2017 National Jamboree Registration Now Open for Staff and Attendees


Posted on May 28, 2015 by 

Where can you get the best of Scouting in one place?

At the 2017 National Jamboree, set for July 19 to 28, 2017.

Jamborees are one of the Boy Scouts of America’s coolest traditions. They’ve been around since 1937, and they just get better every four years.

Jamborees are a place to make new friends, to experience adrenaline-raising activities, to attend high-energy stadium shows, to trade patches with Scouts from across the country, to explore the stunning high-adventure playground called the Summit Bechtel Reserve and to unite with tens of thousands of fellow Scouts and Scouters.


2017 National Jamboree registration is now open. Get ready, because 2017 will be here before you can say “Live Scouting’s Adventure.”

Who is eligible to attend?

Most Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, Venturers and adult leaders are eligible to experience the unforgettable excitement of the 2017 National Jamboree.

For Scouts, you must be a First Class Scout and at least 12 years old by the first day of the Jamboree (July 19, 2017) or an 11-year-old who has graduated the sixth grade.

A boy born on or before July 19, 2005, will be 12 by jamboree time.

There’s an upper limit, too. To be a Boy Scout participant, you can’t have reached your 18th birthday by the last day of the Jamboree (July 28, 2017).

If your Scout will be too old, he could consider serving on staff.

Go here for more eligibility requirements for participants, including Venturers.

Who is eligible to be on staff?

Serving on staff is a rewarding experience that lets you help make a young man or young woman’s jamboree experience one they’ll never forget. It’s not all work, though. You’ll get plenty of time to enjoy the jamboree fun.

Go here for eligibility requirements for staff.

How much does it cost?

These are the participant fees. Your council may roll in transportation costs, gear costs, and additional pre- or post-jamboree tours that would increase the fee.

Youth participants: $975
Unit leaders ages 18-25 through July 18, 2017: $487.50, after which the fee for all adult leaders becomes that for 26+ indicated below
Unit leaders age 26+: $975

These are the staff fees. Staff are expected to provide their own transportation to the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017) — Full jamboree
Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017) — First half
Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017) — Second half
Fees are structured to support these three sessions.

Staff fees for the 2017 National Scout Jamboree will be as follows:

For staff ages 16-25 through July 18, 2017:

Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017) $425
Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017) $425
Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017) $425

For staff ages 26+ on or after July 19, 2017:

Session 1 (July 15-29, 2017) $850
Session 2 (July 15-22, 2017) $425
Session 3 (July 22-29, 2017) $425

How do I register?

There are two basic ways to experience a jamboree, and both are great. You can attend as a youth or adult participant, or you can serve on staff.

Either way, you’re guaranteed the time of your life.

Registration happens electronically. Go here and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll just need to link your BSA membership to your Summit account. To do so you’ll need your last name, date of birth and BSA member ID number.

If you’re registering as a participant (youth or adult), you’ll print your “Request to Attend Form” upon completion of the application. Parents, fill that out and take it to your local council for the next step.

What’s a jamboree troop?

Your council will help you find a jamboree troop, which is different from your regular troop but may be composed of some or all of the members of your regular troop.

Jamboree troops include 36 Scouts or Venturers and four adults. (Yes, Venturers, including female Venturers, are invited.)

Let’s say your troop has 36 Scouts who want to attend the 2017 National Jamboree. Those 36 would comprise one jamboree troop. Or maybe your troop has 10 Scouts who want to go. Those 10 would be matched with 26 Scouts from other home troops to form a jamboree troop. Perhaps your Scout is the only one from his troop who can attend the jamboree. No problem! He’ll join 35 fellow Scouts for an awesome time at the jamboree.

No matter how a troop is formed, lifetime friendships will develop within and between troops.

What’s new for staff?

Here’s what the SBR team says will be different for staff at the 2017 National Jamboree:

Transportation: Staff transportation will be enhanced. Assuming a reasonable level of fitness, no staff member will be required to walk longer than 30 minutes between their place of lodging and their assigned work station.

