The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Jamboree is in July 2017 at the new National Jamboree site near Beckley, West Virginia.
There will be a Christian Science booth as part of the Duty to God and Country area of the Jamboree. There is a need for adult Christian Scientists, who are Class taught, that are planning to attend all or part of the Jamboree, that could spend part of their time staffing this booth. One person is staffing the booth from 7/19-7/22, but a second person is needed, and another two people from 7/22 to 7/27 at 4 pm. “Room and Board” is available on site, for BSA members.
If you know of any of Christian Scientists who may be attending the Jamboree, please ask them to contact John Hanson or Bridget Bailey:
John C. Hanson
12513 Fostoria Way
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Christian Science Committee on Publication for West Virginia
214 Pine Circle
Dunbar, WV 25064
Cell (304) 549-8754
For background – and an idea of what the booth is like – below is part of the report from the Christian Science Booth at the last (2013) National Jamboree:
2013 Jamboree Report: The Booth: As you know from the earlier email, the Scouts support spirituality (part of the Boy Scout code is “A Scout is reverent”). There was a Faith and Beliefs area at the central location of the Jamboree– the Summit Center area. 35 different religions presented in booths and programs there. (I had previously reported to you that 57 religions would be presenting, but the actual tally was 35.) Some had their own tent, like the Mormons, which were celebrating 100 years of involvement with Scouting. We were in a large tent which had booths for about 20 smaller faiths. The Scouts were able to earn a badge at the Jamboree for Faith and Beliefs, however, it seemed like most of the Scouts who visited were not working on the badge, but just there because they were interested.
The activity at our booth was amazing!! There was a nearly constant, brisk, pace of visitors to our booth. We could hardly keep up with them all. They usually came in groups–two, three, four, five boys at a time, as well as many who came individually. We usually had 2 booth workers at a time, and both would be talking to groups at the same time. While talking to a group, more boys would be coming, listening in to the end of our talk with that group, and we would immediately launch into it again with the newcomers. We were keeping a notebook where we were tallying the number of visitors and the type of literature being taken, but the pace was so brisk that often I found I’d talked to four groups without a pause inbetween before I could get over to the notebook to jot them down.
The two words I would use to describe the Scouts visiting our booth, is that they were serious, and they were innocently unprejudiced. They were not idly passing by. They were looking to learn about religions. Most came right up to us and said “So what is Christian Science?” Probably 85-90% had never heard of it. Of the 10-15% that thought they had heard of it, I was surprised at how widespread the confusion with Scientology was–about 30% thought we were Scientology. We corrected this misunderstanding right away, then gave about a 4-6 minute introduction to Christian Science. After the initial introduction, they then started to ask questions, and we had a back-and-forth, sharing various testimonies, telling them about the church websites, reading favorite citations from S&H to them, inviting them to the lecture, and so on. These teenage boys listened carefully, and asked smart questions. We talked with most groups about 10-15 minutes, and the most common response we got was “This is interesting.” And they genuinely meant interesting– they emphasized the word interesting– they were clearly intrigued by the whole idea of Christian Science. In fact, we started to notice that there were maybe 8-10 visitors a day who were return visitors– and most of the return visitors brought their friends and said they had been telling their friends about what we’d said and they wanted us to tell their friends about CS. Many had looked us up on the web and then come back with questions. Others who came back alone engaged in deeper back and forth conversation with us. Because the Scouts were limited to one daypack for the Jamboree, the only literature given out was Science & Health (approx. 275), the Bible (approx, 75), and MyBibleLessons (approx. 300)– special editions from the CS Publishing Society for the Jamboree (see your Life and Truth lessons, with pictures of Scouting activities and testimonies by Scouts).
It seemed to me like our booth was one of the most active in the tent. Often, the other booths would have no visitors at them, while we were talking to 7 boys. The Sikh booth was busy, because they were wrapping Scouts heads in turbans, and the Jewish booth was busy, helped by a contest to give away the 4 TVs and some tablet computers used in their display. But it seemed to me that the Field’s prayers were having a big impact in holding up the Christ and drawing so many sincere inquirers to our booth. The conversations we had felt infused with the Christ and seemed to be really reaching these teenage boys. Your prayers also supported the energy of the booth workers in keeping up the nearly relentless pace of so many important conversations, in overcoming inadequate sleep, the heat, and so on. The preliminary count is about 700 visitors (600 Scouts, 100 adults) to our booth, though that number may be understated by 10% or more due to the pace not allowing us to jot down each visitor. This exceeded the visitors at the 2010 Jamboree, when 455 Scouts and 173 adults visited the booth, despite the fact that our booth hours this year were cut short.