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GRCJambo Blog, Jamboree Troop from the Great Rivers Council.

Why is Troop C140 Carrying a Rock at the Jamboree?

It’s a Rock from Missouri and the Great Rivers Council

Troop C140 is carrying a rock that has been tumbled and shaped by the waters moving overland into the Missouri River.  The rock has the Council’s name and number sandblasted into the face.  Someone, or several individuals of the Troop, will carry the rock up to the summit of Garden Ground Mountain when they hike on Friday, July 19, 2013.

Summit Fire Ring

The rock will then be used, together with the rocks from other Councils, to construct a fire ring on the summit.



Jambo Day 4 — SM Update

Today was a busy day at The Summit for Troop C140 as most of our boys headed out to experience the high adventure programs around the camp. It was a day of excitement for boys who completed the Challenge Course (think a super-cool COPE ropes course), shot shotguns, road BMX bikes, road mountain bikes, enjoyed water adventures or even just learned more about some classic Scout skills like dutch oven cooking.

It was also a day of a little disappointment, as a thunderstorm rolled through the area mid-day–not close enough to get us wet, but close enough to trigger a lightning warning that closed some of the water and aerial programs that some of our guys hoped to do. Given the volume of Scouts each day, they may or may not get a chance to do some of those activities. But they understood that risk ahead of time and are dealing with the disappointment pretty well.

Yours truly spent the morning helping harness boys up for the Challenge Course. I walked Jacob and Trask to the program area just to see where it was and got pulled in to volunteer for the morning. The boys completed the course–and loved it!–well before I was done with my volunteer shift. I hope to cash in my reward of doing the ropes course myself before we leave. After four hours of yanking on harnesses, I didn’t feel like taking on the challenge course, which included several obstacles such as logs suspended 50′ in the air that had to be crossed like stepping stones.

Most of the guys spent the later part of the afternoon in the subcamp playing games and trading patches with boys from around the country. Several actually did laundry! And as of today, everyone has showered at least once. No minor accomplishment for the Scout leaders.

The boys are reaching that point of a long trip where the normal “storming” dynamics set in for new groups. By and large, they are dealing with it well and Brendan has been an excellent ASM for helping work with the boys on those issues. Having our medic, Mr. Ruppar, also paid off again today as a couple of the guys had pretty wicked wipeouts on the mountain boards and mountain bikes. They have some scrapes and bruises, but they were all smiles and showing off their wounds like trophies when they got back to camp from the field medic staff. Todd double checked them and took one up to the subcamp med tent to get some ice, but everyone agreed he’s good to go.

Tomorrow is our trek to Garden Ground Mountain. We will be hiking most of the morning and having some undisclosed program at the mountain’s peak before coming back to camp in the early evening. It will be a long day. Not too rigorous of a hike, per se, but a long day nonetheless.

Evan, our hometown news reporter, submitted his first article through the Jambo press corps to the Columbia Tribune. Keep an eye out there for more from Evan’s perspective. The local news also visited our Day of Service yesterday and have an article on their website.

We are officially half-way through our Jamboree trip, and almost halfway the Jamboree itself. Time is flying, and it’s difficult to imagine what all the boys will be able to do in the second half of the trip. It is a pleasure and a blessing to be here with these young men and my adult teammates. Here’s to a fun and safe remainder of our experience!


Thursday, July 18, 2013: Activities!

Day 4 of the Jamboree

On Thursday, July 18, 2013, Jamboree Troop C140 will have a full day to experience the program areas.  The new Summit site has many events that are brand new for the Jamboree and of course, all the program areas are new installations.

The Interactive Map shows the locations.

For example:

the-traxThe Trax (BMX bikes)

the-poolsThe Pools (Scuba, Dragon boats, aquatics)

the-parkThe Park (skateboarding)

the-cloudThe Cloud (technology, robotics, and engineering)

the-bowsThe Bows (archery and sporting arrows)

the-barrelsThe Barrels (200 stations of shooting sports)

the-ropesThe Ropes (challenge course, 25-feet above the ground)

the-low-gearLow Gear (mountain biking)

the-high-gearHigh Gear (mountain biking)

the-rocksThe Rocks (rock climbing)

the-zipThe Zip (zip lines, wahoo, zip lines!)

the-canopyThe Canopy (forest ecology tour, 30-feet above the ground)

Today’s Highlights

Check out newly released Merit Badges including Sustainability, Programming, and Game Design.  Drink more water.  Trading Posts!  Check out the “sporting arrows” at “The Bows,” which are moving aerial targets.  Drink more water!  Go across the Consol Energy Bridge, perhaps more than once!  Find the Conservation Trail.  And even more…

2013 Jamboree Pictures and News, Days 3 and 4

Pictures and News About the Jamboree, Days 3 and 4

The Consol Energy Bridge connects two of the camps with activities areas.  Built with a $15 million donation from Consol Energy, the pedestrian bridge is uniquely designed and striking to view.

