2001 National Jamboree

Chisholm Trail Council

John Dearing, Jamboree Scoutmaster

Scoutmaster's notes:

    After first examining the trip cost and everything that was involved, we decided to have some troop money earning projects. This was to help defray some of the miscellaneous cost and to help our council have a positive image at Jambo. Stan Turner was the man who quickly put together two projects. We sold chocolate bars and held a garage sale. Both were highly successful due to Stans hard work and the cooperation of our boys. Stan also secured a $1,000 donation from Walmart and Taco Bueno. If you have not let them know your gratitude, please do so. Don Fite donated the troop hats and Scott Senter donated the T-shirts for silk screening. U-haul through the efforts of Jonathan Martindale donated a truck to haul our stuff. This turned out to be a $2,400 donation. We suckered, I mean persuaded Kenneth Patton to drive the truck to DC.

    Our shake down campout was held at Tonkawa. I got to meet the boys and they got to know what a bear I am. It was extremely hot and humid. Little did we know that this was great practice for what was to come. We actually managed to have all boys in attendence.

    My goal was for every boy to experience the Jamboree to the fullest. We were not having a junior leader training or an attempt at the perfect troop. Thank goodness.

July 20-21, 2001

    I put both of these days together because they were actually one very long day in our lives. We met at the council office at 10 PM. Spirits and expectations were running high. Everything moved along as planned. We watched Dr. Doolittle on video and kicked back while eating popcorn. Several of the boys ordered pizza at around midnight. At 2:00 AM we started moving outside.

As we stood outside a small car carrying a group of young men decided that we were in need of entertainment. They, not being equipped with brains or talent, decided to amuse us by showing their bare butts. We applauded and hoped that was all they were prepared to show.

    The bus finally came at 2:40 AM. We loaded up and headed for DFW. The bus driver must have been an ex meat locker technician as you could have hung meat in that bus. We arrived at DFW just before some of got frost bite. I guess Sun Set Stages gave us all of the cooling on the first trip as the bus on the way home from DFW two weeks later had no AC.

    It was at DFW that we learned an important lesson about boys. They do not pay attention to detail. Mr. Jay Tindol realized in line waiting to get on the plane that aliens had zapped his passport right out of his bag. I didn't know the boy well enough at the time to claim him as kin, but I did manage to get him on the plane.

    We boarded and flew to Charlotte. We exited the plane, had a quick lunch at the food court and boarded another plane for DC. I was beginning to feel somewhat in control as I was reasonably sure that all of the boys were still with me. While on this flight Caleb Hudgins managed to accidentally touch the rear end of our stewardess. He seemed embarrassed and she seemed flattered. I reminded them all that they were boy scouts and the call button is not part of a video game.

    Once at DC we collected our luggage. At this point Cameron Short came to realize that if a bottle of Downy is not adequately protected in your bag, then your clothes will be damp and smell sweet. We decided to address this problem later as we had a bus to catch.

    We were first taken to the Smithsonian, where I learned that it is not one museum, but many. I quickly made a plan of how long we could stay in each building and still make the rendezvous with our bus some half  mile from our exit point and three hours hence. At the appointed time in the first museum we managed to have about 75 percent of the boys. At the end of the second building we had about 50 percent. After that I only saw pockets of our boys at a time. The entire place was awash with boy scouts. Any way you looked all one could see was green shorts and kaki shirts. I was certain that our tour would be over and I would spend the rest of the trip trying to find our boys. However, when we counted heads on the bus at the proper hour, all 36 boys and all scoutmasters were on the bus. I was afraid to check and see if we had swapped scouts with any other contingents. I was Happy with the head count.

    We ate lunch at Union Station. We then continued the tour at the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Boy Scout Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. We finally reached the hotel at 10:00 PM. At this point a sane person would be dead on his feet and ready for bed. Our troops were equipped with a superior power and intellect. They decided it was time to order Pizza and stay up talking. At this point as long as they stayed in their rooms I did not care. I knew I would get my revenge in the morning at 6:00 AM. As a side note I would like to point out that Stan and Garrett Turner did a great job of helping to keep track of all boys. 

