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Boy Scout Jamboree

August 2, 2010

Will Winter handles a log hoisted by a block and tackle and swung into position. Managing timber is still a big business on National Forest Lands and the BSA Jamboree

There are so many parallel goals and missions between the Boy Scouts of America and those of the Forest Service it is difficult to know where to start counting. One solid joint goal it to get kids outdoors and into the natural world. The Boy Scout National Jamboree is filled with activities that help teach young people how to cope with the challenges of being without the everyday comforts of home and relying on brain power and muscles to overcome them. But, it doesn’t take long for kids to realize this stuff is fun too.  Once they get over the initial nervousness and uncertainty they begin to like being tested. For them, there is a great deal of satisfaction with every accomplishment achieved.

The Forest Service recognizes this, and has set up the Jamboree National Forest, Merit Badge Midway and Conservation Educations venues to promote success. Beyond the obvious need to replace Forest Service employees when they retire or move on to other jobs it is important that people like the work they are doing. Studies show that if introduced early enough in life, young adults will likely choose a profession they have had success in as a youth.

Additionally, it just plain makes science to get kids outdoors to enjoy all that natures offer them. National Forests have opportunities for almost limitless adventure, excitement, and recreation. One of the parallel adventures at the Jamboree experienced by Cub Scout Will Winter of Northport, Alabama was the handling of logs to build a log cabin. Will saw how machinery works to lift logs and he helped place a log in the proper spot in the cabin.

“The log was heavy, but I could push it around real easy,” Will said. “Our family has 300 acres and we grow trees there,” he said.

Patrick Ramey left his wheelchair behind for a while to  experience the freedom of kayaking a lake at the Boy Scout National Jamboree in Virginia.

Overcoming a disability can be daunting. But the rewards can be sweet. Patrick Ramey from Texarkana, Texas was a bit apprehensive when he first thought to take a ride in a Kayak all by himself. The Jamboree gave him the opportunity to learn how to remain stable and maneuver the kayak under the careful guidance of an instructor. Other than the challenge of getting in and out of the craft, Patrick’s disability had little impact on his freedom on the surface of a lake.

“I could paddle around just as good as my buddy,” Patrick said. We went to the other side of the lake and back together,” he said.

A few more trips like that and Patrick will feel comfortable going to any number of National Forest with lakes and feel confident he can leave his wheel chair behind and enjoy the great outdoors without it.




US Forest Service
Last modified August 05, 2010

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