Nearly 43,000 scouts from 127 countries attended the 24th World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia last month, including Montrose scouts.
Local Montrose scouters, Wayne Quade (USFS Ret.) and Tate Curtis, currently employed by the USFS in Delta, were among the 9,200 volunteer-staff members. They served in the Conservation area. Quade is a committee member of the Majestic Mountain District of the Western Colorado Council and served as a Recycle Ranger. Tate is an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 491 sponsored by the Montrose Elks Lodge No. 1053 and served at the USFS display.
The United States, Mexico and Canada co-hosted this year’s event at the new permanent Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve located on 24,000 acres near Beckley, West Virginia. The Boy Scouts of America, Scouts Canada, and the Asociación de Scouts de Mexico shared the hosting duties.
The Reserve borderlands maintained by the National Park Service, including the New River Gorge National River, which were the sites for many of the outdoor activities, such as archery, canopy tours, paddle-boarding, mountain biking, canoeing, zip lines, and climbing.
“Other members of scouting from Western Colorado included Cristian Joya, as the chief of staff for the Visitor Experience Department together with IT Director Jack Huggard,” said Clay Campbell, district chairman of the Gunnison, Delta, Telluride and Montrose areas. He was one of the day-visitors at the Jamboree. “Both of these young men are involved with Troop 201 in Aspen, as well as Sea Scout No. 30 based in Western Colorado.”
Lyn Bair, principal of Roaring Fork High School and former council commissioner for Western Colorado served as a greeter to the day-visitors. Bob Amick, retired from CU Boulder and a Sea Scouter from Meeker also attended as a day-visitor, Campbell also said.
Quade said the staff members arrived early in order to attend the “Youth Protection-Safe from Harm” training, which all staff members were required to attend, as well as train for their respective jobs and to meet their team members.
“This year’s Jamboree site consisted of six major hub areas subdivided into sub-sections devoted to large camping areas with rows of tents from various countries mixed together to encourage mingling,” he said, describing the site camping layout.
Other venues included a huge main show arena, a World Scout Village with international exhibits, an International Food Court, Faith and Belief areas, scouting partners and organizational booths as well, as all the outdoor activity areas.
NASA, Rotary International, the STEM program, United Nations Exhibits, Human Rights, Adventure Trails, Leave No Trace, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, several sustainability programs, and the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) were all represented as well.
In addition to the large number of scouts, ages 14-17, from around the world attending the event and the volunteer adult staff members, 16,000 day-visitors also attended the 12-day event; 94 youth and adult leaders from Colorado participated.
“It is tremendously inspiring to see kids from every country of the world coming together, learning from each other, dialoging, sharing their cultures and having fun,” Quade said.
He was also impressed by the support from the National Guard, Army medics, volunteer doctors and nurses, and other support staff. At each hub sub-section there were medical facilities and a listening “ear” where kids could go to talk, bring up problems, and be listened to. The listening “ear” and medical facilities were open 24 hours a day.
This is the fourth World Jamboree Quade has attended, which occur every four years in a different country. He has served on the staff in the U.S., Great Britain, Japan, and Sweden. Quade remembers seeing the King of Sweden, wearing his scout uniform, visiting with different troops at the Sweden Jamboree. Quade said he is looking forward to attending the next World Jamboree in South Korea.
“World Scouting is the world’s largest peace movement and fosters personal friendships and mutual understanding among the youth of the world,” Quade said.
“The Messengers of Peace Initiative, now under the World Organization of the Scout Movement, encourages Scouts worldwide to do peace projects when they get back to their own countries. Some of the amazing projects have been organizing former child warriors into a scouting unit, landmine location efforts, and many hurricane and drought relief efforts.”
As a Recycle Ranger, Quade worked with leaders of the different troops to sort their trash at the campsites and recycle cardboard. One of the highlights of his duties was taking a tour of the local county landfill before the scouts arrived. He was especially impressed with the landfill’s “Last Chance Store,” which offered items for sale that were still useful.
The store supported the enclosed viewing area and educational programs about recycling. At the end of the Jamboree, boxes were set out in every restroom to collect items the scouts didn’t want to take home, such as extra camping items, clothing, and boots. These were donated to the Last Chance Store for resale.
Quade also commented on the meal preparation by the scouts. Each day, the troop meal teams would bring a wagon to the Supply Store and pick up the ingredients for that day’s meals. The teams would then be able to prepare their own cultural food at the campsites on the propane stoves that were provided.
He also enjoyed hearing the music at the different venues, especially the Air Force Jazz Band, and music from the different countries.
“I’m just continually amazed at the extent of the World Scout Movement and the feeling of brotherhood,” Quade added.