July 22

    Morning came way too early. We kicked the boys up and loaded the bus. We headed to the Hard Rock Café. We got there very early so some of the boys went to sleep on the sidewalk. Three other troops showed up to eat along with us. While eating breakfast Nick Watkins got his first plate and then went to get cereal. During his absence Stan Turner hid Nicks plate. Nick sat down, ate his cereal and only then did he realize his eggs were missing.

    First stop was the National Cemetery. We sat through a very nice ceremony put on by the Marines. It was very hot. It was also very crowded. I think there was about 6,000 scouts present.

We were unable to see the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier. We temporarily lost Justin Thompson. No other troops would have him and upon backtracking we reacquired him. 

    Lunch was at the Regan food court. After lunch we went to Fords Theatre. This was a very interesting place and it was air-conditioned.  We walked across the street to see the house that President Lincoln was taken to after being shot. There were several venders on the street and a guy sailing Foakleys. That is fake Oakleys to the uninitiated.

    Then we walked to the White House and the Washington Monument. This was followed by the The Holocaust Museum. They had fairly tight security and we had to go through metal detectors to enter. We all made it except Josh Ivie. He apparently thought we might get to do some hunting and brought his Conan the Barbarian knife with him in his backpack. In his defense he said it was the smallest knife he owned. Supper was at an Italian restaurant called Treviso. Our waitress was an interesting looking gal with multiple tattoos. The food was pretty good.

    During the day we saw a lady feeding pigeons and talking to herself. We also saw a lady combing a wig as she conversed with it. I guess these folks in DC have a different way of having fun.

    Next we went to the Kennedy Center for fine arts. The highlight of this tour seemed to be the boys relentless ability to go up the escalator that was going down. The boys did not seem too high on fine art. The roof walk did have a good view of DC and I saw several boats on the Potomac that I would love to have.

    We then visited the Jefferson memorial and the Iowa Jima Monument. It was dark at Iowa Jima and another bus backed up into ours. Rudolf, our bus driver, seemed a little peeved. Austin Alexander has already traded for about 30 patches and Jud Beall has 94 post cards.

    Back at the hotel at 10:20 PM. Bedtime you say. Oh no, our boys still have plenty of get up and go. They all want to go swimming. I say hit the tubs in your rooms. Of course order the obligatory Pizza.
 

July 23

    Up at  6:30AM. Breakfast at the hotel. Checked out and headed for the capital. Brian Thomas an aid to the senator from Nebraska and a personal friend of Joe Bob Alexanders met us on the steps and gave us a tour of the capital building. While touring the building it appears that Garrett Haynie, Shay Senter, and Geoff Heavan  have built in GPS and were not in need of the rest of the group to see the building. They weren't arrested or escorted out of anywhere, at least as far as I know. Of course they weren't lost, I mean come on they were surrounded by water. There is the Atlantic on one side and the Pacific on the other. Once all together again, we piled into the bus and headed for the Target Store parking lot to gain access to our equipment.

    After sitting in the parking lot for an hour and being unable to raise Kenneth Patton on his cell phone, I called John Clark in Abilene. He said that Kenneth had called him from a pay phone and said his cell phone was dead and he was sitting in the Target parking lot in Fredericksburg. This was both good and bad news. Good in that now we knew where he was. Bad in that we were in Spring not Fredericksburg. I told John that if he called back to tell him to stay put and we would find him. Which is what we did next.

    Upon arriving at Fort AP Hill our check in and camp set up went very well. During the bus ride out to AP Hill we were watching MI-2 on the video. Upon arrival at camp I turned the sound off. A Scouter got on our bus to guide us to our campsite. The boys would occasionally ooh or aah at the silent movie. The scouter, who could not see or hear the show, would look out the windows and look confused. It was getting very funny when he finally realized what was going on. The boys did an excellent job. The video people waited and filmed us setting up our oil derrick. I might mention at this point that Stan Turner did a tremendous amount of work in preparing this derrick for the troop. It is very hot and very humid at this time. 11:00 pm  is taps, but of course our boys are immune to the requirements of mortal men. A nice cold shower and then lay down in a nice hot muggy tent. Fatigue is an ally at this point and sleep comes soon.

