The anticipation was palpable as Scouts and devoted Scouting Volunteers from all corners of the nation gathered at the 2023 National Scout Jamboree in the heart of West Virginia last month. This grand event promised to be a memorable celebration of camaraderie, adventure, and the spirit of Scouting.
Against a backdrop of recent challenges and uncertainties, this year’s Jamboree emerged as a beacon of resilience, unity and joy, leaving an indelible mark on all who participated and resulting in an experience that transcended all expectations.
Alumni Adventure Complex: Together, NESA and Alumni Ignite Scouter Spirits
The Alumni Adventure complex was nestled amidst the bustling activity hub called Action Point, and was more than a gathering place for Scouting alumni; it was a living embodiment of the Scouting spirit. Scouts and Scouters of all ages were beckoned to take part in the unique offerings under and surrounding the sprawling tents. Beyond its tented façade, a number of experiences and activities awaited: games that animated the atmosphere, the chance to be photographed alongside Regis, a majestic American Bald Eagle, the opportunity to carve wood into a masterpiece, and the chance to etch one’s memories onto a beloved belt or hat at the branding station.
A Glimpse Under the Tent
Inside the tent, visitors were immersed in a kaleidoscope of ways to get involved as BSA Alumni. Whether they entered through the NESA tent or the adjoining BSA Alumni Association tent, They entered a welcoming space of alumni communities that ranged from Philmont Staff Association to Sons of the American Revolution, offering something for just about every professional and Scouting interest. It was a true immersion, a treasure trove brimming with information, activities, and connections that resonated with every visitor. Click here to learn more about alumni communities.
Voices of Inspiration
The alumni complex also included a space for thought-provoking workshops and charismatic guest speakers. With more than 27 guest speakers, the topics ranged from securing scholarships, using the Alumni SPARK directory, and camping on the International Space Station, to sculpting robust council committees. Each workshop was a voyage into knowledge and insight.
Forward: Future Focused
Additional highlights from the Alumni Adventure complex included two panel discussions. The first discussion was a panel dialogue with six female Eagle Scouts from diverse corners of the nation. The National Key Three, Brad Tilden, National Chair, W. Scott Sorrels, National Commissioner, and Chief Scout Executive, Roger C. Mosby held a panel discussion around the future of the BSA. An impromptu Court of Honor illuminated the path of seven newly minted Eagle Scouts, their journey a testament to the dedication and the future leaders of our nation.
Recognizing a few Dedicated Volunteers
Andrew Miller, BSA Alumni Association Chair, was presented with the coveted NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award. This honor, bestowed on the second day of the Jamboree, exemplified Miller’s inspiration to others through his positive actions and accomplishments in his professional career and community.
His own recognition segued into a moving tribute to BSA alumni Bruce Hamous, William J. Kropa, Jared Olschewski, and Bradley Taylor, each hailed as a Territory Alumnus of the Year. The remarkable achievements of each honoree have made a powerful impact on Scouting and their local communities.
BSA Alumni | The Spark That Keeps the Campfire Burning
As the echoes of the 2023 National Scout Jamboree continue to resonate in our hearts, the BSA Alumni Association and National Eagle Scout Association must extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who dedicated their time, energy, and passion to make this event an unforgettable success. Your dedication to creating a welcoming atmosphere, curating engaging activities, and crafting a space that celebrated Scouting’s legacy truly made the complex a hub of connection and discovery.
For those eager to relive the Jamboree’s vibrant moments we have a visual treat for you! Visit the Official BSA National Jamboree Flicker Album and the National Eagle Scout Association Facebook page. This collection of photos and videos encapsulates the Jamboree’s essence from the joyous faces of Scouts to the dynamic activities and lifelong friendships being forged.