When I first got to the Jamboree I had a good idea of what to expect, but there are so many activities that the K2BSA station does that its hard to keep up with them all. The first shot is of Mahone staff camp area. If you look closely, you will see my blue foot locker on the left of the first tent. We were a short walk from the demonstration station. The other pictures are of the demonstation station, the real nerve center of the K2BSA operations. Note the big antennas. 40m beams are fun to work with!
My job specifically was to teach the first 4 requirements of Radio Merit Badge. The badge was offered in the midway, which was a bit away from the demonstration station, unlike previous jamborees. This added some travel time and travel headaches, but we managed. In the second of these four pictures I show the "practical" part of the merit badge where Mark Abromowicz is busy telling scouts how not to electricute themselves. The third of these is the part of the merit badge booth where scouts could build their kits when they were done with the badge. Carl and Tom are there helping them out.
The staff show was held the night before the scouts arrived. It started off with the American flag being brought in by parachute. That was neat. There was also an impressive display of hot air balloons. Shown here were the Army balloon and the Order of the Arrow and NESA balloons.
Also featured at the staff show was the charming(?) and somewhat odd music of an "artist" known as Jana. Can't say that I was all that impressed. It did give the staff and marines a chance to relax a bit and dance. One of the other acts was the U.S. Army Jazz Band. They were MUCH better than Jana...
Then it was time for the scouts to arrive! And boy did they. Over 33,000 of them. Here is a photo of a field being turned into a camp, as well as a picture of one of the many hundreds of amazing gateways that adorned each troop's campsite.
The trading posts were also a favorite among many of the staff and campers alike. Here the gang at trading post C graces us with song in an attempt to induce a purchase from yours truly. It worked. I bought a bolo tie.
The U.S. Marine marching band led the Southern region to the opening show right past the K2BSA demonstration station. It was a 50 piece precision marching band, followd by 10,000 not-quite-as-precise scouts and scouters.
The big OA production this year was called "Scoutoptia". It was ok. Aside from the fact that they kept us up until 3 AM the first couple days while they worked out the bugs. The target audience was clearly somewhat younger than I was, but nevertheless it was a good show. Some would say for $135,000 it sure should have been.
The big production at K2BSA this year was our contact with the International Space Station (ISS) and astronaut Susan Helms. In 1997 we talked to MIR without difficulty on 4 days notice thanks to Chris and his awesome contacts. This time around it took 4 months in committee to get a schedule, but we did. At 0730 we had over 500 people there to listen. We chose 20 scouts to be the ones that got to ask the questions. (Here they are in line in one of these pics.) Then as it went overhead we pointed the antenna at the ISS (Mark did anyway) and chatted. In the end they took a group photo. A very memorable experience for all involved.
Here are two of the main people that made K2BSA possible. On the left is Ray Moyer. He is the one who holds the actual K2BSA station license and works for the national office in Texas. On the right is Bill Burns. He was in charge of the midway (where I worked) and ran it like a tight ship. He, along with our ARRL liason Larry Wolfgang, entered the paperwork for the close to 1000 scouts who took part in radio merit badge. Whew. Good job men.
This is the court of flags near the Jamboree headquarters. Behind it is the Heth schoolhouse, where we held our VE sessions to license new hams. We had lots and lots of people get licenses. It was great. Sure made me work hard as a VE though.
Mother nature had her go at the 2001 Jamboree, as is typical. We had one day where it just poured. And poured. And poured. Here is a view of Mahone staff area (where I stayed) in a downpour. Also shown is a picture of my bunk. Note my attempts to keep my stuff dry, including pallets and lots of plastic sheeting.
Here is the entire 2001 Jamboree K2BSA staff. I won't bother to list all their names here. If you really want to know, ask me. A very fine group of men (and some women) that made the experience great. (Fairly big file)
Well, we got to the day of the closing show, where the president was supposed to visit.... and that was the day it poured. So, the powers that be moved it back a day. That's fine. No president though. Here I am on the way to the show with Josh and Mark Abromowicz, Larry Wolfgang, and Bill Burns. We met up with Frank and his family from the Far East Council in the arena.
Here are photos from the final show. It was very impressive. Much better than the intro show if you ask me, even if the big name talent couldn't come on the new date. All the 45,000 scouts and scouters had candles and it made a very nice effect. Near the end,we had everyone in the crowd with lit candles, singing.
And then there were fireworks! They were shot off from three different directions towards the crowd. Had all 45,000 people in awe. Very impressive.
The next morning, we had our farewell K2BSA staff meeting. Thanks were said. Goodbyes were said. Gifts were handed out. A heartfelt thanks was said to Chris Anderson for his work with the ISS contact. To Mike Brown, our demo station supervisor (and the one who brought a lot of his personal radio gear). And John Pise got a note of thanks for his extremely eager and enthusiastic tutoring of a new young amateur. Good job one and all. Look forward to seeing everyone in 2005.
Check out my virtual collection of National Boy Scout Jamboree Memorabilia.
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