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Here are some answers to common questions about the 2019 World Scout Jamboree – USA Contigent

What is the World Scout Jamboree?

The World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) is the largest regular event organized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), gathering up to 40,000 Scouts from more than 150 countries around the World.  It is an educational event to promote peace and understanding among young people from different cultures.  The World Scout Jamboree includes many activities available at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve.  For more information, visit the host website at The 2019 WSJ will be the 24th Jamboree in Scouting history.   The first Jamboree took place in England in 1920.

Who can attend the World Scout Jamboree?

If you want to attend as a participant, you must be between the age of 14 and 18 (born between July 22, 2001 and July 21, 2005 (no exceptions).  Adults over the age of 18 can serve on the International Service Team (IST) and as unit leaders.  All participants, unit leaders and IST must be members of the Boy Scouts of America.  The WSJ Contingent is open to all Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts who meet the age requirement.  In addition, Scouts must meet the physical requirements for attending the Summit Bechtel Reserve, found on the Summit Health Form. 

How much will WSJ cost?

The Contingent Management Team is working on determining fees for the USA Contingent now.  We expect that the cost for the WSJ will be similar to the cost of attending a National Scout Jamboree at the Summit.  The cost will include transportation.  To make the WSJ as affordable as possible, there will be no pre-tour or post-tour for the USA Contingent.

The World Scout Jamboree is an experience of a lifetime.  In 2019, Scouts from the United States will have an opportunity to camp with thousands of Scouts from around the world without the cost of international travel.

How can I register for the 2019WSJ?

Registration will open in early Fall, 2017.   Watch this website and our Facebook page for an announcement soon.  In the meantime, you can join our mailing list to receive registration information as soon as it is available.  Once you register, and your application is accepted by your Council and the National Office, you will be assigned to a unit with other Scouts from your area.  Each unit will have 36 Scouts and four adults.  You will receive additional information about your unit from your Jamboree Scoutmaster.  Our contingent will have 180 units, totaling 7,200 participants.  In addition, we will have 2,700 Scouts from the USA on the International Service Team.

How will we travel to the WSJ?

The USA Contingent will have representatives from all 50 States, US Territories and from overseas Councils that provide BSA programs to US citizens serving abroad.  Each region will have transportation plans appropriate for their trip to the Jamboree.  Units of participants who live closer to the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia may travel by bus or train, while others might travel by air.  The contingent fee will vary based on the travel distance to the Jamboree.

What is a Contingent Kit?

Each participant and IST member will receive a contingent kit that consists of patches, neckerchiefs and other USA Contingent branded items to wear and take to the World Scout Jamboree.  Individual units might also create patches, neckerchiefs, pins and other items for participants to give and trade at the Jambo.

What gear will I need for the WSJ?

The Jamboree will provide tent and patrol cooking gear for each unit.  Participants will be responsible for bringing their own personal gear, including a sleeping bag and pad, Scout uniforms (Class A or Field Uniform), and casual Scout wear (Class “B” or Activity Uniform) shirts.  While we don’t have a complete packing list prepared for the Contingent just yet, we encourage you to look to the 2017 National Scout Jamboree Packing List for ideas.

What kind of weather can I expect at the WSJ?

July in West Virginia is typically warm and humid, with temperatures during the day in the 80°F and evening low temperatures around 62°F.  Thunderstorms in the afternoon are common.  Plan to bring rain wear, boots and gear appropriate for these conditions.

Can you hear me now?

The Summit has excellent cell and WiFi service.  Basecamps, where you will be staying, have electrical outlets for charging your devices.  Some participants bring solar chargers and extra batteries to assure they are powered up during the Jamboree.

What is daily life like at Jambo?

Participants will camp with their units in villages comprised of units from many countries.  Next to your unit you might have a troop from South Korea, or Ireland, or Brazil, or Uganda.  Your patrol will send a representative to the “grocery store” to pick up food for the day.  Cooking in patrols, you will quickly make breakfast and clean up so that you can participate in one of the Summit’s many high adventure activities.  While at the Canopy Tour or Sustainability Tree House, you meet new friends from many countries.  Some days you will participate in special programs aimed at learning more about community service, global sustainability and peace.  You will likely take your lunch with you on your day’s adventure.  Dinner will be back at your unit campsite. Some nights you may ask a unit from another country to join you.  They will make a meal that is traditional for their culture and you both learn something about each other.  After dinner there is a campfire at your SubCamp, where you learn songs from five different countries.  You meet a few Scouts there from Ireland and they invite you over for tea and to play cards.  On the way, you meet Scouts from Lebanon and Croatia trading patches.  Finally, you return back to your camp for a quick night’s sleep.

How is a World Scout Jamboree different than a National Scout Jamboree?

The WSJ is different than National Jamboree’s in many ways, including:

Most National Scout Organizations have both men and women participants, so about half of the WSJ participants are girls and women.

The focus is more on meeting people from different cultures and countries than doing high-adventure activities.  Sure, you will have plenty of opportunities to zip-line, kayak, and ride mountain bikes, but you will also have many opportunities to meet new friends and learn what Scouting and life is like in other countries.

The World Scout Jamboree has special programs for participants to learn about different cultures, sustainability, peace and community service.  These activities are intended to give participants an opportunity to learn new things and to build new friendships.

What do people wear at Jambo?

For travel, evening shows and formal events, participants will wear their full BSA uniform. But for most of the time, we will be wearing a scout t-shirt, shorts or pants and a neckerchief.  We’ll be very active during the day and the weather will likely be warm and humid, so dress accordingly.  Participants will be issued a contingent neckerchief and a WSJ neckerchief.  The WSJ necker indicates that you are an official participant.  You will also be issued a security credential (name tag) that must be worn at all times.   Scouts often give or trade neckers as a sign of friendship, so sometimes you will see participants with three or (many) more neckers around their neck.

What's up with how Scouts tie their neckerchiefs?

Scouts take their neckerchiefs (or “neckers” or “scout scarves” as they’re called in other parts of the world) very seriously.  In some countries, Scouts use three people to roll and tie their neckers just right.  You will notice that many Scouts don’t use neckerchief slides (also called woggles). Instead, they tie a special knot called the Friendship Knot at the end. This knot signifies the special bond of friendship Scouts have around the world and is a convenient way to keep your scout scarf together.  You can learn to tie the Friendship knot in this video or this diagram.

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