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Boy Scout Jamboree

July 29, 2010

1)	Scouts scurry to find shelter during an afternoon thunderstorm at the 2010 Boy Scout National Jamboree

Mother Nature’s power was felt today at the National Scout Jamboree. The beautifully fresh morning air slowly gave way to a thick humidity by noon. Loud speakers heralded the potential for thunderstorm with micro burst. Within minutes cumulus clouds formed overhead, then sudden strikes of lightning sent claps of thunder along with pouring rain down upon the scurrying crowd.

Denny Mattison, US Forest Service, tells scout how water from sudden rains can damage ecosystems

Jamboree activities virtually were at a standstill as every tent and shelter housed bodies packed like sardines. The strong often horizontal winds drove heavy rain into the open sided tents. At times the only thing that prevented the rain from reaching the center of the tent was the bodies of people squeezing as far inside as possible. Some were prepared to brave the rain, but no one wanted to challenge those hefty bolts of lightning.

After the storm had passed and dust abated, the temperature and humidity dropped to comfortable levels and the air smelled clean and clear. With the exception of dealing with muddy roads and fields, activities at every venue returned to a more normal pace. The type of downpour the scouts just experienced can have devastating effects on the landscape. Flash floods can send torrents of water down mountainsides causing significant erosion and casing mud or landslides.

Scouts are challenged by the enormity of natural resource decisions and options as the make their way along the Decision Trail in the Jamboree National Forest at the 2010 Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.

At the Conservation USA venue Denny Mattison, a Forest Service employee from the Northern Research Station in Pennsylvania, tells a group of scouts about how the natural precipitation action can cause serious harm to the local environment. Denny’s model uses a manufactured substance to best resemble actual rock, gravel and sand found in various quantities in a verity of locations. The model is designed to allow water to flow unimpeded down the river canyon to simulate the type of damage that could be caused in a natural event.

Across the square Richard Heaslip, a Forest Service retiree volunteer, shows Boy Scouts how products are used to build up eroded stream and river banks. The materials help prevent the soil from washing away and allow plant roots to penetrate holes in the material to help secure the soil like reinforcement webbing. Scouts learn that this type of ecological restoration assists in the recovery and resilience of National Forest System land.



US Forest Service
Last modified August 05, 2010

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