July 23, 2020
BSA Postpones 2021 National Jamboree
The Boy Scouts of America is committed to the safety of all youth in its programs.
The unpredictability of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the impact it has had on BSA councils so far prompted the difficult decision to postpone the 2021 National Jamboree.
This decision was not made lightly. Being prepared for the largest national gathering of Scouts takes years to do. The pandemic and the unresolved issues surrounding it has made it exceedingly difficult to plan for this event and do so in a way that would keep the safety of Scouts, volunteers, staff and communities at the forefront.
The National Jamboree, held every four years, was originally slated for July 21-30, 2021, at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia. No new date for the Jamboree has been set yet, but a task force of volunteers and staff will recommend a new date, and registered participants will be informed once that date is selected.
“We recognize that it may mean some Scouts will not have a Jamboree experience they had looked forward to,” says Al Lambert, Assistant Chief Scout Executive and National Director of Outdoor Adventures. “We believe, however, that it is the best path forward, and we are committed to hosting this incredible event at a future date.”
For 110 years, Scouts have stepped up during local and national crises, included world wars, economic downturns and epidemics. The 1935 National Jamboree was postponed because of a national polio epidemic. Scouting still continued. Two years later, 25,000 Scouts camped in Washington, D.C., for the rescheduled Jamboree.
This pandemic has dramatically impacted how councils operate and prompted the closure of 70% of council summer camp programs this year. That doesn’t mean Scouting stops.
“We believe postponing the 2021 National Jamboree will help bolster much-needed attendance at council camps next summer – by which time we hope the spread of COVID-19 has significantly subsided – and will give councils the opportunity to focus their limited resources on maximizing incredible local Scouting opportunities for families in their communities,” Lambert says.
If your unit planned to attend the Summit next summer, you can reserve a spot at the James C. Justice National Scout Camp. You can also look at other high-adventure opportunities next year at the Summit and other national high-adventure bases. Also, watch for updates from your council; council camps offer awesome, fun adventures for Scouts.
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