Check Out the Daily Video Newscasts from Jamboree Today

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jamboree Troop C140 Day of Service in the News

Making a Difference Through a Day of Service

Great Rivers Council Jamboree Troop C140 completed a day of service at Ghent Elementary School on Wednesday, July 17, 2013.  They spread mulch, pulled weeds, and set up signs along a nature trail behind the school.

Scoutmaster Sykuta is quoted in the local news article saying

…doing a good turn for the community, 5 days of the Jamboree there’s going to be thousands of scouts all around West Virginia doing just little projects like this that makes a big difference…

Click here for the link.

Troop C140 Day of ServiceTroop C140 Day of ServiceTroop C140 Day of ServiceTroop C140 Day of ServiceTroop C140 Day of Service

Jambo Day 3 — SM Update

Today was our Messengers of Peace Day of Service. C140 was assigned to report to the buses at 8AM and we actually arrived a bit early. But even with just 8,000 people going out on DOS today there were long lines waiting for OA guides and buses to get us to our service project. We boarded a bus for an unknown destination, handed the driver a GPS tracking device for our Unit, and received a packet with instructions for our day.

Ghent Elementary School for our Day of Service

Ghent Elementary School for our Day of Service

We ended up being assigned to Ghent Elementary School, which services about 250 kids from pre-K to 5th grade.

The playground needed mulch and their nature trail needed some new signs (which had been made by their Cub Scouts) to mark trees for identification. (It was nice having a forester–ASM Hank Stelzer– in our group!)  The boys got all the  mulch spread around the school, cleaned up the nature trail, and posted new signs for over a dozen trees.

In the process, we made new friends with staff and volunteers from the school who shared with us some history of the Winding Gulf coal region of West Virginia. They also shared some delicious watermelon to cool off after we finished our work. The boys seemed to appreciate the opportunity to help the people of the community and the importance of the work we did both for the kids of the school and the environment.

1003006_10151491501941759_124013974_n  We headed back to camp and were able to get dinner cooked before a brief thunderstorm blew in. The boys seem to be having a pretty good time, but they are excited to hit the program areas tomorrow.  It will certainly be a big day!

Jambo Day 2 — SM Update

Our first FULL day at Jambo 2013 was exciting, hot, and fun!

Our day started with breakfast (a cold breakfast today) and items to be packed for lunches. The Summit is so large that is makes no sense to have the boys coming back to camp to eat lunch each day, so we’re packing lunches that they can eat wherever they are mid-day.

The morning program included the official dedication of The Summit Bechtel Family Scout Reserve. There was music from Rockbox as we gathered, some “pre-program” music by a West Virginia National Guard band, and a short concert by Taylor Made. The boys I was near were amazed at the number of people sitting in the AT&T Summit Stadium. Imagine 40,000 Scouts doing the wave across a hillside amphitheater, or joining together to recite the Scout Oath. It was awesome! Fun fact: We are now the third largest city in the state of West Virginia.

In addition to the entertainment, there were introductions of dignitaries, including Mr. Bechtel and the Governor of West Virginia, Earl Tomblin. Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and the Volunteer Chairman of the Jamboree, also addressed the Scouts. And then the Scouts and Venturers were unleashed on the Summit for its first official day of program.

Our boys tried a number of the high adventure activities and other programs. I heard tales of BMX biking, skateboarding on the world’s largest skate park, and disc golf. Several boys spent time just exploring the enormity of The Summit and checking out the different program areas. A few have already earned or partially completed merit badges such as Game Design (a newer STEM badge). Mr. Stelzer even volunteered to help at the Canopy Tour and was able to ride the course. He said it was awesome! And of course, the badge trading continued. As an economist, I must say how impressive it is to see the markets appearing all over camp and to see how several of our boys are getting more into the whole trading thing and learning how to make and get the best deals for the patches they want.

Tomorrow is our Messengers of Peace Day of Service. Several of the boys are looking forward to the opportunity to give back to the West Virginia community. It should be a pretty meaningful experience. So it’s off to bed for me! Good night, Jambo 2013!

2013 Jamboree Pictures and News, Day 2

Pictures and News About the Jamboree

ATT has set up a webpage that collects Twitter Tweets and Instagram pictures from anyone who includes the tag #2013Jambo in the post. Try looking for people you know at the virtualjamboree site and enjoy the variety of photos.

Click here for the link.

Check Out the Daily Video Newscast from Jamboree Today


Tuesday, July 16, 2013: Opening Show!

Day 2 of the Jamboree

Photo Credit: QBSA

Photo Credit: QBSA

On Tuesday, July 16, 2013, the Great Rivers Council Jamboree Troop C140 will walk to the Opening Show and hear the official welcome to the Jamboree.

