Forging Friendships and a Sword at WSJ 2019
Up at Mt Jack, the Tartan Games and Frontier Village offer activities like powder rifle shooting, tomahawk throwing, the cable toss, and more! While you are there, visit the Blacksmith tent and participate in Jamboree history. The Friendship Sword needs you to pick up a hammer and help form the sword itself.
Every participant at Mt. Jack is encouraged to strike the blade to help complete the broadsword. As of Tuesday 30 July 2019, members from 53 nations have helped forge this sword. Representative of the Jamboree spirit itself, as friendships are formed during the nearly two week period, the 24th World Scout Jamboree Friendship Sword will be formed.
What started as a demonstration of blacksmithing skill at the 2013 US National Jamboree has now become a full exhibition of sword making. Bill and Taylor Matthews, a father-son team from Illinois created all 17 pieces on display in the tent – the suit of armor, long bow, axes, swords, and shields. Taylor is the son and a scoutmaster of Bill in his local council and a chef and finds this helps with his sword forging, knowing about the purpose of knives in the kitchen has made him more knowledgeable about sword forging.
Bill Matthews has been a blacksmith for over 30 years and wanted to do something special for the Jamboree. “Originally my idea was [to] hammer metal and get a new sword out the next day.” At a cub scouting event (ages 5-11) the idea for everyone to hammer on one sword came about. It would be an opportunity for everyone at Jamboree to be a part of the forging of the sword. As we near the end of the Jamboree, 1,000 scouts have struck this sword. Once finished, the sword will be installed at the Summit as a permanent museum piece to represent the 24th World Scout Jamboree.
Print This Post