Time off:  Sufficient staff will be recruited and schedules developed to ensure staff members receive at least the equivalent of one full day off during the jamboree. Staff work hours will allow them the opportunity to visit and enjoy other areas of the jamboree outside their assigned work area. Provisions will be made for those desiring to explore the local area surrounding the jamboree during their day off.

Communications: A robust communications strategy will be developed and executed to keep staff members informed from the date they register as a staff member through the last day of the jamboree.

Lunch: We will make modifications to enhance the number and variety of lunch choices consistent with the requirement to maintain a “shelf stable” lunch menu given the demands of the site. We will provide supplemental items for our staff members in the more active program areas to ensure an appropriate level of caloric content for their anticipated level of activity.

Lodging: While capacity constraints of The Summit prevent the offering of two-person tent accommodations, staff members will be provided the opportunity to preselect their tentmates up to one month prior to the jamboree.

Staff Village: The staff village(s) will be designed to provide an area in which staff members can relax, recreate, and refresh themselves in the company of other staff members. Retail food and beverage stands will be incorporated in this design as well as an area for athletic competition.

Showers: We will explore options to increase water temperature; however, any solution will have to be consistent with our sustainability focus of conserving water and energy.

Laundry service: Laundry service will continue to be available for staff members desiring it.

Staff photos: Official staff photos of individual teams will be taken and staff members will have the opportunity to purchase photos of their choosing.

Learn more

Check out the official jamboree site for more details and get ready to Live Scouting’s Adventure!

Wood Badge Collector’s Item – CSPs Signed by National “Key 3″ + 1

This is a unique mint Wood Badge Council Shoulder Patch (CSP) set for course N2-640-15-1, Wood Badge for Leaders in Hispanic Communities. This is the first time that a bilingual Wood Badge course is taught in the east coast of the United States.

The set includes four CSPs:

  • Ax and the Log (White Mylar Border) signed by Dr. Robert Gates, BSA President
  • Two Wood Badge beads (Blue Mylar Border) signed by Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive (12th Chief Scout Executive)
  • Three Wood Badge beads (Green Mylar Border) signed by Tico Perez, National Commissioner
  • Four Wood Badge beads signed by Michael Surbaugh, scheduled to take over as 13th Chief Scout Executive in October 2015 

The wording on this set is bilingual, It says “WOOD BADGE” and “Insignia de Madera” (Wood Badge in Spanish).

The sets were signed by Michael Surbaugh on May 19, 2015 and by the National Key 3 on May 20,2015. The set comes with a authenticity statement signed by Irving Quiles, Course Director, and Jose Nino, National Executive Board Member. Both of the individuals were the ones who obtained the signatures.

It will be hard to find another WOOD BADGE CSP set signed by the National Key 3, and an incoming Chief Scout Executive.

Funding from this sell will support camperships for Scouters who will be taking the course.

You can find the link at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wood-Badge-CSP-Set-Signed-National-Key-3-and-Incoming-Chief-Scout-Executive-/231572839855

Bringing Merit Badge Pamphlets to the 21st Century

Posted on May 23, 2015 by Bryan Wendell

This is an exciting time to be a Scout.

The Boy Scouts of America just released its first wave of interactive digital merit badge pamphlets, and they’re insanely cool.

Starting now, Boy Scouts (and troop leaders and merit badge counselors) can download digital versions of the pamphlets for Cooking, First Aid, Animation and Robotics merit badges. More are coming soon (see the list below).

These digital pamphlets are the same price as their print siblings ($4.99), but you get so much more for your money. In addition to everything in the paper versions, Scouts who use the digital versions get:

  • Videos, including “how-to” clips, career bios, virtual tours and multimedia experiences
  • Search, so you can find what you need quickly
  • Simulations, animations, photo slideshows and graphics
  • Interactive Q&A’s

A look inside

What’s it like inside an interactive digital merit badge pamphlet? I took an inside look in the video below.

