From the Chief: On Top of the Scouting World

As another year of Scouting draws to a close, I look back with gratitude and amazement at all the wonderful things that happened in our 107th year. It’s been a good year in Scouting, but one of the biggest and most exciting milestones was the BSA’s quintessential event: the National Jamboree.

If you attended or watched the event unfold on social media, you know we had a spectacular 2017 National Jamboree. More than 40,000 Scouts and volunteers gathered at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, the National Jamboree’s permanent home, for an intense and fun 10-day immersion into all things Scouting.

I could go on and on about the activities during Jamboree — Scouts taking in outdoor adventures, enjoying STEM experiences, earning patches and merit badges, making friends from all over the country — but you’ll get a taste of that in this issue’s Jamboree photo essay. I will simply say this: I’m very proud that, on top of all these adventures, attendees participated in conservation efforts and more than 100,000 hours of community service projects during this event. The Jamboree was a celebration of Scouting’s commitment to adventure, service, conservation and STEM, and I heard from many Jamboree veteran staff members that this was the best Jamboree in their lifetimes.

Many things worked in our favor, including the amazing weather, smooth logistics and new app, but perhaps the most important was that we were able to host the Jamboree at a property we own. SBR is a beautiful location, and its high-adventure amenities made for an incredible experience. And it’s only just begun. In 18 months, the Summit will be on the world stage again when it hosts the 2019 World Scout Jamboree.

Scouts Canada, Asociación de Scouts de México and the Boy Scouts of America will unite to host Scouts from more than 167 different countries and territories. It will be the first World Scout Jamboree in North America since 1967. Planning is well underway, and we couldn’t be more excited. The success of this year’s National Jamboree gives me confidence that it will be an over-the-top experience for all participants and that SBR will be the perfect venue.

Thank you to the outstanding team of leaders and volunteers who made this year such a  success and gave our Scouts incredible memories. We have laid the groundwork for something big. I hope our entire Scouting family is looking forward to the future.

Happy holidays,

Michael Surbaugh

Chief Scout Executive

1 Comment

  1. The 2023 World Jamboree will be the first in the United States since 1967; but not the first in North America since then. It was held in Canada in 1983.

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