Scouts on Assignment: Robert Slater's Wrap-Up
THE WRAP-UP: AUGUST 4-AUGUST 7
The National Boy Scout Jamboree was very fulfilling. I met many people from many places, I experienced many new and exciting activities, and saw many exciting and inspiring programs. The program were fun, the people were nice and the food... Well let's focus on the good stuff shall we? Don't worry if you ever get to go to the Jamboree, you can find good food but it will cost extra.
The two arena shows were fun. Activities such as scuba diving and air-rifles were some of my personal favorites. I also enjoyed collecting the various “Rockers” – small badges that go around the Jamboree insignia patch on my scout uniform. At the Jamboree I actually didn't earn any merit badges, I was too busy doing the fun stuff. I guess that was the biggest surprise to me, I really anticipated that being at scout camp for almost two weeks, I would have plenty of time to earn lots of merit badges. Oh well, guess I will have to get to work on those when I get home.
After Jamboree ended, we toured the Washington, D.C., area before heading back to Cleveland. First we went to Kings Dominion, a water park. This was a very "refreshing day" and it provided a much needed shower! (What? Would you want to take a shower in the middle of an open field with only plastic walls covering the sides and an open top with helicopters flying overhead?)
The next day we had a tour of the recreation villages of our country's founding cities, Jamestown and Yorktown. This was another day filled with opportunities to experience how it was to live in the 1600s. However, what made me really appreciate what the early settlers went through even more was the fact that it reached 105 degrees on this day and we had no place to go to cool off, even our bus' air conditioning wasn't working so the ride back to the hotel was very, very long.
After that, on Friday, August 6, we went to the Baltimore Inner Harbor and the National Aquarium. I really liked the sharks and the visit to the National Aquarium was timely because ever since we "returned to civilization" on Wednesday (we slept in a hotel and had beds and electricity for the first time in 10 days) we watched the Discovery Channel and it was Shark Week.
I am sitting here writing this story eating Ramen noodles with two pens for chop sticks since there was no silverware in the room. I guess this just shows you how resourceful you can learn to be by doing without all of life's luxuries for 10 days.
The final leg of our journey will include a ride on a scenic railroad in Cumberland, Maryland. I can't tell you more about it now as that is tomorrow's adventure. After we are done with our ride on the train, we load up the four touring buses headed for Cleveland and head home; it should only take about 9 hours. We are expected to arrive at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 8, thus ending my Jamboree experience.
However, with luck, I hope this was not my last Jamboree. (Mom, Dad, did I happen to mention the World Jamboree in Sweden next year? Please?)