment.  This time, 71 boys took the pledge.  Their names will be enscribed on the reverse of the sword commemorating the 1981 pledge that contains the names of the boys taking the pledge the first time.  It will be displayed in a two sided case at courts of honor.

So, as I said, it was a fitting end to a trip where we were challenged with adversity due to rain at the jamboree.  The men participating in the ceremony were soaked to the bone as well as the boys.  No one said a word.  We’re scouts, after all!  We continued on with rain pouring down and the wind picking up.  Thunder cracking in the distance.  Years from now everyone will look back on the ceremony that went on through the rain. Some will remember the huge raindrops dripping off of Mr. Z’s nose.  Some will remember me trying to protect my tablet by putting it inside my shirt and covering it up with my script.  Some will remember Mr. Steele trying to stay dry by holding his folder over one side of his pants to keep just a little bit of him dry, or Mr. Lowe standing there, not being able to see a thing through his glasses while continuing to refill the box of coins as the boys passed through the line repeating those words, “I Do Pledge.”  Some may have been watching Mr. Warriner’s head bead water and run off like a car with a new paint job!  Or Mr. Fournet maintaining his composure and attitude through the whole thing.  Mr. LaFortune and his steadfast commitment to capture the moments with his camera.  Mr. Smith standing at attention holding a very special book in a plastic bag that each one of them will havein their hand very soon.  Mr. Baumgartner’s words “The screams of dying men and horses, the blast of cannons, the clash of sabers must have been deafening” while thunder claps around us.   At the end of the ceremony, each boy is asked to come forward and remove a coin from a box.  He must reach in and take the coin. and repeat the words, “I So Pledge.”  That is his first step to accepting the commitment he’s pledging to complete.  I will remember all the boys standing there at attention.  Eyes and ears intent on the words they were hearing.  Fighting the dripping, blowing rain drenching each one of them yet continuing to maintain the strength and resolve of completing the ceremony with dignity.  I’ll remember little Casey Z, his arms to his side, his head leaning to one side so the drops of rain don’t fall down his eyes.  I’ll remember Parker’s prayer to close the ceremony.  I’ll remember Caleb and his helpfulness to me.  I’ll remember R.C. being there to honor his son and the commitment his son was about to take.  The same pledge he took 32 years earlier.  I’ll remember thinking of Bill back home.  How much he’d like to be a part of what we were going through.  I’ll remember the resolve I saw in both of my own boys eyes as they repeated those words. We completed the ceremony and the rain lightened up.  It didn’t matter much though, we couldn’t get much wetter!

We knew we would make memories that would last a lifetime.  We definitely succeeded in doing that!

We walked back to the bus and opened up the bottom so we could retrieve towels and dry clothes for the ride home.  Everyone is comfortable now and settled in for the ride to dinner.  We have about 2 hours left of the 3 hour drive to dinner.  We’re watching the movie Gettysburg.  Everyone is pretty quiet.  The ceremony was a solemn occasion.

So, we’re an hour behind schedule.  We’ll try to catch up on some of that by shortening our meal and pit stops.  The plan is to be back tomorrow around 3pm.  We can better estimate the exact return time as we get closer to home.

See y’all soon!

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Made it to our Nations Capitol

After 2 days of 5am wake-ups and a final night of 2 hours sleep, we have departed the 2013 Jamboree and begun our back-side touring.  We arrived in Washington, D.C. on time and had lunch.  We spent three hours at the Udvar Hazy National Air and Space Museum at Dulles.  The boys had a great time!


There was plenty of things to see!


The Enola Gay is on display there.


The Space Shuttle Discovery is on display there.


It’s an impressive display.  It was neat that is directly tied in with the Technology Quest day we had at Jambo.  NASA was there and had the space shuttle tires on display.  Here we got to see them attached to the shuttle.  It gave it some real perspective.


Blake and Ross teamed up to try the flight simulators!  They went upside down and did 8 barrel rolls!  Brock and Josh teamed up to try it too.


Heading into downtown D.C. we caught a glimpse of the Washington monument.  It has scaffolding all around it now.  They are beginning to repair the damage done by the earthquake a few years ago.


I believe this is the Jefferson monument that we saw while driving in.  We should see more of it on the mall tour.