No, I mean literally. I shrunk myself down and went inside an iPad to check these things out. Take a look:

Which merit badges are becoming digital?

These are the first four, out now:

  • Animation
  • Cooking
  • First Aid
  • Robotics

The next wave of four should be out in July:

  • Communications
  • Digital Technology
  • Family Life
  • Personal Fitness

Then the next wave should debut in September:

  • Camping
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Swimming

And another wave is expected in December.

Where can I learn more?

You can consider Boys’ Life to be your hub for all things related to these interactive digital merit badges pamphlets. Bookmark this page to find FAQs, links to buy the interactive digital merit badge pamphlets, sample videos and more great content than our old buddy Pedro could shake his tail at.

How do I buy these awesome things?

Purchase Details

Animation Merit Badge Requirements Released

Posted on May 19, 2015 by Bryan Wendell

Pick up your pencils, Scouts, because the Animation merit badge is finally here.

Drawing from the wisdom of animators who have worked at Disney, Dreamworks and EA Sports, the BSA has created a merit badge sure to please any young man with an interest in making art come to life.

Requirements were released this week, officially making the Animation MB the BSA’s 136th current merit badge. (That count doesn’t include the Computers merit badge, which was retired at the end of 2014. See the full list here.)

Boy Scouts who earn this one will plan and create animation using two different techniques. They’ll tour an animation studio or business where animation is used. They’ll explore careers in animation.

Along the way, a spark will be ignited within Scouts that could lead some to pursue a career in animation. Will a recipient of the Animation MB some day work on the next Pixar hit or videogame phenomenon?

The odds are pretty good.

In writing the Animation MB pamphlet — available at Scout shops and ScoutStuff.org — the BSA turned to experts including the dean of the School of Digital Media at the Savannah College of Art and Design, an award-winning director/writer best known for his comedic animated shorts, and an art director for EA Sports who worked on the Madden series of videogames. Meet these and other pamphlet writers below.

One other fun fact about the pamphlet: If you turn it on its side and flip the pages, you see a cool, flipbook-style animation. Check it out!

What’s the patch design?

The patch design shows an animator’s disk — a light table used to create hand-drawn two-dimensional animations. On it is a bouncing blue ball that conveys motion — a key part of animation. Drawing a bouncing ball is typically among the first projects a student must master when learning to become an animator.

Animation merit badge requirements

1.   General knowledge. Do the following:

a. In your own words, describe to your counselor what animation is.

b. Discuss with your counselor a brief history of animation.

2.   Principles of animation. Choose five of the following 12 principles of animation, and discuss how each one makes an animation appear more believable: squash and stretch, anticipation, staging, straightahead action and pose to pose, follow through and overlapping action, slow in and slow out, arcs, secondary action, timing, exaggeration, solid drawing, appeal.

3.   Projects. With your counselor’s approval, choose two animation techniques and do the following for each:

a. Plan your animation using thumbnail sketches and/or layout drawings.

b. Create the animation.

c. Share your animations with your counselor. Explain how you created each one, and discuss any improvements that could be made.

4.   Animation in our world. Do the following:

a. Tour an animation studio or a business where animation is used, either in person, via video, or via the Internet. Share what you have learned with your counselor.

b. Discuss with your counselor how animation might be used in the future to make your life more enjoyable and productive.

5.  Careers. Learn about three career opportunities in animation. Pick one and find out about the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss your findings with your counselor. Explain why this profession might interest you.

Animation merit badge resources

Find cool videos and more at this Boys’ Life page devoted to Animation merit badge.