Then, it’s off to adventure and activities.

Today’s Goals

Opening show.  Drink more water.  Try out activities!  Drink more water.  Patch trading!  Drink more water.  Do you see the pattern for success?

Photo Credit:  QBSA

Photo Credit: QBSA

Jambo Day 1 — SM Update

Imagine 40,000 people checking into a hotel–all in a 12 hour window.  Yeah, it’s kinda like that.

We are here! And all I can say is that The Summit is like the most impressive Scout camp you’ve ever been to–on steroids–times a thousand or so.It is an amazingly impressive facility. And we haven’t even seen the high adventure program areas yet. It’s truly an impressive place. But I get ahead of myself.

We had an uneventful start to the day. The boys loaded up on the bus and we made our way down to Beckly, WV. (That’s the last 40 minutes of The Dark Knight Rises and most all of The Matrix for those of you keeping time by DVD segments.) We arrived to our off-site check in point shortly before our scheduled arrival, and by the time we made our way to the front of the line of buses we were not far off schedule. The arrival process was extremely well-orchestrated. We were checked in, given a lunch to eat on the bus, cleared our public health inspection, and were on our way toward The Summit with two OA guides orienting us to the facility. We were dropped off right at out subcamp headquarters, which saved us a bit of hiking with packs.

Once on property, we got through the registration and medical records check with hardly a delay. None of the nightmares I had about the registration process came true. Subcamp C1 staff, you did GREAT! And all you parents who were worried about health forms–we’re good! Maybe that dashboard will show 100% now.

While the boys started setting up camp (see the pictures in David’s post below), I headed to the Summit Center to deal with some programming issues. This didn’t go as smoothly. After hiking a few miles on a wild goose chase, I finally found the people I needed to talk with–not to much avail. We were able to get some of the boys who were unable to preregister for activities signed up for things they wanted to do, but we weren’t able to get fixed the one problem we had coming in. We also learned we have another schedule conflict between the Big Zip and they boys’ whitewater program on the 23rd. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose these kinds of problems should be expected to some extent, but it’s been a little frustrating having to deal with them. But we’ll deal with them, one way or another–and the boys are already off to having a great time.

The boys again worked together very well to prepare dinner (chicken breasts with bbq sauce, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, rice krispy treats and–we discovered later–cole slaw… I’m still not sure how the cooking patrol missed the cole slaw). The boys then spent most of the evening playing games in camp or jumping right into the Jamboree’s number one activity: patch trading. Wherever two or more are gathered in the name of Scouting, there is patch trading going on. Several boys went out to see what they could find. Several are already boasting about good deals and good finds. Alex already scored a patch from Hong Kong and is pretty excited about it.

And that’s after only a half-day in camp.

Tomorrow is the official opening program and dedication. The boys will spend the afternoon exploring any of the program areas they want. I’m looking forward to hearing about their adventures when we gather for dinner. But now, the lights are down, the guys are in their tents, and I’m the last adult awake in our campsite. It’s a beautiful night. Time for a cool shower and some sleep.

Yours in Scouting,

SM Mike

Watch Live Stream of Jamboree Stadium Shows

Don’t Miss the Live Stream of the Stadium Shows!

Jamboree Stadium at The Summit Bechtel ReserveThe major stadium shows for the participants at the Jamboree will be streamed live over the Internet.

July 16 at 9:00 a.m. ET and July 20 at 6:00 p.m. ET

Watch July 16 at 9:00 a.m. EST, and July 20 at 6:00 p.m. EST to catch a live stream of the 2013 National Jamboree stadium shows.

Read more about the stadium shows at Jamboree Today.

Click here for the live stream link.


2013 Jamboree Pictures and News, Day 1

Want Pictures and News About the Jamboree?

This is the most Internet-Connected Jamboree ever!

Check Out the Daily Video Newscast from Jamboree Today


Jamboree Troop C140 at Charlie Base Camp

Setting Up Camp on Day 1, July 15, 2013



Monday, July 15, 2013: Arrive at the Jamboree!

Day 1 of the Jamboree

2013-Troop-C140-PatchesOn Monday, July 15, 2013, the Great Rivers Council Jamboree Troop C140 will travel to the site of the 2013 National Jamboree.  Located at the new high-adventure base of the Boy Scouts, the Summit Bechtel Reserve, this Jamboree has been billed as high adventure like you’ve never seen before.  The Troop will have about a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to the check-in location near Mount Hope, WV.

Today’s Goals

Arrive.  Check-in.  Set up camp.  Experience as much as the Jamboree as possible!  Are you ready?  Let’s go!

More Information

Maps of the site and more information about activities are available from the Jamboree webpage.

Jambo 2013 — Day 0 SM Update

It’s the second day of our journey and tomorrow is Day 1 of Jambo 2013.

