The National Jamboree is the biggest Scouting event of the year in the country. Over 15,000 Scouts attended the event from July 19-28 this year at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in Glen Jean, West Virginia. As a way to help plan and execute all the activities the jamboree had to offer, Arrowmen applied to join the Operation Arrow program. This was a unique opportunity for Arrowmen to serve others while experiencing all that jamboree had to offer.
Operation Arrow provided various opportunities for Arrowmen to serve the jamboree program. Arrowmen helped facilitate the Summit Apex Program and served their peers through the Service Corps. This year’s Jamboree was the first that Arrowmen led the Summit Apex program. Without their help, the program would not have been so successful.
Arrowmen's volunteerism served as a crucial component of the event. At the end of the two weeks, 310 Arrowmen provided over 10,000 hours of service to the National Scout Jamboree. Service Corps Jamboree Vice Chief Collin Welke said,
“The Jamboree simply would not run without it. Many of the program areas reported back to us saying that they would not be able to run their program without the OA’s assistance in setting up and running their programs.”
Since 1958, The OA Service Corps has cheerfully provided service to jamborees. The best part of this program is that all Arrowmen are encouraged to join; it is an opportunity for everyone to learn and work together.
Additionally, Collin said,
“Operation Arrow is truly a life-changing experience. It is such an incredible experience to be an important part of the Jamboree Service Team, making the whole Jamboree happen for tens of thousands of Scouts.”
Arrowmen also organized Summit Apex, an exciting new addition to the 2023 National Jamboree. Over 2,500 Scouts and Scouters attended a special afternoon program featuring games, activities, and team-building exercises each day. It concluded in the evening with a powerful show featuring pyrotechnics, games, and a special performance by AY Young! Summit Apex was designed to showcase the fact that everyone has their own story and that it is vital to share that unique story with others. For many, Summit Apex was the highlight of their Jamboree experience.
Ultimately, Operation Arrow was an outstanding way for Arrowmen to serve others beyond their lodges and sections. Arrowmen dressed in zesty blue uniforms carried out the values of service, brotherhood, and leadership. They shined as figures of inspiration to all Jamboree attendees and exemplified the incredible opportunities offered in the OA. The program is a life-changing experience that will secrete leadership skills and create bonds at the national level. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become a member of Operation Arrow next time Jamboree rolls around!