Pat Fountain's Reflection on his time as an International Staff Support Team Staffer
at the 2017 BSA National Jamboree.
Imagine you are at a Scout camp and awakened to the sounds of foreign languages. Or rolling out of your tent to be greeted by Scouters in yellow, red or bright blue uniforms. No you would not be dreaming, but you would be living a dream as a part of the 2021 National Jamboree International Support team.
For many Scouters an International Adventure is on their bucket list, but life, work and any number of factors prevent that from happening. Being a part of the Jamboree’s International Team might just be the next best thing for those yearning to learn about the world and, in order to that, needing the world to come to you.
As a part of the International team you would work with Scouts and Scouters from all over the world who are attending the Jamboree. Why would they come to a Jamboree in the USA? They are looking to learn about the culture of the USA as well as to help others understand more about their culture. And what better vehicle than a gathering of Scouts from around the world to do just that?
At the last National Jamboree there were over 600 Scouts from over 50 different countries. Throw in well over 100 international staff members from additional countries and you have, well, a mini-world in West Virginia. It made me appreciate even more that every Scout is a part of the World Scout Movement made up of some 50 million Scouts in over 200 countries. And it made me wonder how the world was changing due to all their efforts to make it a better place.
It was a great honor and one of the most rewarding parts of my time in Scouting to be a part of the International Staff Support Team at the last Jamboree. We worked together to do things such as answer questions, solve problems and work out travel arrangements. We also helped folks find their way around and helped people get on the internet and keep their devices charged. But, more importantly, it was our job to make them feel welcome, appreciated and to make sure they were getting all they could out of their International Experience.
Others on the International Support Team worked directly with International Troops to do whatever it took to turn frowns into smiles and make sure our visitors had a great experience. As they helped the international visitors, answered and asked questions and made them an important part of the jamboree they learned and made new friends. In the end few, if any, on the International Staff Team would say they gave more than a fraction of what they gained in return. The memories, friends and adventures over the two weeks of the Jamboree will, no doubt, last a lifetime.
It was awesome to hear reports from happy international leaders about the great time they and their Scouts were having. It was a wonderful feeling to be a part of the team making that happen. Kind of like a dream, really – an international dream right here in the USA.
Scouters looking for international adventure should not miss their chance to be a part of that dream. Now is the time to apply for a position on the international staff!