Animation merit badge team

These are the men and women who helped write the Animation MB pamphlet:

Rick Richards’ 2D/3D animator screen credits include the Jimmy Neutron television series (2003); The ChubbChubbs! (2002 Academy Award® winner for Best Animated Short); Shrek (2001 Academy Award® winner for Best Animated Feature); Antz (1998); The Prince of Egypt (1998); Balto (1995); We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993); An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991); and countless TV commercials and video-game cinematics.

Tina O’Hailey currently serves as the dean of the School of Digital Media at the Savannah College of Art and Design and its Atlanta, Savannah, Hong Kong, Lacoste, and eLearning locations. She has been an associate chair of the animation department and a professor of animation, motion media, interactive design and game development, and visual effects. Before becoming a professor, she worked as an artistic trainer for DreamWorks, Walt Disney Feature Animation, and Electronic Arts, Inc. She is the author of Rig it Right! (Focal Press, 2013) and Hybrid Animation: Integrating 2D and 3D Assets (Focal Press, 2010).

Ty Coyle is an award-winning director/writer best known for his comedic animated shorts. His film Baxter, seen in cities nationwide, was named Best Animated Film at the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival in 2013 and Best Student Film at the New Jersey Film Festival in 2014. Baxter was also nominated for a Student Oscar at the 41st Annual Student Academy Awards. In high school Ty began exploring art through foundation studies with painting and drawing, and was introduced to computer animation. At the Savannah College of Art and Design he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in animation. Upon graduation, Ty moved to New York City to begin working on commercials as an animator and layout artist.

Kyle Martin is a visual effects artist with AutomationDirect.com, where he creates animations and videos to help customers understand technology and to promote new products. He earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013.

Chris Folea, an Eagle Scout, is a visual effects artist with AutomationDirect.com, where he has been creating animated promotional videos to help customers understand technology and has produced advertising spots for local movie theaters for more than seven years. Chris also created the computer-generated character “Ethan” for the 2015 Cub Scout handbooks. In his free time, he runs a YouTube channel where he creates Blender™ 3D software tutorials as well as comedy and parody videos with high visual-effects production values. His other projects include the animated series Ray and Clovis on YouTube. Chris received his bachelor of fine arts degree, summa cum laude, from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013.

Tony Stanley is an art director for EA Sports in Orlando, Florida. He has worked on the video games Madden NFL, NFL Blitz, EA Sports MMA, NASCAR® Kart Racing, and many more. Before joining EA, Tony was an animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida. During his 10 years with the studio, he worked on The Lion King (1994), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Mulan (1998), Lilo & Stitch (2002), and Brother Bear (2003). Tony is also a Scout leader for Troop 826 in Kissimmee, Florida.

Rick Folea, an Eagle Scout, is the Animation Merit Badge Team Lead, Programming Merit Badge Team Lead, and coauthor of the Robotics and Digital Technology merit badge pamphlets. He serves on the Northeast Georgia Council Executive Board. Rick works at AutomationDirect.com, where he uses animation and video content to teach customers how to get the most out of the company’s products.

Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day, there will be no Troop meeting on Monday, May 25.

While we so often focus on activities relating to the holiday – picnics and pool openings – please take a few moments to remember those who died in service to our great nation.  That’s the real reason for Memorial Day.

The Last Lecture – Dr. Randy Pausch

From tonight’s Scoutmaster Minute:

Randy Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was a Professor of Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  A best-selling author, Pausch achieved worldwide fame for his speech The Last Lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and having only a few months to live.

Here is is “Last Lecture:”

Historian’s Report – C&O Canal Cycling Outing

This month, Troop 883 went on a biking trip on the C&O Canal!  After a long drive to the campsite, the Troop unpacked the trailer and set up camp.

In the morning, the Scouts cooked a quick breakfast, packed up, and hit the trail!  The Scouts started at mile marker 156 with a long ride awaiting.  We walked the first mile through the Paw Paw tunnel, and then hopped on our bikes and set off.

