2013 National Scout Jamboree

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2013 National Scout Jamboree
2013 National Scout Jamboree.png
Theme Go Big. Get Wild.
Location Summit Bechtel Reserve, West Virginia
Country United States
Coordinates 37°55′35″N 81°09′00″W / 37.92639°N 81.15000°W / 37.92639; -81.15000
Date July 15, 2013 (2013-07-15)–July 24, 2013 (2013-07-24)
 Scouting portal

The 2013 National Scout Jamboree was the 18th national Scout jamboree held by the Boy Scouts of America from July 15, 2013 to July 24, 2013. It was the first national Scout jamboree held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia and the first jamboree to include Venturers as participants. Projected attendance was over 50,000 Boy Scouts, Venturers, volunteers and staff.

This jamboree was operated more like a World Scout Jamboree with subcamps that promoted maximum interaction. The Summit will also be the venue of the 24th World Scout Jamboree in 2019 hence the 2013 event was intended to also be an effective test of the venue's capabilities.

The 2013 Jamboree was the first in over 30 years to not be held at Fort A.P. Hill, a US Army installation that had hosted every Jamboree since 1981.


There were two shows at the 2013 Jamboree, both occurring at the Summit Center stadium. The first show, which occurred on Tuesday, July 16, 2013, titled "Welcome to West Virginia," was to feature Carly Rae Jepsen[1] but she backed out on March 5, 2013, citing the BSA's ban on openly gay, bisexual, and transgender scouts. She announced her decision on Twitter saying, "As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer."[2] Teenage recording artist Sarah Centeno replaced Jepsen's spot in the show as well as country group Taylor Made.

The second show, which was titled "Celebration of Scouting," occurred on Saturday, July 20, 2013, and featured Mike Rowe as the keynote speaker and rock band 3 Doors Down as the musical act. Originally, the show was to be headlined by pop rock band Train,[3][4] but the band backed out on March 1, 2013, citing the BSA's ban on openly gay, bisexual, and transgender scouts.[5] The band said it would have been happy to play the show as long as the BSA "makes the right decision before then," ostensibly a reference to a potential overturn of the ban. After the BSA decision to allow openly gay scouts (but not openly gay leaders) was released on May 2013, Train did not make any statement on returning to play at the Jamboree and was replaced by 3 Doors Down, which were announced as the headliner on the social medias during the Jamboree.[5]


New merit badges that were introduced at the jamboree included Game Design, Programming and Sustainability. Additionally, a preview to the Mining in Society Merit Badge was offered at the Jamboree.[4]

New Features[edit]

Apart from the change of venue and time, the 2013 Jamboree has been lauded for introducing several new aspects to the Jamboree program.


A heavy base of lessening the Jamboree's environmental impact[6] was placed on the 2013 Jamboree. Water conservation was in full effect. This Jamboree was the first to ban all one-time use water bottles, making reusable bottles a must to save plastic. The "greywater" methodology was also greatly used: water from sinks and showers was used to flush toilets, leading the Summit to advertise a "zero gallon" water waste. Wastewater was passively treated in lagoons then used to drip irrigate the local forest, bringing water usage in a full cycle.

The BSA also announced that almost all of the lumber used to build the many onsite shower houses and latrine facilities came directly from forests on the property. Facilities did not require paint or harmful treatment for construction.

Additionally, contingent units and staff members were provided with an officially licensed Jamboree duffel bag. All tent and cooking gear were provided onsite by The Summit, eliminating the need for each council to transport a tractor trailer full of unit equipment and thus, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of transportation to and from the event.


In part of the "Scouting 2.0" initiative, a large emphasis on technology was made during the Jamboree. For the first time ever, participants were advised to carry smartphones in order to use the Jamboree's mobile application for iOS and Android. The app helped Scouts, scouters and staff navigate the area through the ArcGIS Online Platform (developed and supported by ESRI), as well as provide personalized daily activity schedules to all its users.

AT&T sponsored a large part of this technology initiative. Cellular towers, many owned by AT&T, and wifi antennas were placed around the site providing mobile coverage for the Jamboree. Solar chargers were also be placed in subcamps, allowing participants to keep their devices charged on a daily basis.

Technology Quest was a half day experience that was a part of every participant's assigned weekly schedule. Scouts had a hands on science and technology experience brought to the jamboree by major corporate, non-profit and educational partners. These included: NASA, National Geographic, Lego, AT&T, Microsoft, the Franklin Institute, Michigan Tech, West Virginia University Forensics, Team SLR from NASCAR, Destination Imagination, Parallax, Inc., National White Collar Crime Center, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, Fairmont State University, Geocaching.com, Goal Zero, Mountain View Solar, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and more. Activities included robotics, forensics, chemistry, physics, health care, IT, DNA and biotech, and photography.


Gene Schultz, an adult staff member from Beavercreek, Ohio collapsed on July 20, 2013 and was transported by ambulance to Plateau Medical Center where he was pronounced dead after attempts to revive him had failed. Schultz was volunteering as a merit badge counselor and a historical reenactor of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The cause of death was attributed to a heart attack.[7][8]