Jamboree On The Trail
Compiled by Dave Wiebe
The third annual Jamboree on the Trail was a success and we are looking forward to JOTT 2001. JOTT 2000 took place on May 13th, and had participation from over 30,000 members of the Scouting Family around the world. The following are some JOTT 2000 stories.
We had a brilliant day. We started out at 9 o'clock in the morning with 50 Cubs, 5 Scouts and 6 Scouters. We also had a child with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair. All were raring to go! We started in a place called Welsh St. Donats (near Cardiff). We hiked for 2 miles in the morning. The hike included orienteering and tracking. We stopped for a barbecue for lunch and then carried on the hike for 1.5 miles more. It was a very successful day and all look forward to doing it again next year on a bigger scale.
Our hike took place in the beautiful Mojave National Preserve. Cub Scouts and their families drove a little over 450 miles round trip to take part in our campout/hike/service project.
Our group of 4 Scouts (3 Webelos, 1 Wolf) and 4 adult leaders met Park Rangers at the base of the Teutonia Peak Trail in the NW part of the preserve and set out, tools in hand, to groom a section strewn with loose rock. The first mile and a half is relatively flat, over soft sandy soil. Our group enjoyed a beautiful display of wildflower and cactus blooms before beginning the last half of the hike, which rises up over 600 feet to Teutonia Peak (elevation 5,643' (1690 m)). We watched four hawks riding thermal currents over the peak, and spent some time exploring the interesting nooks and crannies in the decomposing granite boulders at the summit. Then it was time for work!
Scouts and leaders cleared most of the rising section of the trail, removing loose rocks, digging out stones that might trip weary hikers, and marking the trail boundaries more clearly. Previously, some sections of the trail were indistinguishable from the surrounding landscape were it not for frequent stone cairns built along its course. The trail is now much more navigable. Hikers are less likely to stray into the fragile surrounding habitat and the trail is definitely safer than before. A Tiger Cub joined us for the flat section of the return hike. We concluded with a presentation by park staff on the preserve itself, and one of its endangered residents, the desert tortoise.
We were blessed with a beautiful day for our project, with a slight breeze and scattered clouds moderating temperatures in the low 80's (high 20s Celsius). Park Rangers have invited us to return twice annually, in the fall and spring. Families responded positively enough that we will probably make this a traditional twice-annual event for our Pack, even though it was so distant.
I was waiting for the final tally of all the Sections that participated. Our Scouts travelled to another province and did their "Jamboree On The Trail" during their camp there. Our Cubs did it during a large regional "Cuboree", and our Beavers did it during a day-camp. Our weather put quite a twist on the whole event. Although we are rather northerly, even here we don't expect winter like weather in May. But winter-like weather is what we got! The wet snow was collapsing tents, and the precipitation was being driven horizontally by high winds, making a joke out of the fly's. Well, our youth certainly did earn their JOTT crests this year and some winter camping experience in May!
Well, mention a hike to my scouts and they would run. This meant that in order for them to take place in JOTT as I had hoped the hike had to be disguised and an element of competition added. (If there is a prize up for grabs my scouts will do anything!!!)
The activity we laid on was an on foot chase. This involved myself and another leader setting off in front of the scouts and they had to try and catch us up. To add more interest everyone had to walk north and at the halfway point turn round and only walk south. This needed careful navigation.
The event went well with both groups ending back where they started although the first group covered a much greater distance then the second.
The first JOTT in Northern New York! We started at 8am with 15 Scouts and 9 Scouters doing the whole 10-mile course. At the 5-mile mark we were joined by 6 Webelos scouts and 2 more scouters doing the second 5-mile loop. Finally with 2 miles to go, 18 Cubs, 15 Scouters, 14 Girl Scouts, and 6 Girl Scouters joined us as well. We completed the Walk at 12 noon under a warm sky were we posed for a group picture. The rain held off until after we were finished. It was a glorious day here in Northern New York, Saint Lawrence County. We are all looking forward to 2001 and making it a bigger event.
Our Beaver Colony ended up at a Fun Day put on by the District so combined that with JOTT. Our Cub Pack decided to hike along some trails at a local Nature Park and help the staff do a clean up of the trails. We had 8 in the group and all turned out. It was a perfect day. We ended up with three garbage bags full as well as many large pieces of metal. The Cubs were amazed by the amount we found as the trail didn't look that dirty. We had lunch and presented crests at the end of the morning. We had originally thought about giving the Cub that collected the most garbage a hiking staff medallion but they ended up working so well together and helped each other out so much we had to change plans. We had licorice for a treat and the youth that ended up with the "short" piece lucked out and received the medallion. We also presented the park staff member that had to haul away our garbage with a crest to say thanks. The Cubs are all quite excited about next years JOTT which is what we hoped would happen.