Reis describes international Boy Scout Jamboree experiences

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Storm Lake Hy-Noon Kiwanis President-elect Curt Reis didn't have to look too far from home for a program for last Monday's meeting.

In fact, he looked right in his own home.

Reis' son Chris gave Hy-Nooners a glimpse of what it was like at the national Boy Scout Jamboree this past summer at Fort A.P. Hill, Vir., a military installation that gave Scouts as close of a view as they could possibly get of military life. A total of 100 troops from around the world attended. Also attending the Jamboree with Chris were Colin and Casey Schultz and Darren Johnson.

A senior patrol leader, Chris sold a whole lot of popcorn and pizzas to help raise the $1,500 for the trip. In Washington, D.C., they visited the Smithsonian and federal buildings before going to the Jamboree for 10 days.

Since the site was a military base, the Army had set up an area for Scouts to view some of the equipment it uses. There was a merit badge midway with "every badge you could possibly get", said Chris, plus lots of patch trading among the Scouts.

While there were separate church services for the various denominations, the attendance for each denomination was huge. Chris said about 17,000 Scouts attended the Catholic service alone.

There were about 40,000 Scouts attending an arena show in which President Bush and Congressman Steve King addressed the group.

The event was truly international, with Scouts from Denmark, France, China, Australia, and Mexico attending as well as Scouts from all over the United States.

While the $1,500 price tag for attending the Jamboree might sound a little stiff, it could have been worse. Chris said a number of Scouts from California signed on with the group since the cost in signing on from their home state would have been $6,000.

After Chris finished his presentation, he showed two videos, one of which showed him among a group of Scouts at the Jamboree.

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