This week I'm leaving the heavy lifting to you. The intention is that I will give you just the basic facts on where I am and what I'm doing and then I'll let you each paint your own unique pictures in your heads of
I'm in rural West Virginia this week attending the National Boy Scout Jamboree. Although 9 of my 15 Scouts and an assistant leader of mine are attending too, I'm not here as a leader this time, I'm on the staff of the Stadium Experience Team. My job is to assist with the big shows including a full day event called JamboPalooza. I don't know my schedule as I arrive on campus later this morning, but I do know I have a 45 minute hike to work each day, which means a 45 minute hike back after work too. I'll get fed in a mess tent, and I'm sleeping in a tent with 3 other male volunteers in 2 bunk beds. Since I'm coming in for the 2nd half of the Jamboree, I'll probably end up with the top bunk. It's been a while since I slept in the top of a bunk bed, so you can imagine now the hilarious things that may have happened to me already this week just getting in and out of bed. Think of the first guy who did the Fosbury Flop in the high jump (I can't remember his name, it's tough to get old). There is no hot water so while I can shower, the ambient water temperature here is 55 degrees. I'm in camp Echo and my Scouts are a hill or two over in their camp, so I'm not sure I'm just going to pop over there to visit. They may see me at the shows, but there are 9,000 staffers and 30,00-40,000 Scouts so that may not even happen (Picture popping over to the neighbors to borrow a cup of sugar, but you live in the Little House on the Prairie, man I wish I had pictures for this one, I could have filled up a lot of space already).
On the schedule there are planned things and things that may or may not happen. We might get a Presidential Visit, it has happened at Jamborees before, but my money says we won't see President Obama, he'll delegate this likely so I wonder who will come? We lost the musical groups Train and singer Carly Rae Jepsen to the controversy earlier this year, but there were replaced with other groups. The Boy Scouts kept quiet on who they were, so I'll be seeing 2 big name bands but don't know which ones. There are plans to set off the biggest firework in West Virgina history, it's a 4 foot shell. We will attempt to set at least one Guinness Book World Record. We'll try and have 25,000 beach balls in the air at one time. We also will make the biggest Fleur de Lis comprised of standing Scouts and take an aerial shot of it. I may get a chance to meet Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe, who is an Eagle Scout himself, he's coming for sure. When an Eagle Scout tells you he's doing something, you can bank on it. Mike was asked one time by a parent of a Scout and potential Eagle to try and motivate his son to finish the rank. Mike's letter back is a classic example now of what it takes to be an Eagle Scout ( Mike's letter to a potential Eagle) Relax, it's a link, not a picture. There are huge ziplines and whitewater rafting and mountain biking too, so I could end up doing some of these activities in my free time.
Incidentally all of this is happening during the longest stretch of time that I've not slept in the same bad as my wife, in my life. She left for local Scout camp a week ago Sunday and I return this Thursday. That's 11 straight days and even for a travel guy like me, that's a long stretch. I'll miss her. I wonder how my 48 year old creaking body will hold up to the work too, will I be limping with swollen joints at the end? I've got to work in the sun all week, so I'm bringing sunscreen and I bought an older style Scout campaign hat with a wide brim to help (are you picturing Dudley Do-right?) but I may come back red anyway. I hope not because I have my 30th high school reunion starting the day after I return. Like every other person coming to that I'd like to drop a couple of lbs prior to it, so maybe that will happen or maybe I'll gain a little due to eating cafeteria style all week. The week will have sparse technology for me as I'm leaving my laptop behind and they aren't promising any charging stations for electronics. I may not be able to even share this week's blog to Facebook with my normal "It's Tuesday, Blog Day" line, so feel free to help me out and share it to yours. I think I've given you enough to paint a good picture, you have your assignment, get to work imagining the blog this week and I'll see you back next week.