We were able to go to the front of the line at the National Archives.  We had made previous reservations.  We spent an hour here viewing the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  These columns were really pretty on the outside of the building where we were waiting to enter.  It created a solemn mood for us to begin these next few days discovering information about our Nation’s history!


From the Archives, we departed for our overnight venue at the National 4H Youth Conference Center.  On the way, I spotted the Capitol building which we’ll see tomorrow.

We had a slight change of plans for the better.  We were all tired and dirty and stinky after several days in the rain and mud, early morning wake-up calls to ensure we made all of our activities and the final night of tear down, pack up and leave.  I think God sent us a message.  The bus company didn’t catch our long day which would have had their drivers starting at 3am when they staged to pick us up at jambo by 5am.  Then we had them driving all the way to D.C., to the air and space museum, to the archives, to the 4H Center and then out again tonight for the night time mall tour until 10pm or later.  Since they hadn’t assigned replacement bus drivers, we didn’t feel that it was right to make our drivers work all day and we didn’t think it was safe.  So, we rescheduled the night time mall tour for tomorrow night.  We think we can still fit everything in without issue, but we’ll see.

We just finished up an adult leaders meeting about our activities later in the week.  I told Dennis, our Jamboree Scoutmaster, after I got out of the shower, “There’s something wrong with the water in the shower!  It doesn’t make you want to jump back six feet and yell Oh Lord!”  It’s very nice to have electricity, air conditioning and hot showers again!

More coming tomorrow when we start the day meeting Congressman Jim Bridenstine and Senator Jim Inhofe.

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Oh, What a Night

More like the last 5 days!  It has rained the last several days.  The campsite was very muddy!  This made charging devices almost impossible, so I lost power to my tablet and my phone, so I apologize for falling behind but I didn’t want to damage my devices.

I’ll catch up later, but wanted to let everyone know that we’re still alive!  We just departed the Summit!  We had a 5am departure and rolled out of camp about 5:25.  We started breaking down camp as soon as we got back from our day of service for Messengers of Peace.  That was about 6pm.  We worked until 11pm and had about 2 hours of sleep time.  We got up at 2am and finished taking down the tents.  We met with the subcamp commissioner at 4am to inventory all of our equipment and get checked out.  Just as we were ready to bring up our gear we went under a severe thunderstorm warning.  That storm moved through and we were ready to load the bus when it arrived.

We’re on our way to D.C. now but I need to see if I can catch a couple of winks.  Much more to come!

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Whats up?

Just a quick one this morning.

Today is the last full day that the boys will have for elective activities. We’ve had breakfast and they’re all off to explore the camp. Some of the things they’re doing today include, zip lines, shooting, scuba, BMX bikes, fishing, rock climbing, hiking, and merit badges at the summit center.

The National BSA ham radio station, K2BSA, has a contact scheduled at 11:30 this morning (10:30am CDT) to talk with the astronauts on the International Space Station.

These contacts allow several scouts to ask questions of the astronauts on board. It is a really cool thing and promotes science in the classroom.  ARISS I’m going to try to get down there and get some video of the contact.  There is also a broadcast FM station running from jamboree, QBSA, and they are going to simulcast the contact on 98.3FM.

I don’t think they are live streaming, so you wont be able to hear it from home.  …well, I’ll be darned if I didn’t find where they ARE streaming across the internet!

Tomorrow they have scheduled at least 14 different venues to be used for worship services.  We will be attending worship and resting the remainder of the day.  I have some laundry to do and we’ll start thinking about beginning to pack for the end of jambo.

I’ve had my breakfast and it’s just beautiful sitting here in the sunshine where the temp is about 72 degrees.  Thanks to Mr. Lafortune, I’ve had my coffee!  So, I’m a happy scouter!

Off to do some exciting things!  More to come…

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What do you want to know about?

Ok parents and friends of #2013jambo Troop A229, what do you want to know about our #‎jambo2013‬ experience? We’ve been sending you pictures and videos about what we THINK you want to know about. Ask us some questions and we’ll do our best to answer them for you. This might be fun!

Feel free to let me know if you have a specific question for someone special and I’ll get them to answer it for you.

Use the comments section below.

You can also click subscribe below to receive email updates automatically when I post a new entry to this blog.

More to come!

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Messages Home to Mom & Dad

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