Yesterday was just a long bus ride. Guess what?! The boys love watching movies! I’m not sure we had gotten on the interstate before one of the boys asked to put in a DVD. We got through the first two Batman Dark Knight movies and most of Warm Bodies before we arrived at our destination. The boys enjoyed a meal out and a relaxing evening in the hotel–and everyone was very well behaved. There’s nothing a Scoutmaster likes more than to hear praise from the hotel staff and even some of the guests!

We started today off well with a nice breakfast at the hotel. Well, most of us did. Two guys thought the hotel clock was wrong because it was an hour fast, so they changed it back to Central time. Doh! Lesson learned and we still got to the Air Force Museum on time.

The Air Force Museum was really interesting. The boys headed off to explore with their buddies. It was a very impressive collection of aerospace vehicles. It’s amazing how they have them packed into the hangers. And almost all of them flew to their museum for their last flight. The museum is organized by the history of the Army Air Force and Air Force, starting with the Wright Brothers and the first “armed airplane–a simple plane with a sharpshooter sitting next to the pilot–all the way to the B-2 bomber. The Air Racer 3D movie seemed to be a hit as well.

After another short (couple hour) bus ride–enough to finish up Warm Bodies and and about 2/3 of the final Batman movie–we arrived at our hotel for tonight. We’re currently enjoying pizza from a local favorite restaurant (they only paused a few seconds when we ordered 21 pizzas) and having our evening Troop meeting and the patrols are doing Thorns, Roses and Buds as they eat.

We’re off to a great start with some great boys! And tomorrow is the big day…Day 1 of Jambo 2013!


Jamboree Troop C140 At the Air Force Museum

Air Force Museum

Jamboree Troop C140 at the Air Force MuseumScoutmaster Sykuta reports from the Air Force Museum:

IMAX and an awesome history of military flight and 20th Century world history. Found the plane flown by a friend’s dad in WW II.

3D Digital Theater at the Museum

 Jamboree Troop C140 in the 3D Digital Theater at the Air Force MuseumThe scheduled showing in the theater was Air Racers 3D The Ultimate Air Show Experience.

Sunday, July 14, 2013: Tour Air Force Museum and Travel

Day 2 of Travel to the Jamboree:  Tour Air Force Museum

National Museum of the United States Air ForceOn Sunday, July 14, 2013 the Great Rivers Council Jamboree Troop C140 toured the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, OH and then traveled closer to the Jamboree location at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.

 Air-Force-Museum-Cold-War-GalleryThe Air Force museum is the national institution for preserving and presenting the Air Force story.  There are more than 360 aerospace vehicles on display and more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space.

3D Digital Theater

Air-Force-MuseumTheater-bannerDuring the museum tour, the Troop viewed a movie on the 80-foot screen of the newly renovated digital movie theater.

 Travel, Supper, and Lodging

Mr-Ruppar-leaps-aboardThen, back on the bus for travel closer to the Jamboree.  Pizza is planned for supper and overnight lodging will be at a Hampton Inn.

All aboard!

QBSA Jamboree Radio Streaming Via Tune-In

QBSA Jamboree Radio Via Tune-In on the Internet

QBSA-eagleThe Jamboree radio station QBSA is now streaming through the Internet on Tune-In.  Click here for the link.

Or Use the Tune-In Radio App

You can also download the Tune-In radio app on a phone or tablet and then search for QBSA as a station.  I’ve been listening on my iPhone.

QBSA on Facebook

Follow QBSA on Facebook.

And They’re on the Road to the 2013 Jamboree!

On the Road to the Jamboree

The Great Rivers Council Bags-packed-and-ready2013 Jamboree Troop C140 departed this morning for the Jamboree from the Heart of Missouri Tourism Center in Kingdom City, MO.

It’s in the Bag and on the Bus

  • 29 Scouts
  • 4 Adult Leaders
  • 33 duffel bags
  • 33 day packs
  • 1 rock for the Summit Fire Ring
  • 33 Personal First Aid Kits
  • 11 pounds of Tootsie rolls
  • 1 rubber chicken (every trip needs one; what’s not funny about a rubber chicken?)
  • Even more stuff…
  • And high expectations!

Look at all the Photographers

C140-photographersSmile!  They’re on the way.  And a special thanks to Taylor Thorne for his photography and making the images available to participants and their families.

What’s on the Menu at the 2013 Jamboree?

Wondering About Food at the 2013 National Jamboree?Summit-menu

Check out the menu on the National Jamboree webpage.  For example, supper on the first night includes grilled chicken with corn on the cob topped off with Rice Krispies Treats.

Summit-menu-breakfastA typical breakfast  will provide plenty of fuel to start any day of Jamboree adventure.



And lunches are packed to carry in the day pack and are ready to eat at any time.