I think I’ll start by catching up a bit. Even though there are charging stations at Jambo, it’s not an easy process. We set expectations accordingly by letting everyone know not to expect any sort of charging capability. AT&T is a large sponsor of The Summit. They have stores set up to rent smart phones to those who don’t have them. They have charging stations located throughout the site to allow for charging. It’s difficult, though, because you have to stay with your device. There are no lock boxes as there had been in the past. They said scouts would go off with the key and they wouldn’t have access to the boxes for others. So, these are open air charging cafes. There is one outlet on the back of the bath house by our campsite which we have been able to use while we are in camp and can have boys sitting there passing the time.
I need to tell you about our white water rafting trip. We all stayed in cabins at Adventures on the Gorge (AOTG). We arrived on Saturday the 13th after traveling about 7 hours from Chattanooga. We stopped and had a good dinner in Beckley, WV before heading to the outfitters. We split the buses between Cracker Barrel and Bob Evans. It seemed to work really well. Everyone enjoyed their meals and we were in and out in about an hour. We unpacked the bus and headed to the cabins. I took this as an opportunity to practice carrying all of my gear in a single trip. We had to carry our gear about 300 yards. I brought a lot of stuff and it was heavy, but made it without too much trouble. I didn’t think that we would have to carry our gear from the bus to our campsite much further once we arrived at Jambo, but that was yet to be seen.
We got up early at AOTG and had a great breakfast buffet. They took us through some training and we each grabbed a helmet, paddle and life jacket. We loaded a bus for a 45 minute ride up the river to put in. It was a gorgeous morning in the 70’s and the sun was out. It was not too cold at all, but a few of the boys got some sunburn, but nothing severe. We had 11 boats in our group, loaded up and headed down the river. The Upper New River is calmer and easier. We were able to practice paddling together to prepare for the class 5 rapids we would experience on the second half, after lunch. We hit some class 3 and 4 rapids right before our lunch pullout. The best part of the entire trip was seeing the look on the faces of the boys AND THE MEN when they got off the boats! I know I get most of my enjoyment watching the boys enjoy themselves. It’s rare for me to see us all have so much fun that the men are visibly excited about doing something. I don’t think I can express in words the jubilation that we all experienced during this trip. Everyone worked together to get through some very tough river conditions. The river was 8 feet above normal.
We headed back to the outfitters after the trip and ate dinner, repacked, showered and hit the sack. We had a buffet dinner with another troop of hamburgers and hotdogs. After dinner we had a short campfire program followed by our Sunday Chapel Service. We have a great troop chaplain. Parker gave another fantastic message! It amazes me sometimes the ability these boys have to express themselves and the things they can teach us, as adults. Parker is really special.
It was only a 30 minute ride to Jamboree check-in on Sunday. It took us 75 minutes to get through that process. Then we had about a 20 minute ride to our Subcamp. We pulled up to the bus drop off and Mr. Lowe thought he saw our campsite just a stones throw away. Unfortunately, we got off the bus and discovered that our campsite was over a quarter mile away. That was a hard hike with about 80 pounds of gear. The only good thing about it was that it was a downhill hike. Now we have to pack everything back out UPHILL!!!! I’m not looking forward to that, but I will not be taking as much home as I brought. I should use a lot of the supplies I brought while I’m here.
That should catch us up to today, Wednesday the 17th. All of our boys in A229 have their curriculum activities today. A couple of the activities are a long ways away. Shooting and BMX biking are almost a two hour hike from our camp. So, we got up at 5am! Fixed breakfast so they could get on the trail by 6:30am to get to their destination on time. Blake and Brock, and a few others have their curriculum activities later in the afternoon but went early anyway to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and the opportunity to get more time in at the events. Mr. Lowe took off with 7 or 8 scouts for the long hike.
So, finally, it is quiet in camp! Brandon injured his knee again, but he is hoping he’ll be back to 100% in a couple of days. Brandon is in C117. C117 has their day of service today for the Messengers of Peace. Since he wasn’t able to go with them, the jamboree staff transported him over to our camp for the day.
With limited power, I’m having to watch battery life, so I’ve added some pictures together here.
Here is our view from the opening Arena show. 40,000+ scouts, 20,000+ adult leaders and 12,000 or so staff. This is the fastest growing city in the country right now. There is a post office, hospital, fire department, police department and airport (helipad)!
Until next time…