July 24

    This day actually starts at about 3:30 AM. In the distance I can here the rumble of cannon fire. I think that is an odd hour to have the Army guys out practicing. Twenty minutes later I hear the same sound only closer this time. I'm thinking small arms fire. The reports are just not quite right. About fifteen minutes later I hear the telltale sound of a dump truck lifting the dumpster and banging it on the top of his truck to empty it out. At this point I am wishing that I had access to small arms so that I might have a manly conversation with the sadistic driver. This becomes a nightly ritual and toward the end of the Jambo I am considering taking him on with my Swiss army knife.

    This AM I allowed the boys to sleep in. Some did, while others were up at the crack of dawn to see Jambo. Sam Spence was up at 5:30 AM to get groceries and help with breakfast. Sam was truly an Iron Man as he got up every morning at this time to help the boys. Sam took first duty in the campsite.

    Stan, Nick, and I went out to check things out. We got on the green bus and rode it til they chased us off. Then we got on the blue bus and rode it until they kicked us off. We wandered through the national exhibits. We somehow ended up at the venturing rain forest exhibit. I think it was Nicks idea to go through this one, as I'm sure it was against my better judgment. The first thing we had to do was crawl on our hands and knees through a long pitch-black tunnel. At the other end we were faced with one guy running around screaming. There were two or three people on the ground moaning. I went to one that had her leg severed at the knee. After looking at that I did not look at anyone else. I quickly put a tourniquet on the leg and tried to calm the gal down. Stan and Nick did something to save the others and a random scout that was with us told the screamer to " hush :" Great stuff only then they told us it wasn't for real. We were the first group to do everything right. I told the gal if she could find the rest of her leg and bark a little that I could put it back on.

    Next we went to a video shooting gallery. I think Stan had the best score, but he cheated with all those years of bird hunting. We moved then to a BB gun range where Stan swears that I cheated by shooting at the bigger targets. We finished the venturing forest by riding a bicycle over moving planks, up and down hills, and sharp turns. Nick was best at this, but his long legs let him touch the ground to avoid falling. I think I only fell three or four times and the guy was being very unfair by not wanting me to try one more time.

    We managed to find our way back to camp in time for supper. It was so hot and humid that they called off the 5K run for the evening. I might mention that the Huey helicopters fly over constantly with what appears to be the same three old geeser scouts looking out the side door. Oh yeah we had cold showers this evening. Nick doesn't seem to mind as he spends about an hour in the shower each evening.

July 25

    I had to man the pig this am. It is a giant food grinder. The work is rather disgusting. All leftover food and dishwater must be fed to the pig. To make it even more fun, the boys forget to remove silverware and whole oranges from their slop. The gentleman helping me was a colorful individual from Louisiana. 

    Sam stayed in camp today. The boys aren't too happy with having to secure their gear and have their tents inspected each morning. This practice paid off later in the camp out. Don Wehmeyer came down to our camp and spent the day with Stan and I. We went to the Army National Guard exhibit. There were lots of tanks, helicopters, and armored vehicles. There was a huge hour glass shaped climbing tower. It looked to be fifty feet tall. Several of our boys scaled this rascal. I think David Miller set the fastest time on it. 

    We all got back to camp early for the opening arena show. We formed up at 5:00pm and stood in the hot sun for 40 min. Next we hiked for one and a half hours ( 4 miles) to the arena. We arrived covered in sweat and dry of water. We gathered up water bottles and sent them to the top of the arena to refill at the water buffaloes. 

    The golden Knights sky divers were very good. Next we listened to the Airborne Harmony singers, the Navy Cruise Band, Ground Zero, Jambo Band, and the Three of Hearts. The three of hearts were three good looking girls. Their singing was good but they could have been really bad and I don't think the boys would have noticed. The next group called themselves the Osmonds Second Generation. They were not very good. All of the boys were asking to leave. My butt and old bones had just about had it also. It is amazing how many positions you can sit on the ground in during a four to five hour period.

     We left early and got the jump on everyone heading back. We arrived back at camp at 11:40. I was dead on my feet. I went up and showered and went to bed. Our boys didn't have to stand in line for their showers very long either.

July 26

    The boys are finally figuring out the routine. They did breakfast, cleaned camp, and left out quickly. They did an excellent job. This was my day in camp. Don came down and carved on his walking stick. I washed some of my clothes using camp suds and my trusty five-gallon bucket. We are starting to string clotheslines everywhere. At noon I went down to a Kiosk to get lunch. They were taking the sandwiches out. It seems someone found some mold on a few. Whoever made the decision to pull all of the sandwiches must not have done much camping in his life. Any good scout knows you peel the mold off and keep eating. Anyway the main course for lunch was a bag of potato chips.

