Somewhere over New Brunswick.
Our itinerary fortuitously saved the best for last. The rain couldn't spoil the goodwill that was evident everywhere at the Jamboree. Every one of our Scouts can recount numerous stories of meeting young men and women from every continent, and at least one of them did so in the other Scout's language. Several of our guys are already plotting how they might attend another event like this, or to travel abroad with a school group. As Hatcher remarked in the early evening drizzle on Friday, "it was the best day of the trip." I initially mistook him for saying it was the best day of his life, but he clarified THAT was the day he first tasted chocolate and peanut butter together.
While the trip sometimes resembled a festival of moleskin and sleep deprivation, it laid down indelible individual and corporate memories. The parent in me hopes that our Scouts will go on to study European history with an appreciation for how great ideas and incomprehensible sacrifice painfully won democratic freedoms against enormous odds in societies that were often cruel and unjust. At the same time, the part of me that is a Scout leader will never forget the times I was present, in a chapel within the walls of Windsor Castle, at the American cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, while running the trails of Brownsea Island, or strolling the narrow, crooked streets of the Latin Quarter, to hear our Scouts express wise and unexpected insights. The Scouts of Troop 15 can undoubtedly be goofy, and often downright gross, but on this trip, their radar was switched fully on when it really mattered.
Sun, July 31, 2011
by Dave Thompson