I’m back from my three-week adventure at the National Scout Jamboree held at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve in West Virginia. As the title of this post demonstrates, as well as the feature image shows, this was an electric Jamboree. First, it was electric due to the many thunderstorms that rolled through the area. Thunder and its accompanying lightning are not good friends for amateur radio antennas that are placed at the top of forty-foot telephone poles. When those storms rolled through, it was disconnect everything and shut down operations.
Second, I’m calling it the electric Jamboree since so many Scouts, Leaders, and Staff members were always in pursuit of electricity to charge their cellphones. For this Jamboree, everything was on the cellphone — from maps to critical communication. Charging stations were available but every available electrical outlet was also festooned with cellphones being charged and nearby Scouts waiting to gain just a bit of charge before launching on their next Jamboree activity.
Among those activities was the K2BSA Amateur Radio Operation. Our 40+ staff members really ran a superb operation. Overall, we conducted amateur radio demonstrations for 2,604 Scouts and 351 earned their Radio Merit Badge. We also had a scheduled contact with the International Space Station where 10 Scouts got to talk with astronaut Luca Parmitano as he flew overhead on the ISS. We’ve posted a recording of the contact here. You can also see a listing of the coverage of our operation at this posting.
So, how does this fit within the PathForeWord? It’s actually about Paying it ForeWord. In other words, investing our time, talent, and treasure to serve others in helping them along their own PathForeWord. In this case, literally thousands of youth were introduced to the science, technology, fun, and magic of amateur radio. For many, you could actually see a spark of enthusiasm light in their eyes. For a few, that spark ignited their passion for a new hobby or perhaps vocation. They came back to the station many times over the course of the Jamboree. Each time digging deeper into amateur radio. Did our efforts change lives? I’m convinced it did.
In your own PathForeWord, think about how you can Pay it ForeWord. How can you help others? Get started right now!