    Our roping steer head on the bail of hay gets tortured everyday. If boys from our troop aren't roping it, some boy who just walked by will be roping it. Matt Martin seems to be the best roper of the group. At least he is the most persistent. Jay Tindol ropes fairly well but can't seem to keep up with his hats. He just leaves them lying around camp or in the patch trading area just-outside of camp. I offered to keep one for him so maybe he would have a hat at the end of Jambo.

    This was our day for visitors. Kent Barnett, Joe Bob Alexander, and Joe Ed all came to see us. Michelle and Scott Senter came by to see Shay and Shawn. They seemed to be enjoying the heat, humidity, and hiking. Michelle thought a few of the boys on the buses smelled ripe. Go figure.

    Late in the afternoon I was at the commissary tent when a good old west Texas Gully washer came through. Trapped in the tent, all I could do was wait for it to blow over. I was hoping our campsite held up and our boys could find cover. There was a lot of lighting. As I sat there, water running under my chair, I observed a guy leaning on one of the tents main poles. It had numerous lines of romex wire and water dripping down it. I told him that he was a braver man than I.

    Upon reaching camp, I found we fared well with no blown over tents and no wet sleeping bags. I guess being a horses rear about gear was worth it. Next I discover that James Grissom, Croft Fite, Austin Alexander, and Jay Tindol were doing their best imitation of mud divers during the storm. The only thing clean on them was the whites of their eyes. A few other boys and myself had a lot fun dousing them with buckets of cold water. They even had to dunk their heads in the buckets. This was done to get them clean enough to go to the showers.

    We ate supper and put the boys into their tents early. Fatigue was beginning to set in.

July 27

    Up early today. It was not quite as hot. Lots of boys stayed in camp today to rapell off our oil derrick. Lots of boys playing stretch with tent stakes. The ground is fairly soft after the rain. Cody caught a 2.5 lb. channel cat at Fish Hook Lake.

    I spent most of the morning and afternoon trying to act like a staff member to dry out the boys clothes. The sign at the limited laundry said staff only. But with the rain and humidity there was no way the clothes were going to dry in this century on the clotheslines. I took off my blue hat and put on my red Tonkawa shirt ( red was a staff color). Then I took small bags of clothes in. I sat in the laundry with my nose in a book. Most of the actual staff would not sit in the hot laundry. Thank goodness no one asked me my job.

    Jay Tindol decided that the roping dummy was not enough of a challenge and decided to rope Shawn Senter. He caught him alright and landed himself the job of picking up trash outside our campsite in the patch trading area. He picked up a lot of trash and found a pair of real Oakley sunglasses.

    A neighboring scoutmaster brought me a bag full of patches with Sam Wolfe troop 1814 on the front of the bag. Sam did not even know they were missing. I toyed with him awhile and then gave them back. Chris Spence traded his M&M set for a fake ghost patch. It was after dark and in the dim light you could not tell that it had been altered with a magic marker. Chris was so mad he reported the kid to the council delegation.

July28

    I got up early and tried to take some clothes up to dry, but there were too many staff folks around. Sam, Stan, and I went to the conservation area. We finished the area and got our patch. Next we went to Scoutopia. It was great. The green guy was crazy. After throwing a ton of paper down the aisle, it was over. 

    No boys got in trouble today. They did a super job on everything.
 

July 29

    Woke up to a heavy rain. Breakfast was yukky Canadian bacon on dry biscuit with powdered eggs. Caleb Hudgens was a cook today. He cooked the Canadian bacon until it was like pepperonis. While we are discussing cooking capabilities, I sure hope Matt Martin marries a girl that can cook. It is very cold this morning. Our rain gear is not totally rain proof. I went up to the commissary and got trash bags for raincoats and hot chocolate for warming boys.

