The Korea Scout Association (KSA) will host the 25th World Scout Jamboree in 2023. Image used under Creative Commons licensing from World Scouting.

Reflections on the Jamboree

Jamboree Director of Operations and International Commissioner Kent Clayburn described Phillip Zabriskie as one of his go-to people to get things done for the 24th WSJ. Phillip is the team lead for IST Support, leading a series of new ways to improve the IST experience. He has also co-written the Jamboree Handbook along with a series of other projects. In his non-Jamboree scout life, he is a unit commissioner and a part of the National and Capital Council International Committees.

In 2017, Phillip Zabriskie traveled to a nearby council for an extra training opportunity that would help him support his local troop. The Baltimore Council University of Scouting happened to also happened to be hosting Scott Sorrels, the US Co-Chair of the 24th World Scout Jamboree, as the keynote speaker. During Scott’s speech, Phillip discovered that he was one of few Scouters in the room who had been to a World Scout Jamboree. Afterward, he begged Scott for the opportunity to support this summer’s upcoming Jamboree.

Two years later, Phillip has become rather indispensable to the 24th WSJ Planning team. As the Team Lead for IST Support, Phillip has been working tirelessly to build a modern and comprehensive IST experience. In this role, he oversees the IST staff award, work attendance policies, IST support stations, and an improved IST communications strategy, among other things. He also just finished co-writing the Official Jamboree Guidebook, which he says was “a huge honor and an exciting opportunity to again return to the participant experience.”

Like your BSA Handbook, Phillip promises, the WSJ Guidebook will provide “all of the answers” to your Jamboree questions, during and before the event. Phillip also notes that this guide is so important because “this experience is so different from the National Jamboree.”

(Watch this site and our contingent social media pages for an update when the finalized WSJ Guidebook will be released.)

“Before attending the 2007 World Scout Jamboree, I had attended the National Scout Jamboree, had been to Philmont, and was just on the cusp of earning My Eagle Scout Rank,” he recalls. But Phillip notes that being a participant (and a patrol leader), back in 2007, opened his eyes to a deeper meaning to the Scouting experience. “Many of my earlier scouting experiences seemed to focus on ‘adventure’. But my brightest memories of the World Jamboree were new international friends, wacky happenings, and unexpected laughter.” Like many of our contingent members, Phillip was lucky to experience so much of the BSA’s great offerings and yet still found something entirely new at the World Jamboree.

He advises Jamboree participants to “Eat with your neighbors, learn a distant language, bike with new friends, and sing old songs to suddenly discover that the same tune is used halfway around the world too. Trade for fun, not profit. Take photos with new scouting friends and leave behind the world you once knew.” This World Scout Jamboree will change your life. Phillip knows this first hand; the boys and girls he met are still friends over 10 years later.

But, for the Scouts of the BSA, this Jamboree especially is meaningful. This is the first Jamboree hosted on US soil since 1967. “This World Scout Jamboree will undoubtedly define the international scouting experience for a generation of American scouts,” Phillip explains. “This Jamboree is different for us, and we are not only lucky to experience it, but also to share it with the world. The North American Scouting experience will inspire the world.”

“However, this journey is just the beginning for you” Phillip reminds us. The International Scouting experience won’t end with the conclusion of this one Jamboree. “Each of us will carry the spirit of the World Scout Jamboree home to our home units and councils. We bring it with us as we encourage our fellow scouts to seek similar opportunities and as we choose to give back in future years as a member of the International Service Team.”

As part of the International Committee, Phillip has also been working to make international scouting more accessible and a larger part of our domestic scout program. In the words of BSA International Commissioner Kent Clayburn, Phillip “has a very good handle on what we’re trying to do with International Scouting beyond Jamboree. He’s going to be a big part of that.” They, together with a dedicated team of professional staff, are working to help units, councils, and individuals participate in international scouting events around the world. Early next year, you have the chance to attend JamCam in Brazil (the Interamerican Region’s Jamboree) or Eurojam in Poland (The European Scout Region’s Jamboree). You can find other upcoming WOSM events here.

But the broader spirit of international scouting is not exclusive to incredible scouting trips like these. There is an increasing number of ways to get more involved with the World Scouting Movement right at home. This autumn, like every year, you can participate in Jamboree-on-the-Air and Jamboree-on-the-Internet (Oct. 18–20), you can earn the International Spirit Award, or support a Messengers of Peace project like those featured here. Teach a fellow scout the friendship knot. Exchange care packages between your unit and one you met at the Jamboree. Encourage others to attend the next World Scout Jamboree. Consider building at your own local campouts the “gateways” that you saw at the WSJ and that are so traditional to other scouting countries.

We are so fortunate to experience this World Scout Jamboree, right here in our own country. We also have a responsibility to be good hosts, kind friends, and helpful scouts. But finally we have the opportunity to share this experience and, like Phillip, decide what adventure this will take us on next.

The post was originally posted on June 28, 2019 by

Ben Beese

US Contingent Webmaster

The post was originally posted on June 28, 2019 by

Ben Beese

US Contingent Webmaster

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