Struggling with others: The Mount Jack Experience
Yesterday I climbed up Mount Jack with the rest of my troop. For those of you who don’t know, Mount Jack is the highest point in the summit. In order to get there, we had to go on a hour long hike. For many of us, the only thought keeping us going was the promise of fun activities once we got to the summit, but we turned out to be sorely disappointed. Not only was I stung by a wasp almost immediately after getting up there, all the activities had lines that were either too long or closed. Then to top it all off, it began to rain, and we had to spend a few hours sitting in a pavilion. My experience at Mount Jack was less than ideal, sure, but in a way I am actually glad I went. Let me explain. When we finally came down the mountain, it was around 1:00 in the afternoon. The trail for the mountain let out at A camp, so in order to get back home to D camp, I had to pass the Console Energy Bridge, a big metal bridge that connects campsites A and B with the rest of the Summit. There are other ways to get across without the bridge, but they take large amounts of time. While the rest of my troop decided to go back to camp, my friend and I stayed a bit longer for trading. When we reached the bridge itself and began to cross it, a lightning alert was issued, meaning that everyone had to evacuate the bridge in case of a lightning strike. My friend and I were separated, and while he was able to get across, I was told to return back to the other side. I was stranded in A and B camp in the pouring rain. Yay!
Despite this less than ideal situation, I did my best to make the most of my position by exploring various campsites, and trading with other scouts. As I explored and traded for a good 2 hours, my day slowly turned from horrible to fun. All this time with nothing but other scouts to talk too solidified the idea that the real fun of the Jamboree doesn’t come from the activities, but the people you share those activities with. One of the most memorable things that occurred as I walked by one of the youth bathhouses to see two scouts turning on a water faucet over a girl’s head in the pouring rain. I asked them what they were doing, and they said they were from Denmark, and didn’t feel wet enough. The girl being doused in water was from their troop, and was taking part in a group wide water fight. I was actually able to capture this funny interaction on video as well! Just before I left them to their fun, I asked them jokingly if this was what life in Denmark was like, and they all responded with an overwhelming yes.
What started out as a painfully negative experience due to a lack of activities, quickly became one of the best of my trip because of the people I was able to share it with. That is the beauty of the World Scout Jamboree.
USA Unit 217 (My unit) waking up early for breakfast so we can summit Mount Jack by noon.
Me (left) and David (right) standing next to the sign marking the “Summit Of The Summit” on top of Mount JackPrint This Post