I just got back home from the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia and I thought it would be a good idea to share my experiences with you all.
Besides the humidity, rain, and constant waiting for hours in line, the jamboree was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I decided to hike to the OA summit circle and on my way ended up running into Michael Kintscher and Vianney Careaga on the trail. After a few wrong turns and going about 10 miles in the wrong direction I finally found the site. I walked down the reflection trail reading all of the quotes as I passed by and it was so quiet, I thought I was the only person around for miles. Turns out there is a little unspoken rule to be silent as you walk throughout the site, I found a few other arrowmen sitting quietly on the benches around the circle. I really can’t describe how I felt inside when I was there, it was such a surreal moment for me. Tom Hamlett describes it better than I can as “It’s just a feeling that all Arrowmen get.” It’s like you can feel the great spirit’s presence in the circle.
The Jamboree in itself was also very rewarding. For those two weeks I worked with huge global partners around the world like the UN environmental program, UN Refugee Program, and the UN high Commission of Human Rights. I helped teach the sustainable development goals to 50,000 kids from all over the world. I met with and talked to some very distinguished people like an astronaut named Mike Fossum who spent 200+ days on the ISS as the Commander. I met Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Another duo I ran into during the Closing Ceremonies were the OA National Chief and Vice Chief, Matt and Eric.
I watched as kids from different countries (that were at war with each other) played and laughed together. During the 1st World Scout Jamboree in 1920 which was 2 years after the end of WW1, Baden Powell had a dream that even though we all have different religions and beliefs and come from different countries, we could prove to the world that we could live together in peace. At this jamboree we all experience this vision firsthand. It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from, we were all the same. We were just kids apart of the scouting movement trying to change the world together. On that note, please try to remember that we are all human. Remember that and learn to accept others in open arms, It’s all about unity.