After three long years of fundraising, yard work, service, and even 72 hours of paperwork, Troop 3338 from the Utah National Parks Council earned the right to go to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.
Troop 3338’s contingent of 36 boys and four leaders were mostly from Monticello, Utah, but three of the boys in the troop — Jacob Andrew, Dallin Stucki, and Duncan Clark — are from Moab.
Before they arrived at the Jamboree, they toured the Washington D.C area for four days. But as they finally got to the Jamboree, they realized, with much sobbing, that all the air conditioning on the tour bus would be missed. The first few days in West Virginia have been super-hot and humid, but the Scouts agree that the amount of fun has been worth it.
During the Jamboree, the aquatic activities seem to be the most popular.
Just recently, the Jamboree has had very special visitors. On Saturday night, July 22, Inky Johnson, a former football player who had an accident back in 2006, spoke to the group. He said that he was fine with it.
“I know how tough life is. And if you just keep on quitting and quitting and giving up all the time then you won’t stand a chance against life. And you don’t quit just because you think it’s too hard or you think you’ll never be able to do it. No. You quit because you forget why you were doing it in the first place,” Johnson told the group. “Never forget why.”
His inspiring speech touched the hearts of all the Scouts in the crowd. In addition to Johnson, the band X Ambassadors played four of their most popular songs. Before the final one, the lead singer cried out, “This song is about sharing our differences and that we do not have to be afraid to let them show! We are all weird and unalike. But that doesn’t mean that we are not equals! Dot not be scared to show the world who you really are!”
President Donald Trump also visited the Jamboree on Monday, July 24, giving a 40-minute speech to the Scouts.
The day before, on Sunday, July 23, LDS church apostle Jeffrey R. Holland addressed a congregation of about 2,200 gathered in the arena. He encouraged the boys to use their priesthood to teach, serve and heal others.
“[The members of] Troop 3338 are just thrilled to be here. But we all know that the 10-day jamboree will soon end (on Friday, July 29),” troop members said, adding that they are determined to do as many activities as they can before then.
When they leave it may be all over for this year, but the next Jamboree in 2019 is going to be even bigger. It’s the 2019 World Jamboree where Scouts from Europe, China, Australia, Mexico and other countries all over the globe will attend.