Saturday, August 7, 2010

Recalling The National Scout Jamboree---Got GORP?

Below is a short rhyme in honor of Scouting and an often used energy source on our many campouts and backpack treks. But first a brief recap of our recent Jamboree experience in the company of about 45,000 other Scouts and Scout leaders at Fort A.P. Hill near Fredericksburg, VA.

After three years of planning, nearly two years of monthly meetings, two preparatory campouts and hours of gateway construction, patch sewing and packing, Jamboree Troop 640 of the Golden Empire Council left for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree on July 22 and put it in the history books on August 4.

Our departure from Sacramento on July 22 went smoothly after meeting at the Sacramento International Airport at 0430 hours for a 0600 departure. We began our four days of almost non-stop touring of the Washington DC area virtually as soon as we picked up our 40 matching black duffel bags at Washington's Reagan Airport. There were memorials and monuments galore along the full length of the 1.9 mile Capitol Mall, followed by a tour of the Capitol, the National Archives, several Smithsonian museums.

At Arlington Cemetery we watched the changing of the guard and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We couldn't leave the capital without a stop at the National Boy Scout Memorial where a baby bald eagle also stopped by as if to acknowledge our current and future Eagle Scouts. Rounding out three full days of touring in the capital was a special viewing of the evening parade at the Marine Barracks at 8th and I Streets, presented by the "President's Own" band and Drum and Buggle Corps.

Capping our pre-Jamboree touring was a morning stop a Jamestown, an action packed afternoon and evening at Busch Gardens and a tour of Williamsburg before our leaving for Fort A.P. Hill. We arrived at the Jamboree site amidst tight security and set up our home away from home for the next ten days. Reveille at 0530 hours daily and Taps at 2200 hours set the official boundaries of waking and sleeping, although the sleeping part seemed to last much shorter than the clock would indicate. Days were filled with patch trading, meeting Scouts from all over the U.S. and several visiting country delegations, outstanding arena shows, meals at camp and an occasional shower to counteract the products of heat, humidity and dust.

Even the last night did not disappoint as a lightning storm blew in just after 0300 hours to give us a good soaking as we slept under the stars on our last night in camp. Seemingly working in concert, a sister storm in the Chicago area delayed all flights, including our flight out of Reagan National Airport and our connecting flight out of Chicago. Nonetheless, after visiting the Marine Corps Museum at Quantico and the First President's Mount Vernon home, we arrived back home, minus our duffels at midnight August 4th. Despite the no doubt quickly fermenting laundry in our baggage, the misrouted duffels remained in luggage limbo for two more days. From what we could tell, the delivery agent simply dropped the bags at each house, rang the doorbell and ran.

All in all, the 2010 National Scout Jamboree was a memorable celebration of the first century of Scouting in the U.S. and the final National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, VA. The next National Jamboree will will held in 2013 at the Boy Scouts of America's new Jamboree location at the Bechtel Summit in West Virginia. Planning is already underway for the next Jamboree and the next century of Scouting.

By Bill Kirk

Some Good Old-fashioned Raisins
And Peanuts—that’s for me.
When hiking in the mountains,
It boosts my energy.

Yes, GORP is what they call it—
A strange, odd-sounding name.
But who cares what it sounds like?
I’d eat it just the same.

I’d munch GORP in the morning
In oatmeal, with a spoon,
And later, by the hand full,
I’d nibble some at noon.

I’d scarf it from a baggie—
Or snag it from a sack.
It’s chewy and it’s crunchy;
Just perfect for a snack.

So, when your “let’s get going”
Has gotten up and gone,
Your energy is flagging—
There’s no more forging on;

Forget about your manners
If consciousness goes warp!
Quick! Guzzle down some fluids
And grub a little GORP.

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