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Are We Serious About BMI?

Summit Director Dan McCarthy

This question keeps popping up, mostly from past jamboree participants and staff. The short answer is “Yes.”

Jamborees at the Summit will be physically demanding experiences. West Virginia is called the “Mountain State” for a reason. While there are level areas, there are also regular changes in grade as you hike from point to point, and all movement will be on foot (no buses or personal vehicles). It will be common to see a 200-foot elevation change as you move about the site (think of that as going up about 20 floors in an office building). A number of our activities require more stamina and fitness, too—think climbing, rappelling, rafting, mountain biking, and skateboarding.

Our goal is to help ensure that everyone is able to enjoy all of what the jamboree will have to offer. That means being “physically strong” will be important to a successful jamboree experience. We have adopted the Centers for Disease Control’s body mass index (BMI) as a screening tool to determine the fitness of participants and staff members for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.

When registering for the jamboree, you will see Tico Perez’s video on getting fit. As Tico indicates, it’s a matter of health and fitness, and yes, we are serious. Assuming your health-care practitioner recommends your participation in the jamboree, the rules are simple:

  • If your BMI is 31.9 or less, you’re good.
  • If your BMI is in the range from 32.0 to 39.9, your application will need to be reviewed by jamboree health-care professionals to confirm qualification to attend. You will likely be asked to provide additional information if you are in this range.
  • If your BMI is 40.0 or higher, you will be ineligible to attend.

Go to to determine your BMI. If you are currently out of the range to qualify for the jamboree, you need to get started now on getting into shape. There is still time, but the clock is ticking. Tico is setting the example along with a lot of other folks who have already made significant progress in getting their weight in a safe BMI range.

Will you be ready?

Good Scouting!


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