Extraordinary Experience!

Scouts, Leaders and Parents,

Mrs. Martin and I finally returned home from the National Jamboree last night.  It really began a few weeks ago at the beginning of a work trip.  I left for Las Vegas and then flew all night to Boston.  Sherry flew the late night trip out of Phoenix to meet up with me at 6:00 am.  We traveled to the hotel, changed and headed out.  We linked up with the Freedom Trail a few blocks from the hotel.  After a couple of miles we arrived at the Old North Church precisely as Troop 2017 arrived. We were the first group to arrive for the service that morning.  It gave us a chance to talk and take a few pictures before settling into our boxes’.  The church was constructed in the 1730’s and there are no traditional pews.  Rather, there are individual boxes, each with 45″ walls and doors with brass name plaques.  The boxes seat between four to eight parishioners.  We attended the service,  said our goodbyes and the Troop headed for the bus.  Sherry and I had lunch and finally headed back to the hotel and bed around noon .

My next trip landed me in Washington D.C.  My brother in law picked me up and we met up with the Troop at the Holiday Inn.  I met Mr. Butler and he directed me to Kyle’s room where all the 648′ boys were relaxing after their swim.  I spent an hour listening to their experiences.  They all seemed to be having a great time.

On Wednesday Sherry and I flew to Washington had a family dinner and headed to Fredericksburg Virginia for the night.  The next morning we headed to Walmart for two barrels of Cheese Balls, not wanting to show up empty handed, and headed for the Jamboree.  Guest hours were scheduled from 9am to 5pm.  So, we arrived precisely  at 9:00.  Made it through the front gate and sat at the end of six miles of traffic for an hour.  After the traffic began to move we made it to our parking spot in and hour and a half.  But, fortunately the way we were routed, away from the main parking area, we ended up only half mile from the Troop camp site. We met up with the boys and leaders, talked and laughed for some time.  We sat though a down pour that afternoon so we didn’t venture very far from camp.  We visited, saw a few things and walked around with the 468′ boys for a bit.

The next morning we arrived earlier and ended up in the main parking area in the center of camp.  I’m sure that you have heard the numbers in attendance.  The size of the Jamboree was remarkable.  Fort AP Hill is 25 square miles.  They have a well organized bus system.  With a transfer we were able to get to the camp site quickly.  As we were approaching the bus stop there was Kyle, Mikey, Michael Harness, and few other boys walking towards us.  We spoke to them briefly as they were off to class.  we made it to the camp site and met up with Shawn, Kevin Cole and Conner.  We headed off the the Shot Gun range.  After the shoot we headed off to the Arena area, the center of the action. After spending a couple of hours touring around and the boys had lunch.  They eat breakfast and dinner in camp, and lunch out.  They have a plastic chit that they use for lunch.  There are lunch stations located through out the entire camp.  They simply walk up to one and hand over their chit for a lunch.  The arena was enormous.  It reminded of a very large rock venue, complete with stage and sound system and room for 75,000. When we arrived that morning we followed eight semi-trucks from Walmart.  As we approached the arena they were just leaving.  They had delivered 140 six foot high pallets of water.  They were evenly dispersed in the arena area for the next evenings event.   They had delivered four bottles of water for each person attending last nights event.   What organization!

The boys finished their lunch, we visited for a while and parted ways.  I stood there for a few moments marveling at what was going on around me.  There were tens of thousands of Scouts and Leaders on either side of me.  I met and shook hands with so many friendly people that day.  It was like I was standing in and enormous crowd of people that I have known my entire life.

Sherry and I made our way through the crowd and and were heading for a break in the stand of pines separating the parking lot and there stood Kyle, Mikey and JR.  They were trading patches with a scout from Hong Kong.  That experience was typical of our luck throughout the entire trip.  We finally made it home last night.

We have many pictures that we will share.

Take care and God Bless………Mr. Martin