OA facilitates journal program with National Geographic Explorer Paul Salopek

By Anthony Peluso and Cory Johnson

During the jamboree, Trek Guides are responsible for guiding 25,000 participants to the top of Garden Ground Mountain, where they then enjoy the program areas at the top. Along the trail, they will lead 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. However, the Trek Guides’ responsibility goes beyond simply getting Scouts to the summit of the Summit Bechtel Reserve!

This year, Trek Guides have been tasked in leading an initiative to make the hike up Garden Ground Mountain even more memorable. During unit arrival day, every participant received a journal to document their experience over the next two weeks. In that journal, there are several questions specifically related to their unit’s trek. 

On the trail, each Trek Guide will have the unit stop several times and reflect on their natural surroundings, as well as the deeper meaning of being a servant leader and the principles on which the Boy Scouts of America was founded. While doing so, Trek Guides encourage units to document their thoughts in the journal so that they can later review and reference them.

Two Scouts or Venturers will have the opportunity to join National Geographic Explorer Paul Salopek for two days on his trek in Asia. Applicants must attend either the 2017 National Jamboree or a 2017 trek at Philmont Scout Ranch, and write an essay about the value of slowing down to absorb one’s surroundings, record milestones from their jamboree or Philmont experience, and finish other Out of Eden Walk tasks.

One Scout has already joined Salopek on his walk; you can read about Boy Scout Nicholas Fahy’s September 2016 walk with Paul in Uzbekistan. For more information, you can also read Bryan on Scouting’s blog entry about this opportunity.

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