    Justin Thompson got up during the night and did not zip his tent back up when he came back to bed. The poor boy has been in Texas too long and has probably never camped in the rain. Needless to say, his and Patrick Spences' stuff was soaked. I took it to the dryers this am. Cody and I went to the Church of Christ Service as it was close. We got there early and as a result our boys practically ran the thing. Garrett Turner, Shawn Senter, Sam Wolfe, and Justin Thompson read scripture. Lance Davis, Garrett Haney, Geoff Heaven, and Tyler Barnett lead the singing.

    It continued to rain and be cold. Most of the boys went into tents or played cards under rain flys. Sam Spence, Landon , and I went and got lunches for everyone. We wheeled them back on our green cart. At 1:00 they called off the arena show. We were disappointed that we would miss President Bush and Louise Mandrell, but sure were glad we would not have to hike in the rain and sit in the mud. We went to bed early this night.

July 30

    We had cloud cover early in the morning. No one could tell me if we would mobilize at 2:30 or 5:00. No one could say if the President would still come. So our plan was for everyone to bring their sack lunches in and we would store them to eat after the show. We drew our supper rations early and cooked them for a late lunch. It was Salsbury Steak and rice. It was typical terrible mystery meat. The commissioners came by at 11:30 and said we would mobilize at 5:00.

    We marched 4 miles to the arena and sat through a fairly boring show. The highlight was an 80 year old guy that played Over The Rainbow and America on a hand saw. The fire works show at the end was beyond belief. Joe Bob said it was 500,000 dollars worth. BSA spent 50,000 and the rest was donated. It went on for about 20 minutes and was accompanied by music. In the final three minutes there were so many bursts that the arena was lit up like daylight.

    Once it was over, there was a mad rush for the exit. Once back at camp, we ate our lunches. It was about 1:00 am.

July 31

    I went with Cody, Shay, and Shawn today. We went to the sailboats and the canoes. We passed Stan Turner on our way to the canoes. He was soaked. It seems his partner in the canoe turned them over. Stan was not overly happy. 

    This afternoon we took camp down and packed it into the U-haul. It didn't take as long as I thought. We kept our tent ground tarps to sleep on. While we were loading, someone stole the poles to Cameron Shorts tent. It was very interesting to see 8,000 scouts in our subcamp sleeping under the stars. We still got fairly wet as the dew was very heavy. It was difficult to get the boys to go to sleep. 

Aug. 1

    The buses for some of the troops started arriving at 2:00 am. The other troops would stumble through us on their way to the buses. Sam Spence got stepped on twice. I finally got up at 5:00 am just to keep scouts off of our boys. I got our boys up at 6:30 and the bus arrived at 7:30.

    We went straight to Bush Gardens. I hooked up with Cody, Robert, Shay, and Shawn. We went and rode the Lock Ness  monster ride. It was a lot of fun, but mostly I just wanted a place to lay down. Robert and I went to a 3-D pirate show where the seat buzzed you when bees were on the show, blew air on your neck when bats were on the show, and dropped water on you when the guy on the show spit. Next we went to see a very good dance show called Irish Thunder. Again I was looking for anyplace that was dark and air-conditioned. We sort of pigged out on the fast foods. The rest of the boys rode a bunch of wild rides. I did catch Nick Watkins and Landon W. riding the little tea cup ride.

    Sam Wolfe spent a fortune trying and getting two plastic swords. He also spent a fortune trying to win a small TV. John Garrett either won or bought a giant foam cowboy hat. We finally rounded everyone up and made for the bus. We got to the hotel at 10:30 pm. It was too late to order Pizza. Nick and I stayed up til nearly midnight doing laundry for a few boys that had no clean clothes to wear the next day.

Aug. 2

    The boys are very tired this am. I am grouchy as an old bear. We went to George Washingtons home and it was very interesting. The boys were not into it. The Potomac is beautiful here. After lunch we toured Embassy Row and the national Cathedral. We finally got to the airport and our flight was delayed. Also two of our boys had been dropped from the computer. It took a little doing but we got them all on the plane. At Charlotte we had to run through the airport to catch our connection. 

    At DFW I could not find our bus for about 20 minutes. Once we boarded, it was very hot. After another 20 minutes it was obvious that it was not going to cool off. We stripped down to T-shirts and popped the top hatches to get some air in the bus. I had extra clothes handy to stay warm with anticipating the overactive AC of our first bus. Boy was I wrong. We finally got back to Abilene at about 2:30am. Everyone was very tired and ready to go home.

