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What’s The Difference Between Curriculum And Elective Events?

Summit Director Dan McCarthyI mentioned in a previous blog on the 2013 National Jamboree programming about curriculum and elective events. Since I keep running into people who are not quite clear on the difference between the two, I thought I’d return to that topic in this week’s blog.

The Summit is composed of a series of geographically centered activity areas. Each activity area focuses on a particular activity (e.g., cross-country mountain biking, shooting, skateboarding, and canopy tour). To leverage these areas, the program for next year’s jamboree will have a different approach than at prior jamborees. That’s where curriculum and elective events come into play.[pullquote]The program for next year’s jamboree will have a different approach than at prior jamborees.[/pullquote]

Simply stated, a curriculum event is centered on learning. Its intent is to raise the skill level of individual Scouts in a particular activity area. Since the object is to improve skills, staff at each activity area conducting curriculum events will be spending time with participating Scouts, providing skills instruction. Rather than just taking a “ride” on a cross-country mountain bike course, Scouts will be learning about techniques and skills in mountain biking so they can advance on to higher skill level trails. In the case of skateboarding, activity area curriculum events will help Scouts learn new “tricks” or take on more complex course components. You get the idea.

Elective events, on the other hand, are centered primarily on fun and throughput. Their objective is to allow as many Scouts as possible to try out an activity at their current skill level, so in the case of elective events it is about just taking a ride. That sounds somewhat like prior jamborees, but it’s not; at the Summit we will have several skill levels within each activity area so Scouts coming for an elective will be challenged at their current skill level, not at a single skill level as in prior jamborees.

For the 2013 jamboree, Scouts and Venturers will be able to select two curriculum events. Once signed up for a curriculum event, a Scout or Venturer will have a reserved spot in the class. As far as electives go, they will be able to visit any activity area they choose during their free time. They will need to choose wisely though, because it will be like going to Disney World. Developing a strategy for picking the best time to visit a particular event will pay off in minimizing wait times in the case of elective events.

Scouts attending the 2013 National Jamboree will be selecting their curriculum and elective sessions this winter, so if you signed up to attend, you might want to start reviewing your options now. Go to for additional information on the activity areas that will be available.

See you at the jamboree!


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