Live ... "A Shining Light Across America" ... Happy 100th Birthday, BSA!
If you tune in now through 10 pm ... live from Ft. A.P. Hill in Virginia ... the Boy Scout Jamboree is celebrating the 100th birthday of the BSA. The arena is jam-packed with 100,000 people on a cool Virginia night while thousands more Boy Scouts are featured live from NY's Times Square, Durham "Bulls" Stadium in NC, and from the Black Hills of ND.
Televised live and carried through the Brigham Young channel (BYU TV), the program is being beamed across the nation as "A Shining Light Across America" showcasing the power of Scouting ... the big, bold learning and leadership that began in 1916. Scouts are able to do things that other kids their age never dreamed possible and they were taught honor and respect.
The opening ceremony featured a flag that had flown on 9/11 beside the Twin Towers, a live American eagle on stage, a brief history of the flag, and the singing of the National Anthem as tens of thousands of Scouts stood at attention while saluting the flag. They recognized and honored the branches of the military, and then chants of "USA," "USA," "USA" echoed throughout the huge crowd while fireworks boomed overhead.
The fun is continuing with entertainment and MCs made up of Boys Scouts themselves as they continue to be "A Shining Light Across America."
Right now Mike Rowe from Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs," an Eagle Scout in his youth, is on stage. Tune in ... it's patriotic and heart-warming.
Past Boy Scouts are encouraged to check out http://www.bsaalumni.com/ and get back in touch.
Update 8:40: Mike Rowe is really interesting as he talks about his Scouting experiences and how it helps encourage boys beyond their comfort zones while learning and achieving. He's laughingly lobbying the guys to get a "Dirty Jobs" BSA patch. After a 15-minute conversation with the boys in which he shared that he was a shy kid who studdered when he was nervous, he concluded by saying he would not be anywhere without the Boy Scouts of America.
Update 9:25: A preview was shown of the 4,000-acre West Virginia location of future Scout Jamborees called The Summit. It's supposed to be ready by the next Jamboree in 2013.
Update 9:50: Taped birthday greetings were offered from former Boy Scouts including from country singer Josh Turner, NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs, entertainer Jerry Fader, magician Nathan Burton, comedian John Reep, bobsled gold medalist Steve Holcomb, and others.
Entertainment now by the Christian rock band Switchfoot, chosen by the Scouts themselves to sing for the event. The lead singer and his brother, the bass guitar player, were Boy Scouts when they were younger. Lead singer commented, "It's good to see so many faces out there ... faces of the next generation of America."
Update 10:15: Thanks are being offered to volunteers who worked the past four years preparing for the 100th anniversary Jamboree including executives from AT&T and Exxon. As with all groups, volunteers are the heart of an organization and that includes the Boy Scouts.
Vocal Point is now singing "around the campfire" as the production is coming to a close. Now one boy with a torch representing each point in the Boy Scout Oath is coming into the stadium. From the campfire comes the dedication for the next 100 years ... every Scout has a candle that is being lit by the torches ... after all were lit, they recited the Boy Scout oath.
Update 10:25: Fireworks are now closing out the program.
The Boy Scout Oath
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight
Boy Scout Law
A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent