What Lies Ahead?

We're opening a new door on Scouting's history.

I can’t believe that we’re this far into our 100th Anniversary year. If someone had told me that we would be on the doorstep of our 2010 jamboree this quickly, I wouldn’t have believed it. But here we are!

Empty ground at Fort A.P. Hill will soon transform into a bustling Scout city of about 18,000 tents, 3,600 patrol kitchens, and nearly 50,000 Scouts and leaders. This will quickly become the fastest-growing city in the state of Virginia.

Photograph by Dan Bryant

Lord Baden-Powell set the stage at our first jamboree with these now-famous words: “The secret of its growth lies in that indeterminate force which we only know as the ‘Scout Spirit.’” If he had only known then how true those words are today—a century later.

Don’t get me wrong. All of our 100th Anniversary Celebration events to date have been awesome and inspiring. But, the outdoor spirit within me can’t help but be drawn to what I view as the pinnacle event for any Scout to experience: a national jamboree.

What better time to have a jamboree than in the heart of our 100th Anniversary? And this year, we’ll celebrate our jamboree with the world via an awesome and inspiring video webcast of the arena show on July 31 called “A Shining Light Across America.”

Fort A.P. Hill, all 76,000 acres of its wonderful landscape, has served us well as the national Scout jamboree site since 1981. We will miss our old friend after this year. But remember: As one door closes, another opens. Ahead lies the excitement of creating a new national jamboree site at The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia. It will offer a rare opportunity to personally witness the planning, building, and completion of this beautiful tribute to the future of Scouting.

I yearn for the day that I can witness the first Scouts taking their steps into this tremendous national Scouting venue for high-adventure excitement and leadership training. Like our 100th Anniversary Celebration, this is a one-time opportunity. So I ask that you join me in relishing these fast-moving moments in Scouting’s history. Don’t let them slip by without a pause to reflect and take a breath of wood smoke and fresh air.

We won’t pass this way again.

Robert J. Mazzuca
Chief Scout Executive

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May - June 2010 Table of Contents