2001 National Scout Jamboree

"Strong Values, Strong Leaders" was more than just the jamboree theme;
it was Scouting in action.

Eagle Scout Bradley Miller of North Carolina was the first to arrive. Very soon he was joined by 40,000 fellow Scouts and leaders as they gathered last summer at Fort A. P. Hill in the Virginia countryside to participate in the 2001 National Scout Jamboree.

There to welcome them were Chief Scout Executive Roy L. Williams and Jamboree Chairman John Gottschalk. The mission of the jamboree, they promised, was to provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone who attended. The Scouts would have fun and be challenged to try new things, learn new skills, and test those skills. For 10 very special days, they would see and be part of Scouting in action.

The spirit and brotherhood of Scouting came alive at the jamboree. Four action centers offered activities from archery and orienteering to an obstacle course and a BMX dirt bicycle track. Aquatic activities ranged from fishing, canoeing, and rowing to kayaking, scuba, and snorkeling.

Rappelling towers provided thrills while teaching skills at the jamboree's four action centers.

The activities and technology may have changed, but the Scout Oath and Law that bound all participants at the 2001 National Scout Jamboree was the same Oath and Law that bound participants at the very first national jamboree in 1937. The timeless values were as obvious as the jamboree flags and banners. "Strong Values, Strong Leaders" was more than just the jamboree theme; it was Scouting in action.

A Scout Is Trustworthy

Jeff Peterson, assistant Scoutmaster of the Utah National Parks Council's Troop 826, didn't plan on dropping $1,000 in cash along with his credit card when he headed to a jamboree trading post. "I didn't think I would ever see it again." Two days later, Peterson was located at his subcamp and informed that his wallet had been found with all the money and credit cards inside. The Scout who found the wallet wished to remain anonymous. But jamboree officials have it narrowed down to the 28,500 Scouts who attended the jamboree.

High-spirited, high-energy Scouts wheeled around the jamboree's bicycle motocross courses.

A Scout Is Loyal

Eagle Scout Bill Gatewood of Elmont, Virginia, planned on participating in the jamboree 5K run/walk. He also planned on doing it with his long-time friend and fellow Eagle Scout, Joe Perkins. But Joe has a spinal condition and cannot walk great distances. No problem. Bill decided a cart was the best way to get Joe around. "Because we didn't want to leave him out of the activities," Bill explained. Bill pulled Joe's cart for all but the last 10 feet of the course. It was then Bill turned the cart around and pushed so Joe would cross the finish line first.

A Scout Is Helpful

While touring Washington, D.C., before the jamboree, a group of Scouts were at a busy intersection when they came upon an elderly couple walking very slowly as they all were crossing a downtown avenue. As the light changed to "Don't Walk," the Scouts began watching for the oncoming traffic, then escorted the couple until they reached the sidewalk safely.

A Scout Is Friendly

The Scouts attending the jamboree found a common thread, a thread that when woven together creates a patch of friendship. Some 28,500 Scouts came from every part of the United States and 26 foreign countries. Scouts of every race, creed, and color came together, bound by Scouting, to communicate and share ideas and create a patch of friendship that will forever change and shape their lives—a patch they took home and shared with other Scouts.

Some 40,000 Scouts and leaders converged on rural Virginia for the 2001 National Scout Jamboree, creating a colorful tent city where spirit and brotherhood came alive.

A Scout Is Reverent

Heavy rains soaked the thousands of Scouts and volunteers at the outdoor religious services. "It was very wet and cold but the message was still very good," said Life Scout Geoff Glidden of Fenton, Missouri, after attending the United Methodist service.

The Rev. Toshikazu Nakagaki led several hundred Scouts and leaders in meditation and prayer at the Buddhist service. At the Catholic service, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the papal nuncio—the pope's delegate to the United States—was the main celebrant. The wet weather failed to dampen the reverence of any religious service. Life Scout Jeff Carr of Springfield, Massachusetts, summed up the spirit best: "There were a lot of people, a lot of water, and a lot to take in. The message was great!"

It takes a lot of tents to shelter 40,000 Scouts and leaders. The instant city that resulted was one of the largest in Virginia for 10 days.

The statistics are staggering, with an average of 22 tents for each of some 800 units, spread across 20 subcamps. Amid the thousands of tents, elaborate gateways, and fluttering flags were a hospital and medical centers, food warehouses, trading posts, and the community services of any city.

Months of planning and preparation paid off as troop campsites were swiftly established upon the Scouts' arrival. Each site included tents, dining flies, and tables for the campers.

Stormy weather during the jamboree blew down some tents, but the driving rain couldn't dampen the spirit of the Scouts who pitched in to gather and dry out soaked gear.

As the jamboree drew to a close, the tents were struck, the gear was packed, and the buses were loaded. And planning started for the 2005 jamboree.

Strong Values, Strong Leaders

Scoutmaster Jon G. Neeley and Eagle Scout Mark Evans from Newhall, California, were only a few feet apart when lightning knocked them and others to the ground. "Boy, that was close," Neeley recalled.

As Neeley and others stood up, he saw Mark still on the ground. "Mark was not breathing, and I could not find a pulse." Neeley immediately sent an adult for help and began CPR. Neeley worked for several minutes before Mark took a breath. After two or three breaths, Mark stopped breathing. Neeley started CPR once again. After a few more anxious minutes, Mark began breathing on his own. After what Neeley described as "a very long 10 minutes," a doctor arrived.

Mark was transported to a hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he regained consciousness at about 2 the next morning. The first thing Mark saw was his Scoutmaster in the chair beside his bed.

Amazingly, both Mark Evans and Jon Neeley returned to the jamboree after exactly 19 hours, 11 minutes, and 30 seconds. The lightning strike had reset Neeley's electronic watch.

Because of his Scoutmaster's training and quick action, the clock literally started over for Mark as well.

Both Mark and Neeley had learned CPR in Scouting back in California.

Mission accomplished. As the tents were taken down and as 40,000 jamboree participants packed to return home, the promise of the Chief Scout Executive and the national jamboree chairman was fulfilled. The once-in-a-lifetime Scouting experience had changed their lives. Now it was their challenge to share and to pass on that spirit—the brotherhood of 10 very special days of Scouting in action.