Whether you staffed jamboree, attended with a unit, or you didn't attend at all this year, you may find yourself asking, “What was it like every day at the 2017 National Jamboree?” Depending on the staff group, Arrowmen performed a variety of duties -- and had a multitude of opportunities to have some fun. They relied on the Operation Arrow app for essential staff information and notifications. Each day began with the walk over to the dining hall to eat breakfast, socialize, grab a Summit-2-Go lunch and head off to help fuel Scouting’s adventure. Most days, this meant staff needed to wear their zesty blue polo and Scout shorts.
Service Corps members each had a chapter meeting to receive assignments for the day. As a Service Corps member, Arrowmen had to opportunity to see every part of the jamboree. They helped any program area that needed a cheerful servant leader to ensure the participants had an amazing experience. They met more people, did more things, and had a more holistic experience than any other staff member or participant at the jamboree. Service Corps members exemplified the OA’s devotion to “service with a smile,” providing tens of thousands of service hours.
Trek Guides had a chapter meeting, then led units up Garden Ground Mountain. Along the trail, Trek Guides led their contingent in trail-side chats to facilitate conversation with hikers about the rich West Virginia wilderness and how sustainability has helped shape the Summit Bechtel Reserve into the high adventure base it is today. Trek Guides and participants were encouraged to document their thoughts and feelings in a journal over the course of their hike. While the units enjoyed the program elements on top of the summit, their guides had the chance to cool off and enjoy the view before leading the unit down the mountain.
Indian Village staff made their way up to Garden Ground Mountain after breakfast to set-up for the participants. They supervised hands-on learning stations that allowed participants to gain a deeper appreciation of American Indian culture and traditions. The stations depicted the lifestyle of the Shawnee tribe, which is native to the area.
Aerial Sports Team members provided ground-based support to the jamboree’s climbing sports experience. These roles included organization and care of equipment, managing participant flow, and fitting participants harnesses to ensure thousands of Scouts and Scouters have a safe aerial adventure.
Medical Transport Corps staff provided non-emergency medical transportation throughout the Summit Bechtel Reserve. This adult arrowmen staff undertook first-aid missions in support of jamboree staff, participants and visitors to make an essential and substantial impact on the event.
After each staff member’s program area duties were concluded, they enjoyed dinner and regrouped before the evening program began. They may have headed over to Action Point and visit the OA exhibit. This was a good time to check the app to take the daily survey, grab a quick shower, throw in a load of laundry and cool off. At the beginning, middle and end of the week the evening featured inspiring gatherings. Other evening events included region gatherings and participating in daily reflections led by chapter chiefs.
The 2017 National Jamboree was an unforgettable experience. Justin St. Louis, jamboree vice chief (JVC) of the Program Committee, expressed, “A deep commitment to leadership in service is what makes us Arrowmen; at the jamboree, Operation Arrow staff not only epitomized these values, but inspired all jamboree participants to do the same. As a member of the Operation Arrow team, we had the opportunity to participate in inspirational and captivating events for fellowship and entertainment; a staple of the experience available to each staffer. While fueling Scouting’s adventure, we connected with Arrowmen from across the nation in an environment that will surely foster new life lasting friendships and powerful bonds of brotherhood.”
With more program areas this time around, and many staff improvements from 2013, there was plenty of reason for us all to be excited to fuel Scouting’s adventure throughout the jamboree and beyond. Thanks to the staff who were a crucial part of Operation Arrow’s success!