By Wendy Holdren
THE SUMMIT —
After 10 days of non-stop high adventure, Boy Scouts reluctantly headed home yesterday, but they took with them countless stories, patches and friendships from this unforgettable Scouting experience.
Jamboree Director Larry Pritchard said, “You have to see it to believe it. This place lives up to the hype.”
Thousands of Boy Scouts certainly echo that opinion, including Joe Horvath, 17, of Ohio.
“The size was the most surprising thing about the Jamboree. I was not expecting anything like this.”
He and two other Scouts, Isaac Hammond, 15, and Chris Stevens, 14, both of Mississippi, spent their final day of adventure flying over the Summit Bechtel Reserve at 60 miles per hour on one of the three ziplines at the Jamboree, which they said had been their favorite activity so far.
Ziplining, skateboarding, rock climbing, shooting and mountain biking were just a few of the many high adventure activities the Scouts could take part in during the 10-day Jamboree.
“I could definitely stay longer,” Garrett Galea, 14, of California, said. “It was great. It was full of fun things.”
Galea was spending his day at the BMX track, but his favorite high adventure activity at the Jamboree was whitewater rafting.
“It’s been really, really fun,” Peter Andrews, 14, of Arizona, said.
He said his favorite high adventure activity was also whitewater rafting, but in the down time, he said he enjoyed trading patches. He even scored an Orange County patch, one he was especially proud to have acquired.
Ashley Parchert, 15, a Venturer from Tennessee, also said patch trading was one of her favorite parts of the Jamboree.
One of her favorite patches she received in a trade was a sign language patch that had the year she was born on it.
The first-year Venturer said her Jamboree experience was great — “I love it.”
As for being part of the female minority, she said it was “weird, but exciting.” She said she has been hanging out with everyone, guys and girls alike.
One Texas Scout, Zack Maule, 14, said what he enjoyed most about the Jamboree was meeting new people from different lifestyles.
He said he even met other Scouts from Dallas and got to learn more about them, as well.
Nico Ferretti, 15, of California, said he had met a lot of new friends also, even a Scout from Egypt.
Morgan Beckham, 14, of Florida, and Nic Phillips, 15, of Kansas, were hanging out together Tuesday, enjoying the shade from a vendor tent.
The two said they were used to the heat, but in their hometowns, they were accustomed to quite a bit more rain.
“If we got the amount of rain you get here, we would never harvest crops,” Phillips said.
He helps to harvest wheat and corn, and also helps raise cows on a farm in Kansas.
He and Beckham both said they enjoyed their time at the Jamboree, but wish there had have been more staff, better lunches, better food prices and better utilization of solar power equipment.
“Other than that, I loved it,” Beckham said.
The two also spoke about an event at The Rocks called the “Leap of Faith,” which is a controlled freefall jump. They encouraged everyone who could to check it out.
Phillips, who is of the Catholic faith, also noted that he attended a Jewish service and he enjoyed learning about a different religion from his own.
Even though the Scouts pack their bags and head out today, they’ll be taking with them a wealth of knowledge and experience from the 2013 Jamboree.
Mike Fossum, a NASA astronaut and former Boy Scout, said he’s been on site for the past few days talking to Scouts about staying in the program to become Eagle Scouts.
“I know the value behind Boy Scouts. The biggest and most important part is the growth structure.”
Fossum explained that thriving in the outdoors is an excellent way to teach the consequences of one’s own decisions.
“The outdoors — that’s our lab. That’s our classroom. If you go outside without your raincoat, you’re going to get wet.”
He said Scouting is an excellent way to learn responsibility.
“I always like to say that Scouting is like the real world, scaled down to a boy’s size.”
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