Area Boy Scouts prepare for Jamboree trip

ALBANY, Ga. -- More than 70 area Boy Scouts will prepare to embark on a "once in a lifetime" opportunity tonight, said Scout Executive Ray Allen.

According to Allen, 72 Boy Scouts and eight chaperones will be packing the last of their supplies tonight at Camp Osborn in Sylvester before they make their first leg of a two week trip that will take them first to Washington D.C. and then to Virginia to take part in the Boy Scouts of America's 100th Anniversary and the 2010 Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree.

The group of 72 Scouts include numerous Boy Scouts from Albany, Americus, Cordele and Sylvester, said Allen.

"It's a great experience for all the boys," said Allen who added that the area Boy Scouts will be joining approximately 48,000 other Scouts from across the nation at the Jamboree.

In Washington, the Boy Scouts will be touring the nation's capital and will also be participating in the a large parade at The National Mall in D.C. as part of the celebration of 100 years of scouting.

The boys will then continue on their journey to Fort A.P Hill, Va., to take part in the Jamboree, which usually takes place every four years but was changed to coincide with the Boy Scouts of America's 100th Anniversary, said Allen.

At the Jamboree, the Boy Scouts will be able to earn approximately 100 different merit badges and receive hands-on merit badge demonstrations.

Scouts from across the country will also get to experience kayaking, canoeing, fly fishing, archery, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, shooting, buckskin games, to rotating stages of evening entertainment and a 100th Anniversary rededication ceremony simulcast to fellow troops gathering throughout the world.

"The Jamboree will have a national radio station that will be broadcasting live every day that the Scouts can work on and the Jamboree also has a newspaper that is published during the event," said Allen.

At the last Jamboree in 2005, 36 Boy Scouts from the Chehaw Council were able to attend the event. Allen said the large group attending this year's event was due in part to community support.

"A lot of people in the community donated scholarship money to the kids so they would be able to attend and we just want to thank those people for helping the kids with this opportunity," said Allen

The scout executive added that the Chehaw Council is one of the few smaller councils to increase their participation in this year's Jamboree.

"It's a big deal (this trip)," said Allen. "The boys are very excited about it."