Jamboree On The Trail
Compiled by Dave Wiebe
The fourth annual Jamboree on the Trail was a success and we are looking forward to JOTT 2002. JOTT 2001 took place on May 12th, and had participation from over 30,000 members of the Scouting Family around the world. The following are some JOTT 2001 stories.
We meet at Purgatory Chasm State Reservation for our Cub Scout Pack JOTT Hike. The park is in central Massachusetts in the town of Sutton. The chasm is thought to have formed by a sudden release of dammed-up glacial melt water about 14,000 years ago. This event created a deep rift in the local granite with vertical walls rising to 70 feet. The floor of the chasm is littered with large boulders piled up on each other creating caves between the blocks of rock. The caves are a great place to explore with a flashlight. After hiking through the chasm, we returned to the park entrance along the cliff-top trail. A picnic lunch was followed by more exploration of the park trails.
Our district Scout Camporee once again coincided with JOTT so we included a JOTT hike as one of the scheduled activities. We are a very small district with only two troops, so we invited troops from other districts in our region as well as some in an adjoining region. We ended up with a total of over 80 Scouts and about 30 Scouters from 9 troops.
Our camp theme was 'Robin Hood' so our hike became a 'Hike through Sherwood Forest'. We paired this activity up with canoeing which was held at a nearby lake. There is a trail connecting the two, so this became our hike. It was a brisk 1.5 hour hike through the woods with a lot of up and down hills. We arranged it so that one group was driven into the canoeing first thing in the morning while a second group hiked in. At mid morning, the hikers arrived at the lake for their canoeing session (after which they were driven back out for lunch) while the first group hiked the trail back to the camp. The other two groups did the same after lunch.
The weather was beautiful the whole weekend and everyone had a great time. The trail is very scenic and (in spite of the large groups) several people spotted birds, squirrels, etc. Everyone liked having the JOTT hike included in the Camporee and as many were from out of town, they were hiking a trail that they hadn't visited before.
Jamboree On The Trail is the only international annual event for every member of the Scouting family; Scouts of all ages and all sorts. It is an ideal opportunity to come together in spirit with Scouts all over the world and to promote the world-wide aspect of this growing Movement.