At the 2017 National Jamboree

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My son and I at the 2017 National Jamboree, Summit Bechtel Reserve, West Virginia, July 24, 2017

For more than the past week, my son and his Boy Scout Troop 3127 with the Northeast Georgia Boy Scout Council have been at the 2017 National Jamboree!  There are 33 scouts in his troop, and 3 scout leaders.  My son is a member of the second council contingent troop for our council; there is another troop with approximately the same number of people attending Jamboree, as well.

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My son at the Summit Bechtel Reserve – 2017 National Jamboree, July 24, 2017

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience people from around the country, including many international scouters from around the world, who have come to the National Jamboree!

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My son with his base camp in the background. 2017 National Jamboree; July 24, 2017

I had the pleasure of visiting my son at the 2017 National Jamboree, held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, near Beckley this week.

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My son at the West Virginia State Police exhibit, 2017 National Jamboree, July 25, 2017

While I had to leave early on Monday due to President Trump’s visit and speech at the National Jamboree, I visited all day on Tuesday.

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My son standing in line, awaiting his turn at the U.S. Army simulator, 2017 National Jamboree, July 25, 2017

It was a wonderful experience to visit my son at the 2017 National Jamboree, and walk around (lots of walking!) the area, enjoying various exhibits, meeting people, and trading patches.

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My son at the U.S. Navy simulation area, 2017 National Jamboree, July 25, 2017

I especially appreciate the presence of the West Virginia State Police and Fayetteville Sheriffs in and around the 2017 National Jamboree.  It was great to observe the many police and sheriffs stationed around the area, for everyone’s safety and protection.

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My son with Regis, the bald eagle, and his handler. 2017 National Jamboree; July 25, 2017

On Monday, my son heard President Trump’s speech, after lining up to enter the speech/arena area with his troop at around 1:00 PM.  It was an all-afternoon wait to hear Trump talk – and while his speech was controversial for some, he did have many good things to say to the scouts.

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My son talking with an Eagle Scout Association representative. 2017 National Jamboree; July 25, 2017

On Tuesday, my son and I spent most of the day on Freedom Trail where the military and police exhibits are located.  My son really enjoyed participating in the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy simulation experiences.  He also received patches from military personnel, there, as well.

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My son talking with a scout representative at the Commissioner’s Tent. 2017 National Jamboree; July 25, 2017

While there was much walking, it was pleasant to talk with many fellow scouters at the 2017 National Jamboree!

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My son with Venturers from the Grand Teton Council. 2017 National Jamboree; July 25, 2017

We spoke with many kind folks at different areas, including the National Eagle Scout Association Tent (where we also saw Regis the bald eagle); William T. Hornaday Award Tent; Commissioner’s Tent; and others.

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My son with a scout representative at the William T. Hornaday Award Tent. 2017 National Jamboree; July 25, 2017

My son also earned a merit badge in mining – right there in coal mining country! And, he earned a religious award, a scouting award, and attended both a worship service and a mass on Sunday.  He has also spent time enjoying the Sustainability Tree House.

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My son at the Sustainability Tree House. 2017 National Jamboree; July 25, 2017

Yesterday, my son participated with his troop on a hiking trek up Garden Ground Mountain. Last Friday, his troop completed a Day of Service by painting three picnic pavilions at a local park. He has been keeping busy!

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My son with members of his troop, painting a picnic pavilion, for their Day of Service. 2017 National Jamboree; July 21, 2017

There is so much to do and see, and so little time at the 2017 National Jamboree.  I’m happy for the opportunity that my son and I have had to be at there!  I had a great time!

“A Visit to Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

My Son Standing in Front of the U.S.S. Alabama, June 2012

Twelve Cub Scouts, as well as their families, from Pack 582 in Snellville, Georgia visited the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship, U.S.S. Drum Submarine, B-52 Stratofortress, and many other military aircrafts and equipment during the first weekend of June, 2012.  Most of the boys, a few of the boys’ older brothers, and the boys’ fathers “camped” overnight on the ship by sleeping in the ship’s actual bunk quarters. 

My Son Aboard U.S.S. Alabama with it’s “Big Guns,” June 2012

Scouts and their families had the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the battleship, which included viewing the control room beneath the “Big Guns,” as well as seeing two armor-piercing projectiles – or AP projectiles – that can be fired from the guns, with each AP projectile weighing between one to two tons and standing about six feet high.  Scouts and their brothers and fathers who slept overnight on the battleship were awakened early at 6:00 AM, and ate breakfast together in the cafeteria on park grounds prior to continuing their tour.

U.S.S. Drum at Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama, June 2012

Boys and their families enjoyed their self-guided tour of the U.S.S. Drum Submarine at Battleship Memorial Park.  The sub includes many tight and small spaces, though it had enough room to carry about 72 people.  The engine room with diesel-electric engines, torpedo room, control room, mess hall, sleeping quarters, and captain’s quarters were all very interesting and impressive to view.  The sub is in excellent condition, and some minor repair work is being done on it to preserve and maintain it.  

B-52 Stratofortress, Battleship Memorial Park, Mobile, Alabama, June 2012

The B-52 Stratofortress is one of many military airplanes, bombers, and fighter jets located at Mobile’s Battleship Memorial Park.  Prior to visiting the park, I had never before seen or toured an actual U.S. military battleship or submarine, nor viewed such a huge aircraft in person.  Having taught history and social studies, I had previously been familiar with such military vehicles (but for the U.S.S. Sullivans in Buffalo, New York) only by viewing pictures, TV, movies, or videos.  Seeing these military vehicles on display was breath-taking and extremely impressive. 

The boys enjoyed a fun and educational visit to Battleship Memorial Park, viewing the astouding warcrafts, without receiving any detailed information about the true dynamics of war that may have potentially created a more somber mood and atmosphere for their trip.  Overall, the park is extremely impressive, economically affordable to vist, and well-worth the trip!