During Jamboree

Jay Tindol was always happy and always losing his hats.

Justin Thompson had a great time and amassed a great number of Mardi Gras beads.

Jud Beall was a tremendous amount of help all during the camp out.

Toby Allen was a quiet young man that was addicted to patch trading.

Caleb Hudgins was very active as hometown reporter. Although he didn't like the snobby yankees running the place. He got to be on QBSA radio for a little while.

Garrett Turner did a great job as SPL. He was always eager to take on more responsibilities. He won the Biathalon Jamboree Wide. This is a bike riding and shooting event. He had the best score of all scouts at Jambo. A tremendous feat.

Nick was always happy and cutting up. He did the shotgun shooting about 15 times.

Richard Reinmund was always playing around. He seemed to have a lot of fun.

Geoff Heaven did a good job. Unfortunately he was sick for most of the Jambo and trip home. I felt for him as he looked like he was miserable. If you asked him, he would smile and say he was fine.

Shawn Senter lost everything he owned at least once. He usually found it later. He finally bought a water bottle that he could keep up with and narrowly escaped a butt kicking. He was all smiles and always ready to try something.

Sam Wolfe was a big time patch trader. He usually had his cowboy hat on. He also wore cowboy boots with his scout shorts. I think he did it just so he didn't have to wear scout socks.

David Miller wore long pants all the time to avoid flashing his white legs. He seemed to have a lot of fun and was good help at camp.

John Garrett is the quiet type and no nonsense. He ran his patrol the most efficiently. He will be a great leader someday.

Austin Alexander is quite a card. He is a patch-trading machine. He reminds me of the energizer bunny. He is either running full tilt or dead stopped. He smiles all the time and likes to cut up. I had the hardest time keeping the other guys from throwing him around all the time.

Lance Davis is a quiet sort that has a tremendous spiritual side that I did not see until Sunday.

Shay Senter is like a lumbering giant. He is all smiles and methodically gets things done.

Landon Weirshaus was a tremendous worker with a calm and cool demeanor. He did a great job as quartermaster. I would love to have him in my troop.

Matt Martin has a good sense of humor. He roped our steer at least 10,000 times. He was always giving me trouble. I enjoyed having him on the trip. Remind me not to ever let him cook for me.

All in all the boys did a tremendous job and made my job much easier. After seeing how some of the other troops performed I was triple proud of our boys. They were all a lot of fun and not a whiner in the group. There really wasn't even a troublemaker except in a fun way.

Nine boys managed to earn all five rockers for their shirts. That means they experienced the Jamboree to the maximum. They are; Garrett Turner, Tyler Barnett, Corey Donaway, Geoff Heaven, Lewis King, Shawn Senter, Shay Senter, Cody Dearing, and John Garrett.

Landon Wiershaus and Robert Wolfe both missed by only one rocker.

Notes to future scoutmasters

Take lots of materials to make clotheslines.

Either waterproof the red jackets or have boys bring complete rain suits.

Never do supper for lunch and hold lunch bags for supper, it doesn't work.

Make all plans for exiting arena show before you go.

Might take something you can hold up that can be seen from a distance. This would help keep guys together on exit arena.

When you sit down at show, claim some realestate. You will need to change positions routinely.

Cell phones do not work well at the fort.

Have duty rosters in water proof folders at attached to chuck boxes.

Have boys prepared to pay for troop photo. $7.00

Have boys bring a book for rainy days.

Be sure to inspect tents in the mornings. The weather closes in fast.

Our picnic tables were 6 ft. long and were too short.

Better dining flies would be nice.

Numbering the boys buckets, shirts, bags, etc. helped a lot.

We assigned each boy a number. This proved to be the most efficient way to tell if all were present.

At Bush Gardens several boys lost hats that blew off on rides.

I made the boys wear troop T-shirts at the Gardens. Warn them not to tear the sleeves out. This looks tacky.

I allowed them to wear swimsuits at the gardens also. Mostly because some did not have clean shorts. This proved to look bad and I would not do so on retrospect.

You might consider ending Bush Gardens early enough to get to hotel in time to order pizza. The food at Bush is expensive.

I think I would arrange for a late wake up the morning after Bush. We are beat at that point.




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