I attended my first BSA Jamboree stadium show tonight. I was excited, but I wasn’t sure what a party with 30,000 teenagers would look like.
Turns out, it looks like rows of kids in matching shirts (and in some cases, giant foam cowboy hats) to represent their home council. When they did a roll call of states, there was whooping from somewhere in the crowd for all fifty. The most amazing thing was how well they all stayed in the lines drawn on the grass–they must have learned in their den meetings.
It looks like youth coming down a zipline and transferring to mountain bikes to get down to the stage. It looks like the Chief Scout Executive arriving on stage on a custom Eagle Scout-themed motorcycle and the National Commissioner coming in an orange vest to tow it off.
It looks like 30,000 Scouts raising their arm to the square and reciting the Scout Oath and Law, promising to do their best to do their duty to God and their Country, and to live by the twelve principles in the Scout Law.
It looks like endless rows of teenagers being disciplined and sitting quietly one minute, then jumping up and breaking into the Tennessee fight song the next. It looks like a former college football player, partially paralyzed from an injury, pumping up the crowd with a message of staying strong, pushing through trials, and maintaining personal honor no matter what.
The best part about this Scout party? It was only the first one this Jamboree.
Be sure to check out the image gallery below!