Thursday, May 27, 2010

BSA National Annual Meeting in Dallas

National Commissioner Tico Perez, left, with Alan
The Boy Scouts of America meets once a year in a venue that is determined by its National Council. Over the course of the past decade this important meeting of delegates from councils all across the land has been held in cities such as New Orleans; Boston; Philadelphia; Grapevine, Texas; Chicago; San Diego; Orlando and Dallas. This year's meeting is being held at the Hotel Anatole in Dallas, not far from the National Council's headquarters in nearby Irving. This is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America and much of the attention being paid by attendees is to the centennial Jamboree being held for the final time at Fort A. P. Hill in Caroline County, Virginia. This event will feature 50,000 Scouts from across the nation with 250,000 visitors slated to appear over the course of the nearly two-week long event. In reality it is like a small city that springs up literally overnight at the U. S. Army reservation. Over the course of the last 30 years that Fort A. P. Hill has been the permanent site of the Jamboree an infrastructure has been put into place (dining halls, sites for camping, toilet facilities, etc.). Following the departure of the Scouts this year in August, monies raised by the Scouts themselves will be used to tear down those structures and return the space back to its original green footprint. In this way the phrase "leave no trace" will truly figure in a meaningful way. The National Council of the BSA has purchased property for a new permanent site for future Jamborees in West Virginia and Virginia. This tract has yet to be improved and there is some question remaining as to how much of it will be developed by the time of the next Jamboree in the summer of 2013. After all, it has taken several decades to make the existing facilities at Fort A. P. Hill effectual, so it will take some time to build the facilities at the new site. Nonetheless, the emphasis for everyone is to make this 2010 Jamboree the most fun and safest event of its kind ever held. In the meantime, it's time to focus on how to deliver the Scouting program to local councils and to the Scouts themselves.

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