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Shakedown’s Shakedown: Your Questions Answered

The Summit Shakedown is history.  It was awesome to see more than a thousand Boy Scouts and Venturers enjoying a sample of the high-adventure activities in Action Point and Adventure Valley that will be available at the 2013 National Jamboree in less than a year.  Thank you to all of our youth, leaders, and staff who made the Shakedown a great success.  Our program team learned a lot!  Most activities worked just like we thought they would.  Others need some tweaks.  Some need a few changes.  And one or two need substantial adjustments.  We are committed to getting all of these accomplished between now and July 15, 2013.

There were a lot of questions asked during the Shakedown by both the youth participants and adult leaders about program details, especially about how the program choices will work.  So, this blog will be about three of those issues, and the next blog will cover a few others.


The new model for the national jamboree is all about choices.

It is important for you to know that nothing at the Summit is mandatory for anyone to do.  About half the available program time will be scheduled, and certain activities will be offered to specific units on specific days, like the Garden Ground Trek and the Day of Service.  We hope all of our participants will take advantage of these opportunities, but nobody will be forced to do any specific activity.  If a participant wants to spend all of his time working on merit badges (there will be 35 to 40 of these offered), that’s OK.  If another participant wants to spend all of her time on a skateboard or BMX bike, that’s OK, too.  We want our participants to try new things, to challenge themselves, and to increase their ability in many different ways.  We will provide many more program and activity choices than one person can possibly complete in 10 days.  But the choice of what to do and how much to do it is each participant’s to make. Have fun.

Skill Levels

The new model for the national jamboree is all about skill levels.

Some of the high-adventure activities — like the Big Zip and the canopy tours — require no special skill, so you can just show up and do it.  But most of the high-adventure activities start with an assessment of the current skill level of each participant who shows up at that venue.  Even if it’s the first time you have tried it, there’s no problem.  The participant will then be offered the chance to do that activity at the most appropriate skill level.  Once the participant demonstrates proficiency at that level, he/she will be offered a chance to try it at a more challenging level.  Our goal is for each person to leave an activity with better skills than they brought to it. And of course, have fun.

Adult Participation

The new model for the national jamboree is all about the youth.

The adult leaders and staff are there first and foremost to provide the youth with a remarkable experience.  But many adults have asked if they will have a chance to try out some of the fantastic program venues at the Summit.  The answer is “ABSOLUTELY!”  In the Summit Center, anyone — youth participants, adult unit leaders, staff, and daily visitors — can participate in the activities on a first-come, first-served basis, assuming they meet the physical qualifications for that specific activity.  (Of course, a very considerate Scouting adult would always make sure that youth got the highest priority.)  In the separate adventure areas, we have now decided to offer our youth staff (ages 16 to 25) and our adult unit leaders of all ages the chance to participate in these areas during specific hours with the youth, probably in the mid- to late afternoons.  The program staff will be trained on how to work adults into the activity with the youth.  And continue to have fun.

In our next blog we’ll continue answering some of the FAQs from the Shakedown.  Among the topics covered will be the hike to Garden Ground Mountain, merit badges, and patch trading.  Stay tuned.

And as always, we would love feedback from you anytime about anything related to the jamboree program.


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