My name is David Heineman, I am a Venturer, and I recently attended Jamboree with one of the Atlanta Area Council contingents, Crew 5243/5244. The difference with this contingent was we were all Venturers, 35 kids from all around the council that came from very different Crews. I signed-up up later in the process and only got to attend an hour long meeting before I was thrown into this group of kids heading off to West Virginia, and I only knew four of them ahead of time.
As we got there I remember setting up my tent and looking around at all the others, seeing them all laugh and have so much fun together. Throughout that week I always did all my events and everything with the same six or so of the other Venturers, we really bonded and got to know each other and our surprisingly different backgrounds, even though we lived in the same city. Waiting for the zip line or some other activity we would always make conversation and meet someone from across the nation, maybe even the world. We may have invited them to a friendly card game, teaching them a game they had never seen or having them show us some great new game.
All of Venturing was in the farthest away and hardest to access camp, Foxtrot, along with the international Scouts. Up in that little sub-camp it really felt like our own little world, since we were so separated from everyone else. You would look around during the afternoons and see huge rows of patch traders with 15 year old Texans talking with the Peruvians, 19 year old Californians making huge trades with the Taiwanese, people from all races and genders, across language barriers, having fun.
Now we did have some challenges as a Crew. A couple of youth left early with medical issues, a wretched knee, getting sick and so many other things had happened. But as a team and a Crew we always helped each other out and got through whatever happened.
By that last day, we were waking up to a dance party with hot water ready and breakfast prepared even before it needed to be. We took the Scouting movement and made it our own. We had our Crew inside jokes and we had the most indispensable leaders. Everyone was experiencing Jamboree in their own way, and we felt we played some role, however small, in putting on that whole experience.
This story was submitted by David Heineman, a Venturer in Crew 11 in Marietta, Georgia.