We then biked a continuous 18 miles until lunch where we sat, rested, and ate.   The Scouts proceeded to refill their water bottles and continue on the trail.  We biked 17 miles until reaching Hancock- the end destination.  Upon arrival, Mr. Fischer greeted us with freshly made Little Caesar’s pizza!   The exhausted Scouts ate and rested.  We played games of palace, bluff, and duck duck goose.  One Scout ate 26 slices of pizza during this short time.

The Scouts loaded up the trailer, and we set off for our new campsite where we would sleep until the next morning.  The Scouts woke up the next morning after little sleep and began to pack up.  Mr. Fischer treated us to a warm McDonald’s breakfast, and we set off for home.

- Submitted by:  Tyler M., Troop Historian

Star Spangled Banner – Scouting Style!


Posted on April 29, 2015 by 


Move over, Mariah. Back off, Beyoncé. Watch out, Whitney.

Your performances of the national anthem were legendary, but I like this one better.

Over the weekend, three Scouts from Westport, Conn., Troop 100 performed an a cappella version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at an Eagle Scout court of honor.

The result was musical gold that’ll make you proud to be a Scout or Scouter and proud to be an American.

The three performers are high school juniors and members of the Orphenians, an a cappella group at their school. From left, the performers are: Keanan Pucci, a former Scout in Troop 100; Aaron Samuels, a new Eagle Scout in Troop 100; and Wellington Baumann, a Life Scout in Troop 100.

Jennifer Jackson, who was Scoutmaster of Troop 100 for eight years before she “retired” a year ago, was in attendance at the court of honor and wanted to share this video with anyone and everyone.

“I’m so proud of them,” she writes. “I have two sons of my own, but as a Scoutmaster I consider every Scout in my troop — past and present — as one of my boys. I’m as proud of them as if they were my own sons.”

Watch the video here:

Singing for a Lost Item

Posted on April 21, 2015 by Bryan Wendell 

Let’s say a Scout loses something — perhaps his Boy Scout Handbook, troop cap or camp chair — and you find it.  Do you:

A. Return the item to him right away, with a quick, discreet (but in full view of others) reminder that he should keep a better eye on his stuff?

B. Give the item to his patrol leader or senior patrol leader and let one of them return it to the Scout with the same friendly, discreet reminder?

C. Keep the item until he can “sing for it” in front of the whole unit, thereby shaming him into never making the mistake again?

The right answers are A or B. If you said C — singing for the lost item — the BSA’s top volunteer in charge of Youth Protection asks you to rethink that practice.  April is Youth Protection Month, making this a good time to tell you that singing for a lost item is bullying, and bullying isn’t allowed in Scouting.

The Question - The BSA’s Youth Protection team received the following note from an area director:

I am trying to answer a question for one of my local councils that relates to what I believe is a bullying issue. The gist of it is this: A unit doesn’t understand why it is not OK to single a kid out in front of other Scouts and make them sing for their lost item instead of just dealing with it individually. While you and I both know that is a form of bullying and harassment, this group would like to see something in writing that states this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

Good question. You can consider the below “something in writing.” The answer It comes from Dr. Jim Wilson, none other than the national chairman of the BSA’s Youth Protection Committee.

This is a great question. You are absolutely correct. Singling out a Scout in front of other Scouts is inappropriate and can be damaging to that Scout. I would suggest following up with the Scout to see if he is OK. Also, the Scout’s parents should be informed, if they haven’t been already. This practice is actually promoting an environment of harassment and bullying. It can put the Scout at greater risk of being bullied, encourage other Scouts to single out and bully others, and create a cycle of bullying (in which even those who were bullied start bullying others). In fact, it is recommended even in bullying situations not to single out anyone publicly, including the person who engaged in bullying behavior. It’s better to address the situation after everyone has had time to cool off.

I suggest you check out the information sheets available in the “Bullying Awareness” section of the Youth Protection website. Also, we draw upon information and materials available from StopBullying.gov, which has additional bullying-prevention resources that may be helpful for you.